On Wednesday afternoon May 21st, 2014 I got a call from Kym McNulty, PCAWL’s extraordinary Trap/Neuter/Release specialist. She asked if I could pick up a newborn kitten from John at the Rolla Shelter and take it to someone who said they could foster it. “Where are you calling from?” I asked. “I’m in New Jersey,” was the answer. “Don’t ask,” she implored me.
An hour later I had formula and bottles in hand, and met John for the handover. He gave me the carrier with a tiny ball of fluff inside, mewing loudly I might add, and down the road I went. Soon I was at the home of Sarah Knorr, a lovely young woman, the mother of four little girls playing in the yard. I gave her the kitten, and she took it from me with an air of confidence and a gracious smile. If the tables were turned, I would not have felt too sure of anything–especially my capability as a surrogate mother for a tiny kitten who’s eyes were not yet open.
A few days later I got a call from Sarah. Mia (the name she chose for the little female) had not pooped thus far, and she was concerned. I agreed to take her to Dr. Janke’s that very day. Dr. Janke did a thorough examination, and after proclaiming her “a cute little thing,” sent me off with medicine and instructions. I gave her back to a worried Sarah, and we all waited with bated breath to see if Mia would have a movement.. (Kym’s breath was bated all the way up in New Jersey.) The next day I got a call from Sarah, who joyfully reported success at last. We all breathed a collective sigh of relief. Sarah’s exact words at the time were, “Yea! Mia—we’ve got poop!”
Fast forward a few weeks, and Mia is now a healthy, happy kitten. Sarah and family have decided to adopt her. My first question to her was “why?” ” Why did you take on the responsibility of feeding and caring for a kitten who needed to be bottle fed every two to three hours day and night?” Sarah’s answer, not surprisingly was “love.” I’ve always loved animals, and I recently met Kym, who told me about PCAWL (Phelps County Animal Welfare League). She informed me of the terrible plight of feral cats in our area.” The Knorr’s have several feral cats living on their property, so it was no shock to learn of this widespread problem. Three have been neutered, and two more still need to be fixed. They have gone to Protect Every Pet which is located in Bland. PEP performs the spaying and neutering at no cost for feral cats, and at a reduced cost for other cats. Mia will be spayed as soon as she is old enough so that she will not add to the misery and suffering caused by overpopulation of the species.
When I asked Sarah if she would recommend fostering, her answer was a resounding “yes.” It feels so good to care for a helpless little animal and see your efforts rewarded as it grows and thrives.” Sarah weighed Mia every day on a digital kitchen scale, and every ounce of weight she put on told her that Mia was that much closer to “making it.” “Saving a life feels great.” Sarah says with a smile.
When asked about Mia’s emerging personality, Sarah laughed and told about the Lady and the Tramp incident. One night not too long ago while thunderstorms raged outside, Mia mewed pitifully outside Sarah’s bedroom door. She scooped her up and put her in bed with her daughter. This was not good enough for Mia, however. She kept crying and meowing until finally Sarah could take no more. She scooped Mia up and allowed to sleep with her and her husband. Now every night, Mia sleeps curled around Sarah’s head.
Asked if she is willing to foster in the future, she is quick to say “yes.” “I will only take one kitten at a time if it needs to be bottle fed, though. It’s just too hard to juggle my job as a mom and homemaker with more than one kitten.” The family takes Mia with them sometimes. She is a beloved member of the Knoor family, albeit the tiniest one—weighing in at just around two pounds, five ounces.
Sarah is a lifelong learner, and her main interest is animals. She spends a lot of time on the computer learning about everything from how to diagnose a medical condition to kitten care and pet grooming. The family lives in a rural part of Phelps County, and they recently updated their computer service with Wave Internet, which Sarah describes as “good, affordable internet service.” She hopes to one day become a veterinary assistant. But right now, she’s happy to be the saver of one little precious life at a time. Mia says “meow” to that.
by Debby Dunstedter, copied with permission from: http://flyingdreamstudio.me/2014/07/28/saving-mia/