Thursday, February 12, 2015

Foster Love: Slade the Daredevil Kitten

It was a calm afternoon at the Animal Welfare League with only a few visitors roaming the halls, the laundry machines loaded, and dishes almost done. While taking attendance in the cat-room, I noticed that one of the "trouble kitties" was not in their kennel. This meant that they were either adopted (hallelujah!), having a wellness visit, or in the retaining area receiving some TLC. On a whim, I decided to take a peek into the retaining area to see if my furry friend was doing okay.

As I glanced over the names on the kennel doors, I couldn't help but notice a six month old kitten listing. Come on people- who doesn't want to see a kitten? I crouched down to admire the little lady named "Slade." There she was, playing with a toy in the back of her cage without a care in the world. Her ears perked as she realized that she was being watched and turned to face the creeper at her door.

That's when I did a double take.

Slade's eyes were not.... doing so great. I will spare you the details but medically speaking she had severe conjunctivitis in both eyes. She had been brought it in by a good samiritan who found her in the middle of the road emaciated and sick. Aside from her painful looking ailment, she was just as spry, cute, and playful as any other kitten.  I broke protocol and offered her a treat which she gently ate from my hand. My heart melted in her paws. As soon as I got home, I told my husband all about my chance encounter with Slade.

A few days later, a call went out looking for a foster to watch over Slade post-surgery. The medical staff had made the recommendation to remove the source of her pain as the infection refused to subside after a month of treatment and monitoring. It was compromising her quality of life as she endured eye drops every day with no success.

I leaped at the opportunity to help the kitten who tugged my heart strings with such ease. What was supposed to be a two week recovery period in our home turned into a long-term foster situation. It has been quite the experience having a blind kitten in the house and we've shared some special milestones. Slade had to learn how to walk down the steps (going up wasn't the problem) and get down from the bed. The biggest conquest by far is pictured above - mastering the couch. This was a tedious exercise that required a pillow and a healthy dose of restraint. We shared a roller-coaster of frustration as she meowed for help while I had to fight the urge to do so.

Now, at about eight months, Slade is a lean mean kitty machine! She run laps around the living room and vaults the couch for fun. Her favorite place to play is the stairs and she loves to stalk and pounce from under the bed. Our greatest amusement is when she battles the invisible leprechauns- better known as her own tail.  She's still a kitten and we do our best to keep up with her active lifestyle.

Slade is an amazing creature who is happy, playful, and sweet. We currently divide our time between her and Autumn, our senior cat, who requires special care. It would be wonderful if Slade could get the full spot-light that she deserves. There have been a handful of potential adopters but nothing serious as of yet. We are keeping our fingers and paws crossed. Slade cannot wait to find her forever home!

If you or someone that you know would be interested in adopting Slade, please contact the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.