Shivani’s HOPE – Piku

“My sister came across a kitten under our building in the month of October 2017. She almost looked like a mouse. She called me down to help as the kitten was extremely weak and meowing at the top of its voice. We asked people around and they said that a cat had given birth to a litter. There was hope the mother might come back for her. We didn’t want to rush anything so we decided to wait but deep down we knew she was abandoned. It was already past 11.30 in the night so we went home.

My sister and I didn’t sleep that night and little did we know that it was just a start to many sleepless nights. She went down at 5 a.m. The kitten was still meowing and with no other option, we got the kitten home to feed something. We have medical professionals in our family and so had a few sterile syringes around. We fed her some diluted cow’s milk as it was the only choice at that moment. My mother, sister, and I instantly connected with her. My dad wasn’t ready for a pet yet. We used to live in a small house back then and had no room for a kitten that needed so much care.

Luckily our neighbors were out of town and sweet enough to allow us to use one of their rooms. My parents made it very clear that this was temporary and they’ll only keep the kitten until we find a new home for her or till it is grown and independent. We agreed. I would go around every day for 4 days in the hope of finding her mom and I finally saw a cat in the building with a litter. My mom and I went down to the cat and left the kitten in front of her, but she didn’t accept her.

Initially, we thought that we scared her. Seeing this we left her down there and went back home. We could hear the kitten’s loud meowing in our bedroom. We still thought of giving it some time but she kept meowing continuously for 30 mins straight. My mom lost her patience and said that’s it, we are getting her home. The next day we decided to take her to a vet as she was severely underweight weighing only 125 grams and we knew couldn’t keep her on cow’s milk for long as she seemed only 3 weeks old.

We weren’t lucky in finding a good vet. Not having an owned vehicle was also a huge disadvantage to locate any other vet in some other locality. Our vet was rude and didn’t communicate properly with us. He wouldn’t clear our doubts on the phone, would insist on coming to his clinic, and would blame everything on us without giving any proper explanation. Once she had diarrhea and we went to his clinic. We stepped into the clinic, told him she had diarrhea and he directly gave us the medication without even looking at her. She was around 8 weeks old at this time and weighed around 350 grams.

My mom couldn’t take it anymore. She is a nurse with around 27+ years of experience. She looked at the prescription and realized that the medication was similar to treating human infants. We then decided to not entertain him anymore and take everything in our hands. The kitten was already extremely critical and we knew she had to take the risk. My mom started giving her medication based on her experience with malnourished babies.

We would google if the medication is safe for cats and then take the next step. My mom dealt with problems like malnourishment, sore eyes, horrible skin infection, intestinal worms and so much more. We wouldn’t recommend anyone to do so though and consulting a vet should always be the first option. We finally upgraded her name from Meow to Piku.  It took us 3-4 months to make sure Piku is as healthy as other cats of her age should be.

We were looking for adopters but nobody wanted a street black cat. We felt bad initially but then thought all of this was meant to be. Everything got so busy for the first 3 months that we don’t even have enough pictures of Piku. We would tap her every 2-3 hours to make sure she is ‘alive’. We would wake up at 2 a.m. to bottle-feed her milk. For all that’s worth, it was like watching our baby grow in front of us. All the difficult nights just got us more closer to her. I look at Piku and it gives me HOPE that sometimes all we have to do is hang in there and things do start falling into its place. I wish more people would adopt or rescue stray animals as their love is no different than the fancy breeds.”

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