Little Nugget’s Foster Journey

by Kimberly Wade

Though we always expect it, we can never predict when emergency situations will happen—though it often seems to happen early in the evenings. Nugget’s story is no different. A woman arrived with a female cat who was pregnant and in distress. The woman had exhausted all of her resources and had nowhere else to turn. She knew the kitty needed medical care so in an act of selflessness, she surrendered her companion to Nevada Humane Society.

The cat was rushed to the clinic and five kittens were delivered via c-section. The veterinarian team worked tirelessly on the entire litter trying to save their lives but sadly, the kittens were stillborn. All of them that is, except baby Nugget, whose will to survive was incredible.

Nugget, a tiny, gray kitten, was no bigger than a couple ounces in size. We warmed her, fed her, and sent her home with our foster coordinator, Tara, who is well-versed in emergency kitten care and known for going above and beyond for the tiniest of lives. From the moment Tara held her on her chest, keeping her close to her heartbeat so that baby Nugget would know someone was there, she thrived.

Over the following weeks, we quickly learned that Nugget was always ahead of the curve. Tara fed her day and night, every two hours (Yes, Tara had dark circles under her eyes). She was a fast learner, quickly discovering her tail and paws, learning to eat on her own and soon, playtime. Nugget, despite a rough start, was going to be just fine. Mom, by the way, recovered from her surgery, was spayed, and went back to her human home.

Today, Nugget is five weeks into her young life. Her tiny teeth are coming in nicely, her eyes are still blue (did you know that all kittens are born with blue eyes, and they start to change color around the seven week mark?) and she is getting more active and playful every day. She’s had a tiny stuffed tiger with her from day one, and she’s finally equal to him in size! Nugget is charming, sassy and incredibly cute.

We decided to follow Nugget’s entire journey on Facebook, starting with the first 24 hours of her life. We’ve been posting photos and sharing her adventures. Our goal is to show people how rewarding it is to be a foster parent to orphaned kittens, and to teach the importance of spaying and neutering. Every year during Kitten Season, we see thousands of kittens arrive at the shelter, many with tough stories just like Nugget’s, and others, happy and healthy and almost ready for adoption. Fostering saves lives. It gives all of these neonatal kittens a chance that they wouldn’t otherwise have. Not all of them are hand raised by a bottle like Nugget; many arrive weaned and already well-versed in litter box training. Some may be a little shy and need socialization but others are already purrfectly content with human and animal interaction. Fostering allows kittens to grow up in a home environment, keeping them out of the shelter, which is risky because it can very easily compromise their tiny immune systems. Truly, if you can provide a foster home for a few weeks, we can find them homes for life.

You too can follow Nugget’s journey on our Facebook Page, as we’ll be posting weekly about her. She’s still in foster care with Tara and doing well—she even often comes into the office so we all get to visit and watch her grow. We can’t wait to find her a family of her own—and already have someone in mind! Follow Nugget’s Foster Journey online and as always, we’d love to hear your stories too.

Interested in fostering? Visit our website at www.NevadaHumaneSociety.org or call us at 775-856-2000 ext. 314.

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Mother’s Day: It’s not just for Humans

by Kimberly Wade

Mother’s Day is nearly here and I bet before I even begin this you can guess what I’m going to write about…. and you’re right! Here’s the thing. Just because I, along with many other women out there, don’t have human kids, it doesn’t make me any less of a person. In fact, we’re all moms too—to kids of the four-legged kind.

Yup, I went there. I know however, others feel as I do on this subject as you will read below.

People are always asking me when I am having kids. It went from being sweet to funny to irritating and sometimes uncomfortable. Most people don’t seem to respect that it’s a very personal decision, not to mention you never know what a woman may be facing physically. It took me some time, but I finally decided to ignore the questions or comments and instead embrace the reality, I am a mother.

At Nevada Humane Society we consider pets family. So do many of you, so what’s to take away from the fact that we, as humans, are parents to them? My husband and I have six, yes, six, animals. That is just as much work (sometimes more) than a child. Seriously. Especially given they range from one year to almost 15 years old! Pet lovers know that young animals are typically bouncing off the wall no matter what time of day, and that seniors can be prone to the normal aging challenges. Pets require care and attention and love just like human kids do. And the coolest thing? Pets offer unconditional love! That means unlike the human teen who demands independence and locks herself in her room, or gets mad because she can’t use her cell phone at dinner, pets love you all the time, no matter how busy you are or how little you have. They just want you, a warm bed, a healthy diet, and maybe some toys. It’s that easy. Plus, you can kennel a dog if they’re acting up during your dinner party—you can’t really do that with a kid (though I do know of kids who sleep with the dog in his kennel).

Though this article is meant in good fun, I do honestly consider myself a mom, as do 99% of the people around me who have pets. Our four-legged babies are our kids. We are proud to show off photos of them on our phones, spend thousands in pet supplies, and even travel with them. We often spend more in veterinary care on our furry children than we do on ourselves. They are treated like family, because they are family.

Last year my husband brought me home flowers for Mother’s Day…. flowers from our animals. It was beyond fabulous and it honestly lifted my spirits and made me very happy. He’s right. I’m a mom, he’s a dad. So are all of you.

So no matter what form your children take, here’s to a wonderful Mother’s Day with your families. Whether you share an ice cream with your human kid or your dog, or enjoy a glass of wine with your cat (there is such a thing as wine for cats; Google it), remember, we’re all Moms. So go pet your cat, play fetch with the dog, or take your human to the movies and be proud to celebrate Mother’s Day.

 

Kimberly Wade is the Communications Director for Nevada Humane Society. She has been with the organization for 7 years but her passion for animals began as a child. Kimberly lives with her husband, 3 cats (one pictured) and 3 dogs.

 

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Lucinda’s Second Chance

by Kimberly Wade

To say I don’t have favorites would be a lie. Even in my own home, I definitely have animals that I favor, but I’ll never admit who. It’s somewhat the same at Nevada Humane Society. Every animal that comes through our doors, over 12,000 homeless pets each year, is special, but every now and then one needs a little more attention than the others, and it’s easy to see why they are the ones that become my favorites.

Lucinda is a gorgeous, chocolate point Siamese. She’s got a beautiful—and typical—Siamese personality. She’s talkative, charming, affectionate and intuitive. As a personal fan of Siamese, she has easily worked her way into my heart, but it’s time for her to work her way into yours, especially as she asks for help.

Lucinda was found alone on the streets fighting several injuries. She had electrical burns in her mouth, a bad eye infection and was severely underweight. We don’t know what happened to her but we do know she needed help. When she arrived at Nevada Humane Society, she was rushed to our veterinary clinic. She was immediately given IV fluids to hydrate her, pain medications for the burns in her mouth and tucked into a warm bed to bring her temperature up. We started her on antibiotics for her eyes and tried to feed her—she refused. We knew we had to closely monitor her because with everything she was facing, though her will to survive was there, it wasn’t strong.

The next morning Lucinda looked a bit better and tried to eat a little on her own. The pain meds and antibiotics had begun to work and her instinct took over—she was hungry! It allowed us a sigh of relief but our work wasn’t over yet.

Lucinda bounced back and forth for several days between good and bad but through it all she purred and nuzzled her head in our hands. Her fight to survive was getting better, thanks to our caring staff, and slowly, she began to perk up.

Once her vitals were within more normal limits, she was spayed. Her eye infection wasn’t clearing up, and it was obvious one eye was much worse than the other so we chose to remove it. She continued to receive IV fluids, daily medication, appetite stimulants and an overwhelming amount of TLC from staff—myself included. I had met her on day two and knew she was a special gal. I told her to hang in there, fight for that second chance and saw the appreciation in her eyes as I just sat and talked to her.

Today, over a month later, I can finally say she’s looking fabulous. Her eye has healed, and her remaining eye shines bright blue in color. Her fur is velvety soft, and while her legs are still shaved from where the IVs were inserted, she’s gaining weight and it’s safe to say Lucinda is well on the mend and will soon be ready for a home.

Lucinda’s stay here hasn’t been without financial struggles. From her initial treatment to her eye surgery to her continuing care the cost has added up. Though she more than deserved it, would you be so kind as to donate to Lucinda? We have a special fund, Emily’s Fund, which provides for sick and injured pets. So far this year, we’ve unfortunately seen many, Lucinda included. We always go the extra mile for them, but would welcome your financial support—everything helps. You can donate online through our website, www.nevadahumanesociety.org, or you can call us at 775-856-2000 ext. 324 or 332. You can also mail or drop off your donation. Just earmark it for Emily’s Fund. Lucinda, and the many others like her, deserve your support, and you can be confident your donations are providing for those without a voice. Like I said, we don’t know what happened to her but we are here to save her. You make that possible. Thank you, in advance, for your support for Lucinda and I can’t wait to see who falls for this beauty and takes her home—because she’s going to make someone very happy. Adoptable Pets at Nevada Humane Society

 

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