On the morning of the 18th we dropped in at the Wetlands for a stroll before the day heated up. Other than a passel of lizards things were pretty quiet. We were attracted to one of the recharge basins by an odd squeak. After a few minutes of careful observation we found the source of the noise, a young Black-necked Stilt and its parent. Typical kid it didn’t appear to be listening, much to the adult’s consternation.
As we continued our way around the ponds we encountered another strange sound. This time it was the call of a critter in distress. We quickly narrowed down the location to a large saltbush. The sound morphed into a tiny mew and for a second we thought perhaps we had stumbled upon a baby Bobcat. That could’ve been dangerous! Hell hath no fury like an angry mom and if that mom has claws and fangs much the worse.
From Lance’s vantage point he was able to see a small kitten face. I stood still and started quietly talking to the little one. Soon I heard branches rustling. Finally a face peeked out at me. A tiny grey and white face. Eventually I was able to pick up the wee kitty – it was mostly skin and bones. But it purred and rested contentedly in my arms.
No more birding for us that morning, instead we headed straight home. We set up the hall bathroom with food, water, a soft bed, and a litter box. We doled out the food and water in small increments so that kitty didn’t gorge. I made an appointment with our vet for later that afternoon. Kitty ate, drank, and passed out on the bed.
Turns out our tiny furball was a girl about ten-weeks old. She was dehydrated and needed an IV of fluid but her other vital signs were normal and she tested negative for disease. The most serious concern was the injury to the side of her head. Her face was swollen and she had blood oozing from her cheek and her ear. Poor thing! The vet put her on antibiotics and said we’d know in the next 24 hours if she would make it.
I dreaded opening the bathroom door the next morning – it was awfully quiet in there. When I turned the handle I heard a little meow and I knew she was going to be just fine. Not what we had expected that morning when we toured the Wetlands, but as I’ve said before, the Wetlands are full of surprises!