We’re Not Kitten; You’re A Hero!

, , , , , , | Healthy | April 19, 2021

I’m a Registered Veterinary Technician running my own pet sitting and dog walking business. I’m on day two of a three-day overnight pet sit at a breeder’s home with cats and dogs and it’s a long weekend for Easter. There are currently three six-and-a-half-week-old kittens running about creating havoc and general kitten mischief.

I have to drive back into town to care for my own pets and take a quick shower. Shortly after returning to the client’s home, I hear faint distressed meowing coming from down the hallway. I go to investigate, opening some of the bedrooms to check to make sure I didn’t lock a kitten in when letting the dogs in and out of their rooms.

I get to the master bedroom and find a bunch of the cats peeking under the bed, and the meowing is coming from underneath it. I get down and look and find one of the kittens wrapped up in some fabric that had been torn from the bottom of the box spring. I reach under to try to unwrap her, but she’s halfway under and I can barely reach or see her and it feels like the fabric is wrapped around a leg. I crawl back out and rush to the kitchen to grab a pair of scissors to try to cut her out with.

On my way back, I hear her give one more strained cry and fall silent. I rush over to the side of the bed and get down, ready to reach back under, only to be face to face with an angry hissing momma cat. Fearing more for the kitten than myself, I plead with her not to scratch my face and reach under. The kitten has gone limp. In a panic, I realize that there is no way I am going to be able to maneuver the scissors to cut the fabric and instead grab a handful of the fabric close to the boxspring and pull. I don’t know if it’s adrenaline or if the fabric is just frayed enough, but I manage to rip the fabric from the bed and pull the kitten out.

She’s still not moving or breathing, and I see that the fabric is wrapped tightly around her little neck. I manage to get the scissors between the fabric and cut it. Even with the fabric removed from her neck, she still is not breathing, and I begin CPR and mouth to mouth. After a minute of compressions and breaths, she starts coughing and moving sluggishly. I scoop her up and rush to put her in a carrier while getting the emergency vet number and also trying to reach my client over the phone.

We don’t have an emergency vet that stays open up here; instead, the clinics rotate who is on call each day and you have to wait for them to call you back. While waiting, I keep monitoring the kitten, and she slowly starts to move around and be aware of her surroundings.

Finally, after twenty minutes, the vet calls me back and we go through an assessment over the phone to determine if I should bring her in. By then, the kitten is acting as if nothing happened beyond being a bit quiet, and it is decided that she will be okay.

And that is how I saved the life of a six-and-a-half-week-old kitten by knowing how to perform CPR on pets. Happy Pet First Aid Month, everyone! If you have pets, please consider enrolling in a class that will teach you Pet CPR and First Aid; you never know when it may save a tiny life.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

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