Last night while feeding the outside crew this little one was not eating, but instead following me around. She persisted even though I stepped around her a few times so I finally gave in and bent over to see if she would run. Nope, so I picked her up and she was almost "light as a feather".
She did not have the usual telltale watery eyes or stuffy nose I expected so when I could feel her ribs prominently I did a pinch test on her. Not a hurting kind of pinch, but lifting the skin to see how well it recovered. It was slow so I felt that in my unprofessional opinion, she was dehydrated for some reason and did not have enough "meat on her bones" to weather the cold like all the others.
Brought her in and to my wife's credit, I did not get hit or chased back out. :-) She felt a little warm and I heard a little rattle in her breathing so first came an antibiotic, then 5ml of unflavored pedialyte, and finally 5ml of KMR (kitten milk replacer). She got a heating pad bed, water, wet and dry cat food and tucked in for the night (poop box of course) in the bathroom we use as an ICU.
This morning she came out ready to live. She had eaten all the wet food left for her and quickly started checking bowls for anything left over. For some reason she is a "natural" with us and the other cats. After eating she walked right over to a cushion in the sun and started a cats after-dinner cleaning ritual.
She has now joined the other cats in front of my desk, basking in the sun as if she has been here all her short young life. I will still give her bonus sips of pedialyte but she is drinking a little and eating a lot so we may have a success, ready for adopting in a week or two. (wink wink)
Bernice and Barbie