From time to time we come across a story with a great ending.
Minnie the kitten’s story is one of luck, determination and sheer dedication to caring for an animal in need and we’d like to thank the terrific Phoenix Association animal rescue centre in France for sharing this with us.
British expats Linda and Trevor Atkins from Isasac in the Dordogne area, are animal foster carers at Phoenix Association and care for 23 cats and kittens from Phoenix – this is in addition to eight cats of their own, two dogs and two horses!
Out of the blue, Linda, who is clearly well known in the area for her passionate support of Phoenix and care of animals, received a phone call from a neighbour to say a kitten had been found abandoned in the garden. The kitten was still attached to the mother’s umbilical cord and the caller had no idea what to do.
When the kitten arrived wrapped in a jumper Linda discovered that not only the cord but the placenta were attached. It was one of those situations where immediate action was required and hoping for the best and relying on memories of a TV programme, Linda sterilised her scissors, clamped the cord and cut it.
The kitten weighed just 93 grams and the name Minnie seemed inevitable.
Getting to this stage was just the start of an exhausting process of raising this amazing little creature. She had to be kept away from the other animals so was installed in the guest room. She was fed by tiny bottle every 3 hours, including through the night, and Linda shared the guest room with her for the first week.
For four whole weeks, Lynda and Trevor alternated nights with Minnie. They couldn’t understand why Linda could sleep for the 3 hours between feeds, wake to the alarm and fed Minnie. Trevor, however, had a more difficult time with Minnie awake and asking for food. It dawned on them that Trevor’s snoring was keeping Minnie awake!
As if all this wasn’t difficult enough, Minnie developed an intolerance to the powdered milk and, although she was feeding, she didn’t gain weight. Linda knew that full fat goats’ milk was the best solution; however the only source of this was a round trip of 50 miles. Undaunted, Linda and Trevor embarked on the long trip every 4 or 5 days so that the milk could be given fresh. Minnie started to gain weight, after 5 weeks she was managing without feeding from midnight to 7.00am and at 6 weeks she weighed 311 grams.
Minnie was 8 weeks old on 6th November and on 12th November she went to her new home in Brussels with her new “Mum” Catherine.
We wish Minnie and Catherine well and salute Linda & Trevor Atkins for their outstanding dedication to caring for and saving Minnie’s life.
If you would like to adopt an animal from Phoenix, sponsor, become a member or volunteer – check out the Phoenix Association website which has lots of details.