To read No Pets Allowed: Day 1 click here.

After being on high alert all night (really all morning) and not being able to get sleep due to my concerns for Lil Kitty McStinky; it was time to come up with a game plan for his welfare. Being honest with myself, I know I couldn’t really look after him and give him a proper home.

I’m sure McStinky was abandoned by one of the stray cats my neighbor feeds. I felt certain if I looked around, I could find where the mama cat and the other kittens were nesting. I then thought about all the dead cats I’ve seen from time to time around the neighborhood. Mostly likely succumbing to injuries received from being hit by cars. With advice from a friend, I decided to take McStinky to the Humane Society.

After failing again to get McStinky to eat, I re-wrapped him in a towel and placed him back in his box. Once the lid was on he stopped his crying and quickly settled down. He slept the entire 11 miles to my local Humane Society.

I was happy to find a “no kill” shelter. My hopes of McStinky being properly taken care of  and one day finding a loving home soon crashed and burned.

The somewhat agitated (its closing time and I’m ready to go home) officer opened the box, grabbed kitty by the scruff of his neck and nonchalantly said “I’ll tell you right now, if you surrender this cat, we will euthanize it.” The first words out my mouth were “No you’re not.”

She rolled her eyes and stated “This cat is less than 3 days old. We don’t take kittens this young. They have to be at least 3-4 weeks old before we accept them.”

Look, I get it…policy is policy. No problem. I will care for Lil Kitty McStinky and in 3-4 weeks, will take him back so he can be accepted.

On the way back home, I started to come up with a game plan and schedule that I would follow to care for him. Once I got him back home and got him under the heater. I went to a local pet store to look for a bottle and small size nipples to fit into his little mouth. I felt reassured that I could now properly feed him.

Back home I warmed up the kitten formula I had purchased earlier and tried again to feed him. As he was crying (man he is loud), I wrapped him in a hand towel and gently eased the bottle in his mouth. He still didn’t want to suckle. Online I read a couple of articles and viewed some videos on what to do when kittens will not eat. I saw one video that had a clever way to force feed a kitten. That seemed to work. His cries stopped and he begin to make the little whimpering noises babies make. When done, I placed him back in his box. He shuffled around for a couple of moments and went back to sleep. I felt like a proud poppa.

According to the information online, I would need to do this every 4 hours, or when I heard him cry. Well, this is what I’ve committed myself to for the next couple of weeks so be it. A couple of hours later, I woke McStinky up to encourage him to use the bathroom. He did and I placed him back in the box and he went back to sleep.

That night as I was getting ready for bed, I placed him next to me on the floor in his box and put the heater next to him. Around midnight, he begin to stir, so I repeated my earlier process of warming up the bottle and feeding him. This time it was a little be less stressful. Even though I had to still force feed him through the side of his mouth, he seemed more receptive…ok. I was hopeful. A couple of more feedings and I’m sure he will start to actually suckle.

After feeding, I rubbed him on his sides and chest to provide warmth and stimulation and hopes it would aide in digestion. I placed him back in his box and I got in bed and went to sleep…with a smile on my face.

The next morning I could hear, little gurgling sounds and knew McStinky most likely needed to go to the bathroom and eat. I went downstairs, warmed up his bottle. Back up stairs, I opened the box and felt myself deflate.

McStinky was dead.

I picked him up and vigorously begin to rub his sides. He was so cold. I went to the bathroom to put him in warm water, to emulate what I had did for him the night before when I found him and seemingly brought him back to life. It didn’t work.

In the last day I always touched or picked him up with a towel or hand towel. I never really touched him with my bare hands. Holding him now, I realized how skinny he was. His emaciation was hidden under his fur. I could feel almost all of his bones.

I was angry but solemn. I wrapped kitty back up in a towel and placed him back in his box. I washed my hands, got back in bed and went back to sleep.

When I awoke, I opened the box and looked at kitty for a couple of moments. Even though it had been less than 48 hours since our meeting, I couldn’t disconnect. I closed the box and went to the gym.

I knew the gym would help me feel better and knew I had to say goodbye to kitty.

I met kitty the night of the Game of Thrones premiere. Like the many male bastards on the show, he was abandoned.  In honor of his fighting spirit, I thought it would be fitting to send Lil Kitty McStinky off with a warrior’s good bye…on the pyre. Thank you kitty for reassuring my humanity.

in the fiyah

AND…Thank you McStinky for reaffirming what I already knew. I don’t want pets.