When you enter the world of animal rescue and fostering all sorts of new things start to make you happy. You find joy and satisfaction in the strangest places. Small things that never mattered before take on new meaning. I now find joy in expelled roundworms, perfect turds, and soiled litter boxes. Some of you might wonder why.
Expelled roundworms? Better out than in I say. These nasty parasites can really sicken already weak young animals. Particularly major infestations can even kill. When I see a bloated tummy on a skinny malnourished puppy or kitten nothing gives me more satisfaction than deworming the little dude and then waiting for the fruits of my labor :) I usually find the dead, expelled, worms in three ways. If you are squeamish don't read on, the following will be disgusting.
1. Expelled when the little animal takes a crap, the worms are wrapped around turds in the litter box.
2. A pile of wet rubberbands I almost step on turns out to be dead roundworms.
3. Little animal runs around with strange stringy object dangling out of its butt. Did baby eat thread? No! Dead roundworms are on their way out but have gotten stuck halfway. No biggie! Just grab a tissue and yank away!
Perfect turds make me happy? Why yes! They certainly do. Turds are a big indicator of a critter's overall wellbeing. Newly rescued pups and kittens often have diarrhea. You know they're on the road to health and happiness once their runny puddly poops become well-formed firm solid pieces of crap. Victory is mine!
Finally, my favorite. Soiled kittens litter boxes. Yes, soiled. Used. Crapped and peed in. No I do not have some weird shit fetish. It's sooooo awesome when kittens start using the litter boxes. Especially if they're kittens that you've raised since they were newborn, so young, helpless and immobile that their muscles weren't even strong enough for them to be able to poo and pee on their own at all and you've spent weeks rubbing their bottoms with moistened cotton after every feeding to help them 'go'. When they start clambering on wobbly clumsy legs into a tiny baby-sized litter box on their own and leaving deposits on their own... its like WOW!!! A whole new stage in their development, from babies they become kittens. I swear the little deposits in the box those first few times are like a smelly but welcome and much-appreciated gift. Gone are their days of having accidents and messing themselves. So much less clean-up.
Why am I suddenly going on about this? This morning I woke up to find a perfectly formed, firm poop in Mr. Orange's mini litter box. I'm so proud of him. At just over 3 weeks of age, this toddler kitten knows where to do his business. I'm also very relieved because before today he had not pooped at all for like 4 or 5 days. So... YAY!!! He's not sick! Not backed up! Not going to have accidents all over my apartment! Another milestone.... :)
I'm going to wrap up this post with a text message I received from my dear friend and fellow animal rescuer NT who is currently fostering 5 baby kittens:
"Oh! They've finally learnt how to use the tiny litter box to pee! I want to shed tears of joy!"
That says it all!