We Will Call Him Batman: Taking Care of a Feral Kitten

“He looks like Batman,” Geoff said.

He actually looks more like a bat.

So we named him Batman, though secretly I want to call him Sherman Hemsley. As a Twitter friend pointed out, that name is currently available.

Sher-batman is 6 weeks old.

He is the son of one of the feral kittens we caught to get fixed.

Some of you may recall that last week I asked what is the best way to go about fixin’ strays.

We ended up catching 4  who are currently at the Humane Society recovering, but we feel guilty for disrupting the kitty commune.

The ones that were left stare at us with disdain or run off in a panic.

“Those are the mean people that trap us!” they say. “Beware!”

Geoff and I (particularly Geoff who has done more work) feel very sad, but we know it’s the right thing. The cats need fixing.

We are the faceless adults in every animal Disney flick.

But that leaves 7 kittens without a mother this week.

We confirmed that they’re at an age where they can survive without their mother’s milk, but that doesn’t mean their emotional attachment has passed.

The neighbor scooped up Sher-batman yesterday and gave him to us in hopes of domesticating him while his mother is gone.  We will not be keeping Sher-batman, but plan on giving him to an excited friend.

Last night, Sher-batman cried for his mother. He cried from the water being rubbed on him. He cried when we pried fleas from his body.

When we patted him with a washcloth, it came back reddish brown.

Hundreds of fleas on a one pound cat can wreak a lot of havoc.

It took us two hours to bath and comb for fleas. He fought and he screamed and halfway through he gave in, limp in our hands. He stared at us with half-closed eyes that said, “Whatever you’re doing to me, I surrender.”

By the time we picked every flea we could find of his paper-thin skin, we held him close. He fell asleep on our chests, exhausted, but ok. No more water, no more biting and no more sitting in the sweltering sun.

But he doesn’t have his momma, and for that we feel terrible. We woke up every hour debating whether or not we should put him back into the wild.

He has no worms and no ailments, Geoff and his sweet mother, Cindy, confirmed yesterday at the vet.

Is putting him back out with his mother worth the hundreds of fleas, worms and short life expectancy that he will face?

Is it up to us to decide?

Right now I have a kitten the size of my palm sitting next to me. He’s dreaming. I can only imagine what of…



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  • Reply Allison July 27, 2012 at 11:04 am

    You worked so hard to clean and take care of him, I think he’ll be better off in a clean home with fresh food and water.

    You can always give him to the humane society and they can adopt him out to a good home. They tend to have a good screening process and will make sure he has his shots and gets fixed.

    You did the right thing.

    P.S My friend has a cat named Batman 😛

  • Reply globe trot July 27, 2012 at 11:15 am

    ….still laughing at the “Sherman Hemsley” part.
    >>> On a serious note though, he makes a better cat woman than anne hathaway ever will…

  • Reply Kari July 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    You did the right thing! A kitten that small is very vulnerable, and he’s much safer getting well in the house with you. Just give him lots of love and snuggles! He’ll miss his mom but he’ll be okay in a couple of weeks. 🙂

  • Reply Tara July 27, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Poor kitty. It breaks my heart. 🙁 Either keep him or take him to the Humane Society but don’t release him back into the wild. Too many fleas on a kitten can kill him.

    You know, Batman was an alter ego. He can have two names. 😉

  • Reply Misha July 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    You’re definitely doing the right thing by not re-releasing him. Better for kitty and for all the birds, lizards and frogs who live in the area too 🙂

  • Reply nikkiana July 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Oh my goodness… He just looks like the sweetest little guy.

  • Reply KeLLy aNN July 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Keep Him!

  • Reply lauren July 31, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    if you ever plan on saving more, dawn dish soap kills fleas on the first wash. animal control told me.

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