Tuesday morning, we received an urgent Facebook message from Alyssa Lucio whose friend witnessed a kitten hit by a car while taking her daughter to school. Her friend wrapped the broken body in a towel, moved it from the road, dropped her own little one at school and returned to pick up the remains. She was startled to find the kitten gone, and after a brief search, found her still alive(!), having dragged herself to an adjacent orchard. Alyssa, an aspiring RVT, forwarded a photo, insisted the little one had fight left in her and asked for help.
The photo was heartbreaking—beautiful tortie kitten lying still in the roadside dirt with blood seeping from her mouth—nothing about it looked promising. We told Alyssa to manage her expectations but have the friend—an hour away—hustle that tough little girl to our vets ASAP.
Later that afternoon, we texted our vets for an update on two enucleations, a pyometra case (previous post) and the little still-unnamed HBC (hit by car). The other work had gone well but HBC’s prognosis was grim—shattered lower jaw and head trauma—but with pain meds she’d stabilized.
“Can you fix that jaw?”
“We will try.”
Wednesday morning HBC was first up in surgery. She’s skinny and fragile, making for delicate work, but two old veterinary craftsmen fussed over her like their own favorite, and HBC emerged from surgery with her jaw pinned back into place. Her recovery from anesthesia was slow, but when I checked in later that day, I grinned as I updated Alyssa, “Your girl’s up, trying to eat, peeing and purring…”. Cue the OMGs and emojis…😀
After a day and a half of hand-feeding and observation, the vets cleared HBC (Ashby?) to come home, and when I stopped in Friday afternoon to pick her up, she was getting a mani/pedi on a treatment table, making biscuits on the tech and purring like a blender. Ashby’s now back at our facility and still has a long recovery ahead, but she’s in a comfy kennel surrounded by stuffies with Mama Su committed to fattening her up, “if I have to hand-feed this skinny bizzie for the rest of her life.”
A few days ago, a poster in Fresno T.N.R., asked “What does Kirkland Foundation do?” sparking a flurry of kind comments and, for us at least, some self-assessment. Revlon founder Charles Revson once said, “In the factory, we make lipstick. In the drugstore, we sell hope.” If someone asked me what we do, I used to say, “We’re a rescue that takes tough cases.” But based on the warm comments in that TNR post, the tearful feedback from Alyssa and the grateful purring in the video (see the comments), I’d say what we really do is provide hope…for rescuers and kittens who aren’t ready to give up. Ashby.
Skip to content