Kitten Trauma


I’ve had my share of kittens in my home—probably around 3 dozen altogether over time. And I know how important it is to kitten-proof your home. I typically tie up window blind cords; secure window screens; safely store cleaners and other chemical compounds; keep string, yarn, pins and needles out of reach; put signs up reminding guests to close the toilet lids; move out any questionable plant life; avoid using tinsel and angel hair during the holidays; dispose properly of sardine and other cans with sharp edges; keep bags with handles out of reach and so forth. I know how to kitten-proof my home. In fact, I’ve written articles about it, for heaven sakes. But then we adopted Lily.

It has been 10 years since we’ve had a very young and daring kitten in the house. Little did we know that a carefully chosen item designed specifically for cats and kittens would ultimately seriously threaten sweet 12-week-old Lily’s life.

It was the morning of my birthday. I was under-the-weather and had cancelled my family celebration. I heard Lily crying her soft bird-like chirps and went looking for her. What we found was horrendous. Sophie (our 4-year-old tortie) had “peeled off” of the 2 ½ foot high, carpeted cat tree and knocked it over on precious Lily. Although, I had it sitting where there was carpet on three sides, Lily and the cat tree landed on a section of hard flooring. There was blood everywhere. Lily was bleeding profusely from the nose and mouth. She was in serious distress and so were we.

We rushed her to the vet and they took us in immediately. He kept her for a few hours for observation and gave her fluids, a pain reliever, something for swelling and a sedative. Believing that she had a broken jaw, Dr. Bailey did ex-rays. Thankfully, he could find no broken bones.

Later that day, we brought our precious kitten home. We borrowed a large wire enclosure from a neighbor and set it up in the living room. Lily was comfortable on a soft blue blanket inside the cat carrier, so we put it inside the enclosure along with a litter box and a bowl of water. This is where Lily lived practically day and night for most of the next week. Our instructions were to keep her as comfortable as possible and wait and watch. We added to that prescription some hands-on healing sessions, drops of Bach’s Rescue Remedy on her head and a solicitation of prayers and well wishes from many other cat people. I’m told that one tiny kitten, who just recently healed from a serious infection from a tick, even put his little paws together in prayer for Lily.

Thankfully, she was eating and drinking a lot of water. Although, there were a few days when she was so sleepy that we thought she might drown in the water—so we filled it as needed only to the quarter-inch level. She was using the litter box normally. But she looked awful.

I couldn’t figure out why her face looked so different. There was something strange about her eyes. Even the shape of her face seemed to have changed. She didn’t look swollen—it was more of a gaunt appearance. It wasn’t until she started getting out of her bed and walking around a little that I realized what I had been seeing was probably pain. It was wonderful to see that adorable little face soften and become kitten-like again.

Once she started walking around and playing, we noticed that her balance and depth perception were off. She must have known it, too, because, for several days, even after we began letting her out of her enclosure (under supervision only), Lily would not climb up on anything. She stayed at ground level. Rather than sit on my lap as I read or knitted, she curled up at my feet. The veterinarian agreed with us that she had probably suffered a concussion.

It has been 10 days since Lily’s accident. After the initial few days when Lily was practically comatose, we have witnessed miraculous improvement—in baby steps, but improvements, nonetheless.

We feel that she is 100 percent now. A few nights ago, we decided to leave her outside of the enclosure for the whole night. She came to bed with me for a while; but when I woke up to discover she was gone, I went looking for her. I found her curled up on her blue blanky inside the cat carrier which was still in the enclosure. Ever hear of a kitten that is crate trained?

I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have our sweet Lily kitten back. She will be 3 months old tomorrow (July 1). And I am so thankful that she has recovered. We hope to succeed for the rest of her life in keeping her safe. She is an inside kitty, as are our other two (Max and Sophie). We now keep the carpeted cat tree on its side. Both Sophie and Lily love playing on it in this position and it will not tip again.

This week, we installed carpeting and padding around the very large and heavy wooden cat tree we have in another area of the house so that if our little dare devil, flying kitten gets too courageous on the top level of the tree, which she has been known to do, and falls, hopefully, she will bounce and not splat.

This is definitely another kitty story that could be added to my book of true cat stories, Catscapades, Tales of Ordinary and Extraordinary Cats. Order your e-copy or print copy today at

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