Nikki Martinez is a Las Vegas-native who loves fostering and taking care of kittens in her spare time. She first got into fostering a few years ago after finding a baby kitten in the middle of the street.
“[The kitten] ran in front of my car. When I got out to look at her, I could see that she was sick,” she said. “I picked her up and I took her to the vet and nursed her back to health, and that was the very first kitten I ever fostered.”
She was able to nurse the kitten back to health, and the feline is now living with her aunt and uncle in California. Hooked by this experience, Nikki has been fostering kittens ever since!
Last month, Nikki received an unusual message on her Instagram account:
“Last night while I was in California I received a message from a sweet girl […] Her neighbor was out walking her dogs when one approached a bush. She followed the dog to the bush,” she explained in a post. “When she looked up she saw three newborn kittens with their placenta and umbilical cords still attached. No mama in sight.”
NEW FOSTERS – The beginning of what I pray will be a happy journey. Last night while in California I received a message from a sweet girl in Vegas who follows me on Instagram. Her neighbor (a woman named Marti) was out walking her dogs when one approached a bush. She followed the dog to the bush. When she looked up she saw three newborn kittens with their placenta and umbilical cords still attached. No mama in sight. I asked if she could feed the babies until I came in from California tonight. Thankfully Marti bought kitten formula, googled newborn care videos and fed them throughout last night and took them to work with her today. The first part of the video is where she found them. Up HIGH, in some leaves/bushes. You can still see the blood when I zoom in. The last part of the video is Marti kissing them goodbye as she hands them over to me. It was FREEZING last night and when she found them they were ice cold and stiff. We set a drop trap in the area tonight using the kittens to entice mama to return and the only cat that came was a large male. Since this location is very far from my house, I put in a request for C5 trappers who are on the East side of Vegas to come TNR since there a lot of strays in this area. I’ll be posting more updates… #thecarbkitties
The kittens were only a few hours old and had already gone stiff from the cold when they were found.
PART 2 (see previous post) – after the babies were found last night. They were FREEZING cold and stiff. They are 24 hours old now and VERY FRAIL. The woman who found the kittens said they smelled like death. They have not had their mother’s milk which has essential antibodies. Shame on whoever didn’t spay their mom! I have tears rolling down my face. They have a lot against them. If you have strays in your neighborhood, call your local shelter or rescue, ask to borrow traps and get them into a clinic to be neutered. Think of the suffering that could be prevented. #SPAYANDNEUTER #thecarbkitties
The woman’s neighbor followed Nikki on Instagram and knew she was the perfect person to call for help. Meanwhile, people in the neighborhood desperately tried to find the kittens’ mother, but they were not successful in doing so.
“Traps were set in the area to catch her, and many other cats were trapped and neutered, but she was never found,” Nikki said. “I think she was either too young to know how to care for them, or she was too sick to be able to care for them”
Nikki got the kittens when they were one day old, and she recalled that they “smelled like death.” She had never fostered kittens this young before, and her job would be even harder since they did not have a mother.
“I have had a few their size that were a little older and malnourished, but never this young without a mother,” she said.
3.4 ounce Spud ? #TheCarbKitties #claws #stopdeclawing #excellent_kittens #catstocker #animalsco #cat_features #kittycat #petstagram #kittensofinstagram #bestmeow #catsrequest #instacat #meowbox #cats #kittens #bestcats_oftheworld #kittenvideo #thedodo #twitterweek #catsofinstagram #animalsco #babycat #toocute #spayandneuter #ilovecats #catlover #instagood #sweetcatclub #happycatclub
Determined to help the kittens survive, Nikki woke up every two hours in order to feed them.
One kitten, whom she named Bagels, needed some extra help. She wasn’t responding well to feeding, so Nikki had to tube-feed her instead.
Installing the feeding tube is both difficult and dangerous, and it is typically only done by a veterinarian.
“It is critical that the tube is not placed in their lungs,” Nikki wrote, “because they can aspirate, and you can essentially drown/kill them.”
*Do not attempt without the care/instruction of a veterinarian* Foster Papi is an ER Nurse who is also certified in newborn critical care, but that’s for people. Today he is feeding the tiniest patient. We were previously trained by our vet on how to tube feed kittens in case we needed to tube feed in the future. Glad we had this training and these supplies on hand. It is critical that the tube is not placed in their lungs because they can aspirate and you can essentially drown/kill them. The BEST thing you can do to prevent kittens from suffering? Spay and neuter. Do you have strays in your neighborhood? Call your local shelter or rescue and ask to borrow traps. Bring them in to your local neuter clinic and get those cats neutered. #fosterkitten #TheCarbKitties #fosterkitten #spayandneuter
Though this was scary for Nikki, Bagels and her siblings have started to thrive under her care!
The kittens have earned the nickname “The Carb Kitties” because each has the name of a treat that is full of carbs!
Spud is the male kitten, and he was the first of them to eat solid food.
“Oh, to be as fat and happy as Spud,” Nikki wrote.
Spud’s at the vet trying to make a run for it! The vet started them on antibiotics (thankfully I have some at home – no added expense). She also started gave them some Flagyl. I gave her the stool samples for testing as well. We gotta get these ? issues cleared up because I leave for Oregon on Tuesday! Foster Papi doesn’t need to be dealing with this. #TheCarbKitties
Then there’s Pancake, a little kitten known for her soft face and beautiful eyes.
Even little Bagels is thriving!
Thanks to Nikki’s love and affection, the Carb Kitties are now healthy at six weeks of age. Two of the three of them have even been adopted into loving homes!
“Since they were bottle-fed, they are very affectionate with people. They love to climb in my lap and snuggle,” Nikki said. “They are very sweet.”
We’re so glad to see that this story had a happy ending! SHARE this story so your friends and family can see it as well!