The Watership Down Litter (Feral Orphans) Adopted

The Watership Downs (Clover, Silver, and Pipkin) came to our rescue on March 21, 2024, from the Lancaster Animal Shelter. They were found alone under a porch during a home remodel. The Shelter said they were a week and half old, but when we saw their teeth development, we could tell they were much closer to three weeks old. It was understandable that the Shelter misjudged their age because all three were very small, dehydrated, and severely malnourished. We immediately gave them sub q fluids and glucose to perk them up and then baths because they were caked with mud. When we put them in the incubator, Clover sat up and her eyes shined like headlights – she was so alert and aware and had so much life in her eyes. And that’s how they got their litter name – the Watership Downs from the Art Garfunkel song – Bright Eyes – from the movie. All three kitten names are from characters in the story.

Silver was kind of midling as to whether he would survive, and we had very little hope for Pipkin, the smallest of the three.

We immediately took Pipkin (right) to the vet, thinking it could be a one-way trip. Although her heartbeat and breathing were diminished, her temperature was normal, so she is what we call a “kitchen sink” kitten. Medically speaking, you throw the kitchen sink at her and hope for the best. Fluids, tube feeding, glucose, antibiotics . . . anything that gets her through to the next feed. After 48 hours of high acuity care, she started to come around. She is not out of danger yet, but we have high hopes for her.

Update March 24, 2024: Pipkin seems to have pulled through and is doing well. We are all encouraged but very surprised. She was as close to gone as we have seen a kitten be.

Update April 2, 2024: Clover was adopted today to be the companion for Lilly – a precocious Yorkie.

Update April 3, 2024: A few hours after we posted Silver and Pipkin today, they were adopted together. They will have an older sister cat and two human sisters.