Hey GPS Fans! Karstan here again! We’ve been super busy the past several days! And, as one might expect, there have been tons of ups and downs. A good example of the highs and lows is the 3-day old kittens we rescued nearly two weeks ago. They were found on the side of the road a few blocks from where I am staying. There were three little kittens in a cardboard box in some weeds.
Dr. Jose suggested we leave them for a day to see if their mom came back for them. We checked the next day, but it was obvious the mother hadn’t returned We took them back to the clinic and I began to feed them formula They all seemed to revive rather quickly and I took them home.
The first week with them was both exhausting and rewarding. I had to feed them every 3-4 hours (including the middle of the night!) and bathe them with a cloth to get them to pee and poop. One of them was adopted right away by Dr. Paco’s sister-in-law and neighbor Dr. Paco has been checking in on her several times a day and she’s been doing a fantastic job! It was crazy to see the remaining two grow a little everyday. It was funny, because they seemed to grow one or two things at a time. For example, first the limbs on one would grow, while the head would grow on the other. The next day, the long-limbed one would put on some weight (but still have a small head!) and the bigger-headed one would grow his limbs some. It was hilarious!
Unfortunately, everything wasn’t always so great. This past Sunday, the smaller of the two kittens was refusing to eat had no energy. I had Dr. Jose examine her and he tried a few things (an injection of Dipirone and some manual manipulation of her abdomen) but he wasn’t very hopeful. She rallied briefly for about an hour, but she didn’t make it. It was very sad and I’m still bummed about it. I know we can’t save every animal, but it doesn’t make it easier.
I don’t want to leave you on a sad note. The remaining kitten is doing well. He’s lively and growing and last night I noticed his eyes were starting to open! Further I mentioned in my last post that there are some promising signs here on the islands. An example was the poor puppy that was found on the side of the road by a local farmer. The puppy was doing very poorly with severe bloody diarrhea and the vets only gave him a 50% chance of survival. The farmer sat next to the puppy on the examining table for hours as the vets gave him fluid. He didn’t leave the puppy’s side. And wouldn’t you know it? The puppy made it and we expect to see him again soon for sterilization!
Ed. note: While nothing is cuter than kittens and we are very happy that Karstan and the Darwin Animal Doctors could save two of them, we remain concerned with the sheer number of new kittens and puppies volunteers and supporters are seeing everyday on all the inhabited Galapagos Islands. Although they may be loosely owned, these animals are largely left to fend for themselves. They roam the streets, beaches and National Park areas. They sleep outside, are fed table scraps if they are lucky, suffer from exposure, disease and accidents with cars. They are usually not sterilized and the cycle continues. To try to break this cycle, we are working to provide free sterilization and moving cats off the islands. GPS envisions a Galapagos Islands with no free-roaming cats. Karstan is now working on fliers and brochures to take door-to-door and get as many animals into the clinic for sterilization as he can while he is there. Thanks for all your hard work, Karstan!