Phone call yesterday evening from someone concerned that a neighbourhood cat seemed to be unable to stand. She very helpfully offered to transport him to a vet herself, rather than wait until an RSPCA driver could get there. Then, about an hour later, there was another call, this time from the vet's surgery, to say they had the cat and also a stray kitten who'd been handed in.
Sadly the adult cat didn't survive, but the kitten improved over night although she's very snuffly still and anaemic because she had so many fleas feeding on her blood.
Then began what you might think was a straightforward process of moving her for further treatment. Being so small, kittens can improve or go downhill very fast. Yesterday evening, the vets were doubtful whether she'd survive the night, but by mid-morning she was perky enough not to be really in need of inpatient care. Because of the snuffles, there was the added complication that vets don't really want a potential source of cross-infection to other ill patients unless it's absolutely unavoidable.
We don't usually end up calling round our foster homes while an animal is actually in a volunteer's car wondering where to go, but I'm afraid our new volunteer driver had some anxious moments wondering whether he was stuck permanently in transit with a sniffling kitten.
Thank you VERY much to our domestic bird fosterer for stepping in at about 5 minutes notice to provide a safe place with no animals likely to be susceptible to cat germs, and thank you to our wonderful volunteer driver for coping with something we don't normally land on new volunteers!
It does show how essential our volunteers are to making it possible to save animals, and also the importance of having as many individual foster homes as possible to minimise the risks of cross-infection.