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But the Stray Cat That Had Peanut Butter Container Stuck On its Head Gives Birth to Four Kittens

A cat saved from a peanut-butter-container predicament on Monday never recovered from her gravely ill situation. But she presented shelter employees with a surprise Tuesday morning.

Riverside County Animal Services officer Carra Mathewson responded to a concerned resident’s plea for assistance Monday afternoon. The resident, Alyssa Cline, and her nephew, discovered the cat in their yard with a plastic, peanut butter container stuck on its head.

Officer Mathewson used a handheld, mechanical tool to remove the jar without injuring the cat. Unfortunately, she discovered that the cat was badly infested with maggots and rushed the cat to the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus where her veterinary colleagues examined and treated the cat. They nicknamed her Skippy.

Unfortunately, Skippy’s health continued to deteriorate. Despite her worsening condition, she gave birth to four kittens.

“Her entire body’s health was compromised due to the toxicity of the maggot infestation,” said Dr. Sara Strongin, a staff veterinarian who examined the cat earlier this morning (Tuesday, March 21). “Sadly, she was so sick that she could not even produce milk to nurse her kittens.”

Ultimately, the momma cat was humanely euthanized. The one positive shelter employees took from the ordeal was that Skippy would likely have struggled through labor if the plastic container was still stuck on her head. She and the kittens would probably have perished.

“We were all saddened that Skippy’s health deteriorated,” said Dr. Allan Drusys, Riverside County’s Chief Veterinarian. “We do not know how long that container was on her head. Certainly she must have suffered from dehydration during the hotter days this week. And the maggot infestation added to her worsening condition.”

However, veterinary team members jumped into action to bottle feed the kittens, providing them the necessary nourishment, Dr. Drusys said. Meanwhile, Brittany Fonseca, a rescue group coordinator at the San Jacinto shelter, contacted a volunteer willing to foster the newborns and provide regular bottle feeding.

Dian (correct spelling; her first name does not have an E) Chase of Murrieta agreed to take on the time-consuming and very kind job of bottle feeding the kittens.

“We were all a little down this morning, but Dian’s efforts to assist these kittens lifted our spirits,” Ms. Fonseca said. “We’re very lucky to have such an amazing network of volunteers.” 

Contact a Shelter

Western Riverside: (951) 358-7387 (PETS)
San Jacinto: (951) 358-7387
Coachella Valley: (760) 343-3644
Blythe: (760) 921-7857

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