DEAR HELOISE: Of all the places in San Antonio to get an oil change, I happened to pull into the one that had found a tiny, newborn kitten that morning. He couldn't have been more than 2 or 3 days old. An abscess had formed on his neck, and I knew a feral mother cat would not waste her time, attention and milk on a sick kitten. When the mother cat moved her kittens, she left this one behind to die.
The men who worked there had heard him crying and found him in the hollow of a tree behind their building. Although they tried to feed him, the kitten would not drink. I couldn't leave him, and I knew I'd need a nursing kit and the proper formula to keep the little guy alive. On the way home, I picked up a nursing kit at a pet store, and the following morning we made a trip to the vet's, where the abscess on his neck was lanced and drained. The vet gave me some medication for him and asked what his name was. Without thinking, I blurted out, "Batman."
As I was leaving, the vet warned me that this delicate ball of black fur was too small and too sick to survive without his mother. He told me: "There's a good chance he won't pull through. I just want you to be prepared."
"If I can keep him alive until his eyes open, he'll be OK," I told him.
I had to feed him every two or three hours. He slept so deeply that occasionally I'd pet him to make sure he was alive. When I fed him, I'd pick him up, hold him next to my heart and slowly rock from side to side while he drank his bottle of formula.
On the 12th day, I saw two little blue eyes looking up at me. I picked him up and cuddled him while he drank his breakfast. "Welcome to the world, Batman!"
-- N.R. in Texas
DEAR READER: What a wonderful, happy ending. Against all odds, Batman survived, but not all tiny newborn kittens have the good fortune to be rescued. Readers, we can't rescue every stray, but we can donate to animal rescue organizations and shelters.
DEAR HELOISE: I saw the recent hint about a reader taking photos of his luggage when getting ready for a trip. I do the same. I also made up a list of every item that I might need while traveling. I saved the list on my computer, and when it's time to pack, I print the list. When I pack an item, I mark it off the list.
-- Trena in California
Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email
MovieStyle on 01/10/2020
Print Headline: Helpful Hints