A kitten won over the person who saved his life and blossomed into a beautiful tuxedo cat.
Cloud the tuxedo was two weeks old when he was found in a window well along with his siblings. They were brought to Anderson Animal Shelter in Illinois, needing round-the-clock bottle feedings and a lot of TLC.
Alyssa Masten, a foster volunteer, received a call from the shelter and didn't hesitate to take in the feline crew. Cloud was the most observant and quietest of the bunch.
"While his litter mates would fight to be the first ones to eat, he was patient and waited his turn," Alyssa shared with Love Meow.
A couple of weeks after arrival, Cloud started to show symptoms of having a host of health issues. He was put on subcutaneous fluids, probiotics, prescription foods, and medications twice a day.
While the vet worked to figure out what was wrong, Alyssa gave him the best care she could provide, making sure he was eating and hydrated.
"Along the way, he also developed an upper respiratory infection. He felt horrible, but he wanted to live. He had no energy to play, but he would find joy in kneading his blankets and eating spoonfuls of chicken baby food I offered as a treat."
Alyssa tried different courses of treatment and never gave up hope. She was determined to do whatever it took to nurse him back to health.
"He was a quarter the weight and size he should have been. The sickness had stunted his growth," Alyssa shared with Love Meow.
Despite it all, Cloud was always in good spirits and didn't let anything faze him. When he was at the shelter for checkups, the tuxedo boy was as calm as could be, kneading away on his trusty blanket, while there were dogs barking in the background.
His feline siblings quickly found their forever homes when they were big enough, while Cloud was still recuperating.
It wasn't until three months later that they were able to find a diagnosis. Cloud had an uncommon gut infection and tested positive for FCoV, a common viral infection in cats.
"A strong course of antibiotics got rid of the gut infection, but the FCoV was chronic. Sneezing, congestion, and an extremely sensitive digestive system is something he will always struggle with. The vet decided to mark him as a hospice case."
Watch Cloud and his journey in this video:
Cloud the kitten www.youtube.com
Knowing that Cloud would need specialized care to ensure his quality of life, Alyssa knew just the right home for him.
"Cloud spent over 200 days in foster care with me before he became a hospice kitten. I was there for him through his lowest lows and he was there for me through a turbulent kitten season," Alyssa told Love Meow.
"I did not hesitate when making the decision to adopt him. He was home the second I picked him up at two weeks old."
Now that Cloud is healthy, he has become more confident than ever. He still shoves his face in his food at every feeding, and after all this time, he remains an avid biscuit-maker.
"He has a zest for life that I never got to see when he was really sick. He chases my adult cats around the house, he scales the cat tree, and he collects little pieces of paper trash that he finds around the house. He's also a velcro cat. Wherever I go, he follows," Alyssa told Love Meow.
Cloud is nearing his first birthday in April and has reached the 6-pound mark.
"We call him our mini cat. He is still sneezy, but his symptoms are being closely managed with a special diet and supportive care," Alyssa added.
"Adopting another cat was not my plan, but I never realized how much I needed Cloud. Now I can't imagine my life without this chronically-sneezy boy, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
Share this story with your friends. Follow Cloud and Alyssa's fosters on Instagram @windycityfosters.