Hazel the tiny calico had everything against her when she was born. She was a preemie and the only kitten to survive in her litter.
Despite her rough start to life, she was determined to live and grow.
Over a month ago, Katerina of CatRescue 901, a rescue group in New South Wales, Australia, learned about the plight of a litter of kittens born to an unspayed house cat.
"The indoor house cat slipped out the door accidentally one day and came home pregnant," Katerina told Love Meow. "She had a really traumatic birth. The babies were premature and two were stillborn."
The cat mom was under tremendous stress and didn't want to nurse the kittens because she couldn't produce any milk. A rescuer picked up the remaining two kittens and transferred them to Katerina. "We had them checked at the vet and they confirmed that they were premature. The little boy passed away just a few minutes after I got home."
Hazel became the sole survivor and she was not willing to give up.
"She was very tiny (79 grams) and fragile. I was up feeding her every two hours and I barely slept because I was so worried about her," Katerina told Love Meow.
At a few days old, the tiny calico was battling an umbilical infection. Katerina worked around the clock to feed her and help her get stronger.
Over the next few weeks, there were many times where Katerina was not sure if the kitten would make it. Hazel had to be rushed to the vet as they thought she had fading kitten syndrome. Despite it all, the little one hung on with a tremendous fight to live.
The sweet calico loves snuggling with her foster parents. She switches on her tiny purr motor and falls asleep in their hands.
"My heart warms up so much when I look at her and I cry happy tears when I see her snuggling up with my partner," Katerina said. "Those weeks have been so stressful but look at this gorgeous girl that has stayed with us."
After several vet visits, many sleepless nights and countless snuggles and kisses, the calico began to thrive.
"She pulled through with dedicated care and lots of love from myself and my partner. She is a little diva and so cheeky," Katerina added.
With help from CatRescue 901, Hazel's cat mama has been spayed and vaccinated and will no longer have kittens.
Hazel is thriving in foster care and getting lots of snuggles with Foster Dad!
The little preemie has turned into an adorable bundle of fluff with lots of energy and a ton of personality.
Hazel just turned five weeks, and she's as happy as can be.
One of her favorite pastimes is to curl up in her foster mom's lap purring while getting belly rubs.
What a difference a few weeks make!
Watch little Hazel grow in this video:
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