A tiny 6-week-old kitten was saved from near death when a volunteer of a local rescue used quick thinking to bring the kitten back from the brink.
Doc the kitten was brought to animal control along with his littermates. They were in need of foster care, so staff reached out to FieldHaven Feline Center, a rescue group in Lincoln, California, and asked if they could take them.
Audra Murphy, a volunteer of the rescue, went to pick up the kittens. "I was expecting the typical situation where I would find some adorable healthy kittens, squee over them and take them to an overnight foster," Audra told Love Meow.
When she and her 9-year-old daughter arrived at the shelter, they were told that one of the kittens was not doing well. "I hustled to the back and saw he was in massive distress. I picked him up and he flopped with no muscle control."
The kitten was listless and could barely move. "There is no vet at the animal control so they have no meds, no fluids and they also don't have any sugary drinks," Audra told Love Meow.
"I tried to get formula in him but his mouth was so ridiculously dry that his tongue was glued to the roof of his mouth. I decided I had to get him help fast."
She rushed to a gas station and bought a bottle of electrolyte drink, then used the spoon from her daughter's snow cone and started dripping fluid in his mouth. Once the kitten's tongue was unstuck, she gave him formula and then more fluid to keep him hydrated. Then she rushed him to his foster home.
"On the way, I held him in my shirt and was vigorously rubbing his ribs, to keep him with me while my 9-year-old told him over and over how brave and strong he was," Audra told Love Meow.
Once they arrived, Audra continued dripping formula in his mouth and kept him against her chest.
"I started to hear a crackle that I thought was a death rattle, and I got scared and held him to my ear, I realized that he was purring and was so relieved."
Doc weighed in at only six ounces (170 grams) after receiving fluids, much smaller than his siblings. Heidi Smyth, foster mom, continued feeding and caring for him around the clock.
In just a few days, his eyes cleared up and he became more curious and playful. "He is doing amazing. At last weigh-in, Doc was up to nine ounces. He has become a spoiled pampered boy," Audra told Love Meow.
Doc became very attached to his foster mom. "He throws tantrums if his foster mom leaves the house without him, so she wears him everywhere in a sling around her neck where he also sleeps at night."
The sweet kitty loves to be swaddled and only sleeps when he's held.
Foster mom Heidi has received tiny onesies from Orphan Kitten Sweaters to help the little guy retain heat. He's kept warm and snug and gets bottle fed every two hours.
"Doc was on the verge of death but after a ton of effort between me and his foster mom, he is getting stronger every day."
The little miracle kitten loves his new life and all the cuddles. He's still very tiny for his age but has developed quite the cattitude!
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