A 2-day-old kitten meowed loudly with the last bit of his energy, hoping someone would come to his rescue before it was too late. Fortunately one family heard the pitiful cry and took action.
On July 23rd, Ontario, Canada residents Nina Georgiadis and Peter McGuinness found the tiny baby in the bushes. Peter had seen a local feral cat transferring kittens in the hours before the sun came up. They had been attempting to trap the cat to have her fixed, but she has expertly eluded them.
Nina searched the yard later that day for signs of the family. That is when they discovered the weak cry coming from the bushes in front of the home.
It had been about 12 hours since the mama cat had been seen. At first they were shocked that she’d leave one of her babies behind, so young his umbilical cord was still attached.
But then they saw why she’d likely given up on him.
He was COVERED in fly larvae and maggots, trying desperately to get them off his body! They rushed the kitten inside and were able to clean hundreds of the larvae off the miniature kitten. They knew they had to help him survive the night so he could make it to the vet the next morning.
Nina has 5 resident cats but never saved a neonatal kitten so was unsure where to start. Jumping online, she posted in the Cole and Marmalade – I Love My Cats group for assistance. Members confirmed the best bet would be to go right to the expert for advice; Kitty Lady, Hannah Shaw.
With the information and instructions they found on Kitten Lady’s website, they were more confident and determined to help the needy and delicate soul. The baby boy was able to eat a bit of food and release his bladder with their help that first night.
He also received his first, of what we imagine will be many, perfect cat beds – the cardboard box!
The next morning, Nina was sure to update the concerned Facebook group members awaiting any news on the little kitten she named Rocco.
“Good morning everyone! Thanks to all your help, Rocco did really well last night. Once he finally figured out the nipple, that boy went to town on the KMR (Kitten Milk Replacement). He’s very vocal and sweet as sin!
He will be on his way to a kitten rescue where he can be properly fostered and adopted. Rocco still has maggots in his anus (they aren’t worms, I checked) and is bleeding from there, so their vets will take excellent care of him.”
Thank you so so much for all your advice and prayers, I’m 100% sure he would not be here this morning without you all. You’re all my earth angels. Thank you.❤”
But things change quickly in the world of kitten rescue.
Fortunately this was a good change and Nina’s family decided they could not give up the little boy after their short time with him. They would be by his side through his battle to survive as his furever home.
Their vet was shocked at the tiny fighter too. She confirmed she’d never seen a 2-day old neonate so infested! The maggots were eating him from the inside out and even she wasn’t sure what Rocco’s future held.
There was a possibility that they had done damage to his intestines but they would have to wait and see as he healed. None of them considered giving up though.
Rocco was put on antibiotics and given medicine to treat the maggots. He was so tiny that with their scale starting at 0.2 ounces, he didn’t even register a weight!
But Rocco’s heartbeat was strong and he laughingly left a little poopy surprise for the vet while at their office. Anyone who fosters or raises neonatal kittens can attest that their feces is one of the best indicators of health, so many times, its a moment of celebration. =)
Nina has been keeping everyone, now called #TeamRocco, updated on all his milestones ~ success or setbacks.
At 4 days old, Rocco found his sweet little purr to thank his rescuers.
He has had to deal with some digestive issues and they are monitoring it closely. If the maggots damaged his intestines or colon, at least Nina will be able to get him treated asap. Rocco was still very active which is always a great sign for baby kitties.
Just 4 days after his rescue, Rocco had gained 10 grams and proven to everyone his will to live would surpass their expectations. Topping the scales at 5 ounces now, he was eating more, playing and even getting a bit feisty!
“Rocco is 7 days old today! He is doing just great, he has more than doubled his weight and his tummy issues have resolved!
He is becoming more adventurous and determined, this morning he discovered sunbeams through the window.
I am, and forever will be grateful for all of the love, support, and advice this group has shown for my little fighter. Without you, this week could have ended much differently.
From Rocco, myself, and the rest of my cat crew: Noelle, Trixie, Nicky, Lexie, and Baloo, thank you.
We love you all.”
Rocco continues to progress and amaze his caregivers with every step. Even his vet is overjoyed at his progress and how he beat the odds stacked against him.
At 3 weeks old, Rocco had grown to almost a pound. With the intestinal issues he had originally, he was showing some signs of possible permanent damage. There were a few scary days when he was only able to go to the bathroom if Nina gave him an enema.
This didn’t deter Nina from knowing she was meant to be there in his time of need.
“It’s possible this may be a permanent injury, but I have a lot of faith in Rocco, he’s beaten the odds and keeps letting the world know he’s meant to be here.”
Rocco is now a happy and handsome 6-week-old kitten. He has beaten the odds. He has shocked everyone by overcoming obstacles that have taken many other delicate lives. Most importantly, he has found the purrfect family to share his precious life with.
Rocco even has a buddy in the house who is #TeamRocco’s biggest feline fan; Uncle Baloo.
Baloo was also found as a stray out in their garden so the garden boys have a tight bond. Not to mention Rocco looks like a little “mini-Baloo” almost!
Nina tells us that, “He (Rocco) is a poop professional now! He took a bit longer to litter train, but once he got the hang of it, he’s had no problems at all and it looks like there’s no permanent damage.”
They are still determined to find Rocco’s stray mother and get her spayed along with helping any of Rocco’s litter mates.
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