Life as a stray cat can be very difficult and many times, deadly.
Often kittens do not survive the obstacles life has dealt them. But some of them are tiny miracles.
One of those little miracles is Nugget.
Nugget and his 2 siblings were found in Perth, Australia in dire condition.
A kind couple discovered the 3 kittens absolutely covered in fleas and suffering. They rushed the litter mates to the local veterinarian.
Sadly, the little girl of the trio was in such a sickly condition there was no hope for her.
Her suffering was humanely ended.
The remaining 2 kittens were both males, named Nugget and Little Ali.
They were approximately 5-weeks-old, malnourished and anemic.
Experienced members of the SAFE Perth – Saving Perth Animals from Euthanasia organization were called into action.
“SAFE Perth have a pro-life policy which ensures that all pets who can be saved are given the care they need, and our euthanasia rate is below 1%. Because of this high level of success in helping the very neediest pets, we are often called in to assist local rangers, vets and the state police.”
The brothers were taken into foster care and the lifesaving process began immediately.
Their foster mom easily removed over 300 fleas from their tiny bodies!
Because of the overwhelming number of fleas, they were both extremely anemic and had lost a LOT of blood.
They were very lethargic as the energy had literally been drained from them.
So much blood had been lost that their gums, paw pads and little noses were all “lily white” according to SAFE Perth.
These should normally be the cute little pink shades that we swoon over.
Weighing in at only ½ the size they should be for their ages, they had to be syringe fed. They were too weak to even eat.
Regrettably, after just 24 hours, on November 22nd, Little Ali crossed the rainbow bridge while laying on his caregivers chest.
His anemia had proved so destructive that his lungs gave out and he couldn’t breathe any longer.
Although heartbroken, the team knew Nugget needed them now more than ever.
It had been 3 days since he’d first seen the vet and he was still in critical condition.
During that time, he had been monitored 24-hours a day.
Nugget was kept on a routine of syringe feeding, fluid injections and controlled temperatures.
Thankfully Nugget was with the experienced foster mom, as he repeatedly came close to losing his battle.
“He has crashed to a non-responsive state several times and alternates between this and being a bright, loving kitten.”
The best chance Nugget has at surviving was determined to be a blood transfusion.
However, this was going to cost an estimated $2,000-$3,000!
Nugget fought his way through the night with a determined and fighting spirit.
They were sure to keep everyone on their Facebook page updated on his condition.
“Hi everyone! Little Nugget is amazed at how generous everyone has been and is having his breakfast (because 2.30, 4.30 and 6.30am are midnight snacks according to him). We’re about to get cleaned up and head off to the vet and will keep everyone posted on his progress. From the bottom of Little Nugget and Sam (his carer) hearts – we say thank you.“
They were off to the Perth Cat Hospital to begin the transfusion therapy.
Even though he was more alert now, they discovered another set-back.
Nugget’s anemia was so severe that the flea bites had left his delicate skin fragile to a point that shocked them.
When they’d began shaving his fur for a blood test, his skin broke open!
Rather than stitching it closed, they had to glue the wound shut. This is commonly used vs. stitches in procedures… just not usually due to shaving!
His veins had also collapsed from the anemia and they were impossible to find.
There would be no blood transfusion option for little Nugget. It would be to risky to attempt.
The veterinarian staff met to discuss his available options.
Since his overall condition HAD improved with the foster care, they decided to continue this until he is stronger.
They would add nutritional supplements to his diet.
Hourly reviews were repeated to ensure he is staying on the right track.
“We are so very grateful for all the funds raised and they will make sure Little Nugget gets the best of care. Other kittens like him will get a chance they may not have had. Every year, SAFE Perth hand raise dozens of kittens that have incredibly poor starts to life. So thank you, this has made a world of difference to these tiny lives.”
Through it all, Nugget is as happy as he can be in his situation.
His miniature body is full of strength and a will to survive.
Thankfully he has stopped “crashing” through the nights which is an amazing sign and nod to his foster mom!
Every milestone Nugget conquers is cuter than the last. Happily those are being caught on film for us to enjoy as well.
“Little Nugget after lunch. Time for cleanup!!”
“As you can see he is quite bright this morning. He tends to cycle between being like this during the day and lethargic/crashing at night so we make the most of these times.”
“When he is poorly our favorite thing is to read him your messages of support, so thank you for sending them. He may be only 300 grams but he has a world of love and support cheering him on.”
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP; FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!