Life on the streets is never easy for felines and rarely does their difficult tale end with happily being rescued. For senior cat, Dot, it was a long and painful road to her finding that happy ending. In addition for Dot, 8 little babies were along for the ride.
Her new life began with tragedy when poor senior cat Dot was hit by a car and left to suffer.
She was found and brought to what was unfortunately, a kill-shelter in May 2018. As a semi-feral, senior at 10-years of age, her chances of being saved were slim.
Added to that, was the fact that she had broken her pelvis in the accident. With no one to care for her and an adoption in her condition being unlikely, she was added to the euthanize list.
But Tara Kawczynski, founder of The Odd Cat Sanctuary in Salem, Massachusetts spotted the needy girl on social media. She is an ER vet tech and follows many “kill lists” to help the deserving cats of her community.
Dot was only given 12 hours to live.
Seeing Dot’s face and reading her story, she knew she had to do what she could for her.
Tara welcomed the suffering girl into her home for much needed cage rest while on morphine. The pretty senior cat was severely underweight and malnourished.
She knew the minute she opened the “rescue box” that Dot had a piece of her heart.
Terrified of humans, just looking at her, you could see her spirit was one of a defeated soul. She took to peeing on Tara’s bed when she arrived, but that didn’t deter Tara one bit from saving her.
For 2 months, Dot healed slowly at Tara’s home.
X-rays showed the damaged pelvis was thankfully healing.
There was a bundle of surprises that were still too young to show up on these x-rays though!
Dot must have JUST gotten impregnated at the time of the accident as usually kittens can be spotted around the 2 month mark
Once sweet senior cat Dot was stable, she was off to another foster mom, Donna.
She remained with Donna for the next 2 months.
And then Donna realized her senior cat was getting a bit “plump” around the mid-section. This could have been from eating better now and being sedentary while healing.
She’d seen a lump on Dot’s side and it was almost time for her pelvic recheck anyways, so they made a vet appointment. And surprise! The kittens showed up on the x-rays this time!!! Ten of them!
A cats gestation period is about 63-65 days. After 7 weeks of being in foster care on bed rest, she wasn’t too far off from going into labor.
Due to her age and pelvis injury, they knew she was going to be a high-risk pregnancy.
Another experienced fosterer, Sandra Elizabeth, stepped in to help. Fortunately, her specialty is pregnant cats.
“When Dot first came to me, after we found out she was pregnant, she was so afraid! She tried everything she could to make herself seem scary; she hissed, she spit, and she tried to swipe at me every chance she could to keep me away!”
Sandra was told to keep a close eye on Dot and “be ready to rush her for an emergency c-section”.
Sandra did just that.
On July 3rd, Dot went into labor and one of the kittens had become stuck.
They quickly got to the vets office where she was rushed into emergency surgery.
In a devastating turn of events, all 10 of her babies were stillborn.
Veterinarians Dr. Katrina Able and Dr. Ali Pavoda, along with numerous vet techs, were Dot’s angels that day though.
The team refused to give up on them.
The dedicated assembly line worked tirelessly on reviving the kittens and were able to breathe life into 8 of them!
Sadly, 2 kittens were too far gone. A litter of 10 is quite large and furthermore, to save 8 of them was an absolute miracle. Even Dr. Able knows how amazing this was and her face here clearly tells just how much!
Now senior cat Dot, and her very large young family, returned to Sandra’s home.
It was time for the kiddios to officially receive their monikers. Adorably, they all received clever fabric pattern names.
There were 5 boys; Argyle, Fleece, Corduroy, Paisley and Plaid.
The 3 little girls were named Denim, Chevron, and the adorable runt was dubbed Ikat.
The babies had a bit of trouble nursing at first. But Sandra was right there to bottle-feed them when needed. Dot was sure to be close by and monitor protectively.
She had begun to warm up to the humans who had opened their hearts to her. As sad as it is, Dot was clearly an experienced mama cat, likely having many, many litters in her 10 years as a stray.
The next weeks were full of cute, growing babies.
For our enjoyment and most importantly, the camera is ALWAYS close at hand in Sandra’s home!
Above all, the entire family was finally safe.
“Dot’s transformation herself has been amazing; her body language and her trust in humans has grown tremendously!”
Little Ikat was struggling though, and was only about 1/3 the size of her siblings.
There were a few scary moments when she almost lost her battle, but Sandra was there to help save her. In Sandra’s home, there would be no kittens “failing to thrive”!
With the extra support, runt Ikat pulled through and slowly gained weight, getting stronger and stronger each day.
Soon enough, they were all ready to begin their own adventures!
November 28th was a successful spay/neuter day for all 8 of the kittens. Just a few days later, on December 20th, baby Plaid received an early holiday gift…a furever home!
This adoption wasn’t random though, it was meant to be.
“Plaid’s new Dad helped save his life, seriously!”
“When Dot was rushed into the vet hospital for an emergency c-section, Plaid’s new Dad helped deliver her kittens and helped to save their lives! So amazing! Plaid sure wouldn’t be here without him, and now they get to spend furrever together!”
Another miracle occurred for the feline family as well.
After everything they’d been through, Sandra couldn’t bear to part with the 2 felines that had grown to depend on her the most.
Bonding on their own, Dot and Ikat had developed a touching mother/daughter relationship. They would BOTH be staying with Sandra fur-ever!!!
The rest of the sweet kittens are now up for adoption too.
**STORY ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN 2018*
Each one of them has grown into their silly “purrsonalities” and are certain to be a joy for the lucky family that brings them home.
Happily, for the rest of us not in the Massachusetts area, we can follow them on Instagram @dottheoddcat.
Be sure to follow firstname.lastname@example.org for all their wonderful feline tales.