A tiny kitten was recently discovered laying in the middle of a lonely Florida road at night. Her rescuer was a local woman named Pattie who immediately scooped her up and rushed her inside. She was so emaciated she could barely move. Pattie made a vet appointment for ASAP and began doing everything she could for the kitten in the meantime. The fragile little girl was named Lily, a symbol of purity. (UPDATE AT END OF ARTICLE)
One of the things she did for the kitten found in the road, was to reach out to Cat Man Chris Poole, Cole and Marmalade’s human, for assistance.
Pattie would be able to take care of the cat for now. Knowing the medical costs they were likely going to incur, she couldn’t afford those though. Not only did she have 5 of her own felines, there were numerous feral cats she cared for with every penny she could spare. She was hoping that being local to the Tampa area, Chris may know of a rescue that could help the kitten. Luckily he did; St. Francis Society Animal Rescue.
Chris’s calendar is FULL helping cats and St. Francis foster team homes are usually filled with Florida’s “endless kitten season”. However, no one could deny the desperate kittens sad eyes.
Chris and Pattie stayed in touch after the vet visit to try to figure out exactly how best to help the young kitten.
Lily had severe anemia (recommended blood transfusion) a very dangerous condition, but especially dangerous for a kitten who barely weighs a pound and she couldn’t walk. She was estimated to be only a few months old. The vet kept her at the office to monitor her condition.
She’s being cared for at Westchase Veterinary Center and getting the critical supportive care she needs right now. Yesterday because she still wasn’t moving around, they took x-rays to see if there were any broken bones. The x-rays looked normal, so they’re now testing her for toxoplasmosis, which can cause neurological symptoms. They also found lice on her too.
Shes slowly getting stronger and eating well when being fed by hand. She’s a very cute little girl and getting the best care possible… STAY STRONG LILY!
Lily ended up being in the ICU for over a week!
Even though Lily wasn’t at her home, Pattie took her temporary foster mom status seriously, visiting her often. To raise funds for her care, Pattie created a t-shirt design with the proceeds going to St. Francis. Lily’s bills were quickly adding up well into the thousands! She was sure to update her Facebook page with Lily’s progress reports.
Vet says she’s a fighter. She is starting steroids today and they are switching up her antibiotic. They are also wanting to do x-rays today. She is eating well and while she isn’t walking yet, she appears to be more alert. ~ February 15, 2019
Despite the trauma she endured in her short life, Lily loved to cuddle and nap in her new mom’s arms. Pattie was even able to find a couple in Orlando that wanted to adopt Lily when she was well. Soon after her prognosis though, they changed their minds.
Before you get mad at them, they did it for a good reason. Lily would have been their first cat, but she requires more than a “normal” cat. They recognized she’d be better with an experienced care-giver. I pride them on knowing that before bringing her into their home!
When Lily was finally released from the hospital on February 19th, she was welcomed into a VERY experienced St. Francis foster home.
Andrea Budkis Christian was the perfect fit for Lily. She has been at the center of numerous other ameowzing foster stories we’ve shared–check out the “related stories” at the end of this article, I’ll share links there.
GOOD NEWS!! Lily as been moving around by herself over the last day or so, improving little by little which means the current medical plan is working. She’s in good hands and also has a new foster sister named Rosa, hopefully they’ll be running around together doing fun kitten stuff in no time ❤
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Everyone, let’s put our hands in the air for our newest tiny fighter Lily! She has been in intensive care at West Chase for a week, today she was feeling well enough to move into a foster home. She has a LONG way to go but we have all the time in the world for this little girl to mend. A big shout out to Cat Man Chris for helping St Francis help this tiny girl. #welcometoourhome #lilythekitten #tinyfighter #ittakesavillage #kittenvideo #fosteringsavelives #ittakesavillage #helpthehelpless #spayandneuter #adoptdontshop #kittensofinstagram #ilovecats #meow #pawsneedclaws @stfrancisrescuetampa @catmanchrispoole @westchasevet
Lily’s new friend Rosa (I’m sure I’ll get to write her heart-lifting story soon too!!!), immediately accepted her new sister. The two girls instantly bonded and can be seen together everywhere they go.
Having another kitten going through a recovery as well, has allowed their purrsonalities to shine. These two needed to be socialized to other cats and humans, why not do it side-buy-side?!
A couple of days after Lily arrived and Andrea’s home, she began the next level of healing from her road ordeal–physical therapy.
Today Lily did some PT in a warm bath to help her strengthen her legs. She had not shown much interest in moving around, not normal for a kitten. She didn’t love her bath, tolerated it well enough, and tried to keep her legs curled up.
Posted by Andrea Budkis Christian on Tuesday, February 26, 2019
However, the bath must have helped some because when I sat her in my lap to blow dry her fur she scampered quite quickly away from me! ~ February 21, 2019
For her therapy, Andrea fills her tub up with just a few inches of water. Lily then slowly explores the area getting more comfortable in the tub. Then a few more inches are added…relax again….more water added. You can see the progression in the videos and how well Lily is using her legs to walk/swim. She needs to do this to build up the muscles in her tiny kitty stick legs to make them great tigger-spring legs someday!
Posted by Andrea Budkis Christian on Tuesday, February 26, 2019
With mom Andrea’s support and her new sister Rosa by her side, little Lily is blossoming before our very eyes.
Rosa is starting to play and explore, but she spends most of her time holding her best friend Lily. Lily is still very quiet, but she is eating and pooping like a champ! ~ February 25, 2019
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Making Lily strong again. Videos are not the best, but look how motivated our girl is by food. Each day a little stronger. #tinyfighter #lilythekitten #kittenvideo #helpthehelpless #fosteringsavelives #rescued #siamesecat #ittakesavillage #spayandneuter #adoptdontshop #rescueismyfavoritebreed #meow #startastoryadopt @stfrancisrescuetampa @catmanchrispoole @jenzfosterkittens
I think one of my favorite things about Andrea’s foster parenting can be explained in her post comment.
Making Lily strong again. Lily is starting to hate her PT, and will probably start hating me soon for making her work hard. However, I don’t need to be her friend, I need to be her MOM! ~ February 26, 2019
I’m not sure how I did it, but when Cat Man Chris started “pressure suggesting” that we adopt Lily into our growing brood, I was able to say “no”. Crazy, right? I know.
But this little girl will continue to thrive in Andrea’s supreme care and we can all enjoy it on her Instagram page @turtlecatfoster. Without having to scoop the poop! Sorry Andrea! Let me be the first to point out that Andrea’s are some of THE funniest foster posts I’ve seen.
“Oh Lily! I don’t mean to scare you, just trying to help.” She is so unhappy with me trying to ‘drown’ her every day.
When Lily is ready to find the perfect forever home…I’m hoping that person will see the bond between her and Rosa, adopting them both. Just keep swimmin’ Lily!!!
Thank you to Pattie, Cat Man Chris, St. Francis Society Animal Rescue and Andrea for helping one lonely little kitten who almost didn’t make it off the road. Can’t wait to see where your path takes you!
The girls remained with Andrea and gained strength from her love. All who met them absolutely fell for the sweet sisters, but their forever home eluded them.
A Tale of Two Kitties. It was the worst of times, now the best of times for two very sick kittens with very different backgrounds. They met in a foster home when they needed one another the most.
These kittens found safety with St Francis Rescue when both were at deaths door. Rosa the small shy lover who is always busy. Lily the calm protector. A bond to last forever. They will need to be in a calm home where they can get a lot of love and attention. They do well with other cats that are gentle natured but are not ready for small busy children. And they must go together forever!
Then just recently, on November 16th, the pair were adopted–together!!! SO HAPPY FOR THEM ALL! After all the time they spent together, Andrea knew it was finally the right match.
I knew this was their family when the adopter told me the story of her last kitty (who passed recently.) She went to the shelter to adopt a kitty, and all the kitties in the room ran up to see her. But one little terrified girl was by herself and not coming for love. She found out she had been there for like 9 months and she then knew that was her kitty!
The girls are still settling into their new home. But with the skills and confidence that Andrea helped instill in them, the girls are sure to enjoy their long and winding journey down any road that lies in front of them.