Magoo and Waldo are 2 kittens who should remind us all about the importance of spay and neuter. Precious souls such as these are born on the streets, battling just to survive. As “kitten season” begins, shelters and organizations are flooded with rescue requests. Fosterers prepare to open their doors to the swarm of cats and kittens who won’t survive without them. Not only do these animals have to adjust to human help, many are sick and in pain, which can cause aggression. Sadly, in warmer environments, this can last all year long. A family of felines, such as this, was discovered in Las Vegas last November. They have spent the last four months in foster care fighting for their lives.
The 5-week-old kittens were found with their emaciated mother, hiding under a dumpster.
All three had raging upper respiratory infections. It was impacting their lungs, sinuses and eyes. But mama was so sickly and starving that she had stopped lactating, leaving the kittens without nourishment. The kittens were heartbreaking to look at– skin and bones, wheezing, and suffering.
The team at Vets For Abandoned Pets (VFAP) learned of the family and their critical care fosterers immediately set to work. They did everything possible to save them. Vet visits, antibiotics, subQ fluids and forced feeding were all implemented to try and encourage them to fight to live. There was a third sibling in the litter too, brother Domino. He had seemed to have surprisingly avoided any serious health issues. Some basic care and medication and he was quickly on the mend, adopted soon after.
Mama, estimated to be only 5 months old and just a kitten herself, stabilized in a few days. She was terrified and wanted nothing to do with people. Happily, she began eating on her own and breathing without as much effort as the antibiotics took hold. She was named Heidi by her VFAP foster mom, Erin Smetana.
Waldo and Magoo however continued to stay right at the edge of life and death.
The infection continued to mercilessly attack their fragile eyes. Another VFAP experienced critical care fosterer, Lisa Miller, stepped in to help too.
While the kittens didn’t seem to be in any pain, their bulging eyes were almost totally sealed shut. It was obvious they had little to no vision. It then became apparent that they would somehow live–but in all likelihood without their eyes.
VFAP celebrated knowing the kittens would still lead full lives. Unfortunately, losing one or both eyes is not uncommon in kittens born outdoors in horrible conditions.
Eventually, their veterinarian recommended removing their eyes. It would be both of Waldos, one of Magoo’s. They were function-less, damaged, and likely to become infected repeatedly.
When the day came to perform the procedure, imagine our surprise when we got a call saying that upon examination during surgery, the vet discovered all the visible “damage” was simply scar tissue. When trimmed away, the boys had healthy, functioning eyes underneath!
Now imagine the joy from both the rescuers and kittens upon arriving home after surgery–one they’d never truly seen before!
The adorable kittens slowly explored the room they had lived in for 4 months, only now visible to them.
Suddenly, they became new kittens–chasing, playing, and rolling all over as if nothing had ever happened!
We are eternally grateful to our fosters and our veterinarian for working so hard for this happy ending.
Magoo and Waldo will forever wear the scars of their difficult and painful path to get where they are today. Now 5 months old, their eyes will never look completely “normal”. But they cannot tell the difference and are ready to go to a home that will pamper and cherish them both forever.
This story has been a work in progress since November and it is finally coming to a very happy ending. They are now for adoption at our adoption center in Las Vegas. 4601 N. Rancho Drive. Las Vegas, NV 89130.
Mama Heidi was originally listed as a “feral”. Since she’s been with her foster mom though, her entire life changed. She is now socialized and available for adoption too! She is still a little skittish but has opened up immensely and even cuddles with Erin now. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of patience and time.
We will find them all homes very soon, but we are just so grateful they are alive.
Vets For Abandoned Pets were able to save this young family, but want to remind everyone of something very important.
Please remember, this kind of suffering is completely preventable! If you own or are caring for unaltered animals, please do the kind thing. Contact your local low/no cost spay/neuter clinic today!
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP; FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!