They can’t be sure how the sweet little baby kitten ended up tied to a tree. She was discovered with a piece of string wrapped around her fragile back leg. Alone and scared, she cried out as she dangled just above the ground. Luckily her cries were heard by some very caring humans. Once rescued though, her new life has been full of trials and tribulations. But for this 3-week-old kitten, her life now has safety, friends and hope.
Meet Shimmer, who has refused to let her tragedy hold her back.
Shimmer is now in the experienced hands of the Love Your Feral Felines team in North San Diego County, California. They first heard of her plight when they came across a posting on Facebook on April 19th. The shocking story they read was a first for them, but they knew they had to help save her!
Today, we saw a post about a tiny kitten. We don’t know how, but this 3 week old little angel ended up tied in a tree, with her back leg hanging by a string ? We really hope this was not done intentionally. She was found by a Good Samaritan and brought to an emergency vet and transported to a shelter today.
The heroic people who found her tied to a tree, shared the shocking discovery too.
We were walking down a little dirt pathway off to side. We heard the kitty crying and started searching and found her hanging upside down by her foot. It took us a while to get her down. The string was twisted tight from her leg to a branch in a small tree.
It was just high enough she could barely touch the ground with her front paws. It was heart wrenching. I don’t know nor can I even imagine how she got there on her own. After we got her down we worked on getting the string off of her leg. When we believed we had gotten all of it off we started driving to the emergency vet.
Shimmer’s medical issues were evaluated–and devastating news was learned.
The poor neonatal kitten had suffered more than torture being tied to a tree. Because she was so young and had such a serious injury, if she’d ended up in another place, she’d likely have been euthanized. But LYFF weren’t about to let that happen now that they were involved.
During the initial exam, we found out that she has a severely broken leg and limited blood flow to her paw. We decided splinting would be best for the weekend while we see if it helps blood flow to be restored to her paw. If, on Monday, the paw is not receiving adequate blood flow, we will have to discuss amputation. This is a very tough surgery for a kitten so small. Prayers for our little girl would be much appreciated.
Upon her recheck, the paw had gotten a small amount of blood flow back. It wasn’t quite a complete success though and they still needed to see improvement. Through it all, Shimmer was a sweetheart and everyone who met her fell in love.
Only 4 days later, at her next recheck appointment, emergency struck.
Shimmer gave us quite a scare yesterday.
She had a vet check, laser treatment, and bandage change scheduled with one of our vets. As soon as the bandage was removed it was evident that her limb had atrophied completely and there was no saving it. The vet’s recommendation was to do the surgery before the leg made her sick.
The LYFF team and their social media supporters waited with bated breath for news of her status.
As they all knew, the surgery was going to be very risky–and that’s exactly what happened!
During surgery, she aspirated and her heart stopped. They were able to revive her but could not continue the surgery. We learned that she has aspiration pneumonia, and was pretty blue and pale when we got her back yesterday evening. She was on oxygen overnight, and is on two antibiotics to both help her lungs and prevent her leg from causing her to become septic.
We are walking a fine line with the decision of when to try the surgery again. We have to wait until her lungs are no longer compromised, but we also have to do it before her dying limb causes damage to her organs. Our vets want to try again next week. We are all nervous.
She is bright alert, and responsive this morning, and her color is coming back. We can tell she’s uncomfortable. She’s extra whiny, but she’s sparky and yelling at us, which is good. She ate a bit more at her last feeding.
We feel good about her recovery from the aspiration pneumonia. As for the rest…praying for a sign for when the right time will be to try the surgery again ?
Two days later, her situation again became dire and she was rushed back into surgery.
She is at Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Sorrento Valley where they took the bandage off earlier today to see how the leg was doing. Unfortunately, her leg was infected so needs to be removed today. There is slight concern about her lungs and her heart, but they studied her chart from the previous surgery and adjusted the drugs.
The anesthetic they are using today is reversible so should she have any issues they can reverse it rather quickly. She has a great team working on her – an orthopedic surgeon focused on the leg, a critical care specialist focused on her stats, and a team of dedicated nurses. This team will give Shimmer the best chance, and our very own Melissa who will be there, with all the love in the world, waiting for her after her surgery.
Happily, Shimmer pulled through the surgery with the fighting spirit they’d come to know and love.
She had her surgery just over a week ago now and her life has completely changed for the better!
Shimmer is adjusting wonderfully to life on three legs. She started eating gruel earlier this week and is the cleanest gruel kitten we’ve ever had! She literally eats right off the spoon, cleans her face and paws, and walks away when she is done. Our little baby is growing up already!!!
Her surgery would have not been possible without our amazing donors. We also received a generous grant from Orphan Kitten Club which covered the majority of her costs of the surgery. (Orphan Kitten Club was founded by Hannah Shaw, a.k.a. Kitten Lady, her fiance Andrew Marttila and an amazing team.)
This wonderful organization is making a real difference in the lives of kittens in need of emergency medical care through their Mightycat Grant Program. We are so thankful for OKC’s support in making Shimmer a mighty cat!
Just yesterday they shared another adorable update of the new tripod kitten.
She’s been healing so well, healthy and acting like any other kitten that they decided that exactly what she needed. Another kitten to play with!!! So they introduced her to another LYFF rescue named Stevie. It’s safe to say that they’re going to be great friends.
Coming a long way from a 3-week-old kitten found hanging tied to a tree, Shimmer is conquering life one day at a time.
She loves to eat still and is just as dainty with her food as can be. Shimmer is having no issues now only having 3 legs. She plays, runs and jumps around like crazy–loving her new life.
Apparently she also loves the camera and poses every time she sees it come out!
Without the help of their supporters and donations, LYFF wouldn’t be able to save deserving kittens like Shimmer. If you would like to help them save countless lives, please donate to their cause.
~HAPPY TAIL UPDATE – JULY 2019~
Little Shimmer settled into the tripod, foster life perfectly. She was welcomed into a very special home too.
Shimmer joined the clowder at the home of Keely Thomas–a 13-year-old girl who has helped save dozens of felines!
Keely was even recently featured on the Hallmark Channel’s show, Home & Family.
Larissa Wohl is joined by Keely Thomas and her mother Heather to talk about Keely’s mission in fostering kittens. Her mission started when she launched a viral video campaign teaching people how to foster kittens using stuffed animals. Since 2017, the Thomas family have fostered almost a hundred kittens. Keely also shares her dream to become a veterinarian and she enjoys teaching other kids about fostering kittens.
With her sweet personality, Shimmer quickly won over the humans and other foster furballs alike. Keely was happy to share the updates on her Instagram page and on her families’ foster Facebook page, The 2 Pound Kitten Club.
But on Sunday, July 14th everything changed for the three legged sweetheart once found tied to a tree.
She met someone very special and instantly fell in love.
Shimmer had happily chosen her new forever mom!
Not only will she have a family of her own to love her, she is also joined by one of her friends, Firefly!
Congrats to Shimmer, Firefly, their new family, Keely’s family and Love Your Feral Felines for EVERYTHING they did to save this precious soul!
REMEMBER: SPAY/NEUTER, FOSTER, VOLUNTEER, TNR and as always, ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!
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