About two weeks ago, our friend Elizabeth Putsche sent me an email about some kittens. You see, Elizabeth is the Executive Director at For All Animals in Maryland. Their organization is dedicated to helping all animals through diverse programs. From drafting state legislation – to producing documentaries – to providing one-on-one support for local activists. But this time, she had an amazing story to share with me about two specific kittens. It wasn’t just the story of how they were rescued–which in itself COULD be a wonderful tale. But it’s how these tiny fighters accepted a love they could not see, but felt deep within their furry bodies.
What everyone else could not see coming, was how much the two kittens would touch their hearts.
Their story begins on June 24th, when Elizabeth received a call for help.
A mechanic had brought a large piece of construction equipment in for repairs. But little did they know, there were two 5-week-old kittens hiding out in the engine compartment! Fortunately they were not near an area where they could be easily injured. However, right away, they noticed something different about these kittens.
One kitten, a little girl they named Monkey, seemed to have ulcers on her eyes and they couldn’t be sure she could even see fully.
The other kitten, a boy named Smooshy, had almost NO eyes at all! All they could see was a tiny sliver behind mostly closed lids. Hence the name, because of his smooshed eyelids.
In a touching gesture, the mechanic brought the kittens home. His family was happy to take the needy kittens to their vet. The siblings clearly needed medical attention. As much as the family wanted to be there for the babies, they knew they didn’t have the experience or knowledge to care for the kittens. So it was the vet that suggested For All Animals, and contacted Elizabeth.
The veterinarian was stumped at first with Smooshy’s additional eye problems, as is was something they did not see often.
Both kittens were suffering from upper eyelid agenesis, a congenital defect where the upper lateral eyelid is not formed.
After some research, it was determined the additional issues for Smooshy were likely something called microphthalmos. Because the kittens were so young, it probably came from an infection their mother may have had.
Infection *MOST COMMON IN CATS FOR MICROPHTHALMIA*– Anophthalmia and microphthalmia can be caused by a virus during fetal development; most commonly, toxoplasmosis and certain forms of kitty influenza.
- How does the pregnant mother get toxoplasmosis:
- Coming into contact with, or ingesting, an infected animals fecal matter.
- By eating infected meat
Luckily, they did not see any other external health issues affecting the two kittens.
Elizabeth made an Opthamologist appointment for the earliest available date. But that was a few days away, so the sweet siblings got to stay in foster care. And they were just a friendly as could be! It’s like they could sense, without fully seeing, the love that they were finally receiving.
They played like normal kittens.
They snuggled together and with their newly dedicated humans.
At their appointment the next week, the Ophthalmologist confirmed their suspicions.
Both were diagnosed with upper eyelid agenesis. Due to Smooshy’s lack of eyes, he isn’t affected, but Monkey’s fur is poking her in the eye all along the top of her eye.
Monkey also suffers from Peters’ anomaly (or anterior segment dysgenesis). Which is a failure of the normal development of the tissues of the anterior segment of the eye. It presents as a foggy white haze on the outer sides of her eyes, and inhibits her vision. But we won’t know the full extent of the injury until she grows more.
So For All Animals began fundraising to cover the costs of the eye surgeries the kittens needed.
The ophthalmologist gave us an estimate for the procedures this pair will need in a few months – and it is A LOT.
With our 25% nonprofit discount, each surgery is estimated at $2,350. With kitten season in full effect, and our existing fosters, we are running low on funds and really need your support! Please make a donation to help Smooshy and his sister Monkey get the eye attention they desperately need. These munchkins will also need a home – together.
But then something happened that no one could see coming.
On Tuesday, August 6th, Elizabeth reached out to share some devastating news with us and on their social media sites.
I am so sad to announce that Smooshy has passed away. 💔 His little body couldn’t handle whatever it was fighting. It came on very suddenly, as he was playing and having fun late last night. This morning as we took him to the vet, his pink paw pads were white. His tummy was making lots of noise and he was clearly uncomfortable – with labored breathing.
We always hope for the best – but sometimes, there is nothing we can do. Smooshy was loved inside and out and knew happiness, love, and friendship. He loved his sister Monkey with all his heart ❤️.
The vet thinks it was a congenital defect with his intestines – as Monkey seems unaffected. We will be closely monitoring her to make sure she is okay. Thank you for your support and loving this little munchkin from afar. ❤️🐱❤️
Now, they are doing everything in their power to ensure Monkey does not suffer the same fate.
So if you would like to donate to Monkey’s eye surgery, please follow the link HERE.
We have lowered our goal to just cover Monkey’s medical needs. She is doing well and playing.
Monkey will likely require cryotherapy and epilation of the hairs poking her in the eye (freezing off the offending hairs) – a $1950 – $2350 procedure (with our 25% of rescue discount). If that is unsuccessful, she will be a candidate for surgical reconstruction of her eye lid.
Regardless of your ability to donate or not, our support is what they need now too.
Rescue life is tough. It breaks your heart, heals it with every fluffy face, and then breaks it again. But what is most important, is that there are the people in the world helping–and they’ll never stop.
Please follow their Facebook page for updates on Monkey and all the other animals alive because of their dedication.
REMEMBER: SPAY/NEUTER, FOSTER, VOLUNTEER, TNR & AS ALWAYS, ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!
Related Story: From Dumpster Diving In Abu Dhabi To Fine Dining In Green Bay; Blind Cat Makes 7000 Mile Journey To Be Adopted!Related Story: (Update – Look At Him Now!) Stray Kitten Found With Severe Eye Injuries; Loses Both Eyes But Finds the Purrfect Furever Home