Many people don’t know where to turn when they have cat questions. We’re honored people think to send Cole and Marmalade messages asking, but sadly, rarely can we do anything to assist. Not to mention these pleas sit in crowded inboxes. And having to say “no” or “we can’t” isn’t easy. Even in the situation of this little “bean”, Chris Poole in Tampa, FL, couldn’t physically jump into action. And it just happened to be in the area! But through his web of fosters, trappers and local rescues, thankfully this kitten was about to have a chance at a better life.
Bean didn’t look this snuggle-worthy when we first met him.
On August 12th, Chris a.k.a. Cat Man Chris and Cole and Marmalade’s dad, received a message from a woman in Riverview, FL. She had discovered a trio of sickly kittens and only had cow’s milk to offer them. Finances were tight and she didn’t know that it’s actually not good for kittens to drink. A milk replacement formula is best. KMR is a brand that can be found at your local pet supply store or on Amazon.
Just another good Samaritan feeding the cats but unable to do more for them due to financial reasons and lack of knowledge.
Sadly, two of the kittens didn’t make it. By the time they were discovered, it hadn’t mattered what nutrition they were offered. But she knew she needed help with the third little kitten, a boy later named Bean.
With Covid-19, most of the local rescue organizations and shelters are completely full. Animals are being euthanized due to space requirements alone. She refused to allow this to happen but had no idea where to turn.
That’s when she messaged Cat Man Chris.
But when Chris received the message, he was caught up trapping elsewhere and HE needed assistance! See, it happens to all of us.
The photos of the kitten he received were a bit blurry but he was told the kitten was eating well and didn’t have fleas or mange. Informing her on the do’s and don’t’s for bottle feeding, she was terrified she had hurt the kitten without knowing so.
Chris asked about the kittens eye and didn’t receive a definite answer.
So he reached out to fellow cat rescuer Nadija Falbo with AnimalLuvr’s Dream Rescue, who lived only a few minutes from the woman. She was happy to go over and check out the situation in person. The woman was open to the help thankfully.
When she arrived at the home, it wasn’t just Bean that needed help.
Nadija discovered 13 total stray and feral cats that lived around the immediate area!
And little Bean’s eye was NOT okay.
When I got there she walked out holding him with no blanket or towel and poor guy was screaming bloody murder. When I grabbed him to put in my carrier, I was shocked how skinny he was. I thought I was going to break him by just holding him.
Bean was very frail, covered in fleas; his stomach and back were black from fleas and flea dirt. The little guy was screaming out and cold. Of course his eye was covered in dirt and discharge from the eye infection.
At 3 weeks old he weighs ONLY 6 oz. which is the weight of a one week old kitten.
Even though he was finally on his way to a better life, poor little Bean cried the entire ride to her house.
Let me tell you, even a 5-minute ride with a desperate and suffering cat, takes forever! But the second they arrived, Nadija jumped into action.
I made a bottle for him and it was so sad to see him gripping for it while screaming. He was starving 🙁 I gave him a bath with Dawn and he was red from all the blood. He hated his bath but it had to be done. Afterwards, he was wrapped in a heated blanket and he just continued to cry. It was heartbreaking. Bean received fluids, iron supplement, bottle fed meals and heat support around the clock.
Just because Bean was under the care of an experienced foster mom now, he wasn’t out of the water yet.
Honestly, the first 24 hours I just waited when I would find him not breathing. He was very critical. I didn’t sleep for 48 hours because I kept checking on him and staring at his chest to make sure he was breathing.
I’ve spent the last several hours picking fleas off of him and staring at his chest to make sure he’s still breathing. He’s content, warm with a full belly and even purred for a quick second. 💗 The woman that had him told me that the mama cat has given birth several times with all litters suffering and eventually passing away. I’m so heartbroken she didn’t ask for help sooner, but I plan to work with her and get the community cats in her area TNR’ed (trap, neuter/spay and return) so that this doesn’t happen again.
Happily, he pulled through that first night, but it was time to address the elephant in the room – the massive scab and infected eye poor Bean was half blinded by.
The worst fears begin to go through your mind in rescue too, because you have NO idea what is under the wound. Or what caused it. Or in this case, would Bean have to have eye enucleation surgery and lose his eye completely?
We didn’t have to wait long to find out. The next day he had an appointment with an amazing vet, Dr. Sabshin at Harmony Vet Care. She was able to carefully remove the scab completely covering his eye and was shocked at what she saw.
A big ol’ beautiful eye on Bean!
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We have an eye ball! 👁️ Little pumpkin is still hanging in there, still picky about eating but he’s actually gained an ounce and is now 7 oz! He had a good poop and is constantly trying to walk around if he hears my voice. This morning he hitched a ride to the vet with Charlie and the amazing Dr. Sabshin removed the gunk/dirt that I was too chicken to remove myself. After some warm compressions at home his eye opened up and he is now on eye meds to clear up the infection! 💗 #Newfoster #Fosteringsaveslives #TNR #Beanthegingerkitty
There was quite a bit of clean up (I’ll spare you the details), but Nadija was able to help by applying warm compresses when back at home. With some additional medicated eye drops, there didn’t seem to be any visible permanent damage!
Knowing the type of people Chris and Nadija are though, NO ONE was forgetting about the other cats at the property.
Nadija went back with her team and had a VERY successful weekend!
So Friday we trapped 7 of them and Saturday we trapped 3 of them which is all of their cats! 🎉We also caught Beans mom and dad as well!
There is one special reason I also wanted to do this story for today as well…Bean is apparently an excellent name for our furry friends. It’s “Never Bean Better Day”!
NEVER BEAN BETTER DAY HISTORY:
The Drager Group, Inc. founded Never Bean Better Day to recognize the unconditional love dogs bring to human lives. The observance honors the birth of a special therapy dog, Bean, who eagerly spreads his Bean wuv everywhere he goes. Bean improves the lives of those who need it most. Visit NeverBeanBetter.com to learn more about Bean and his many talents, canine and not so canine.
The Registrar at National Day Calendar declared Never Bean Better Day to be observed on August 22nd annually beginning in 2017.
All photos courtesy of Nadija Falbo / @tiny.paws.fosters