Sometimes in life, moments seem to come together as if they were planned in advance. There may be twists and turns around every corner, but the path leads where it must. And for vet tech Alex Guida, her path has led her to saving animals. But when you have the training and daily experience helping save and help enrich animal’s lives, it stays with you. You don’t “clock out” and go home without a care in the world to the suffering animals. That goes double for the special needs animals you meet each day, like our hero Jed.
Because these animals are just as loving as the rest. But they come with a hefty “to-do” list that can be daunting. Leading to many of these animals being euthanized without a chance to overcome their obstacles.
Unless you are a special needs kitten named Jed who comes across the threshold at Alex’s job.
It was in late May of 2020 that he was brought into the veterinary offices of Blue Pearl in Tampa. Little did she know that he would be the sickest kitten she personally foster cared for to date.
He’s not very photogenic at the moment. But my newest foster has a peg leg and I love it so much. We took x-rays which looks like it’s an old injury that healed nicely. He is missing his foot and a little more! He was covered in fleas and has a major URI but I’m working to get him feeling better so he can be even more perfect!!!
But Jed’s first few nights in their care were extremely touch and go.
His URI symptoms are worsening and he has crackles now so I’m hoping it doesn’t turn into full blown pneumonia. He is not eating and breathing very loudly now. He’s on antibiotics and eye meds and the lovely Rachel McQuestion hooked him up with some nebulization this evening. Hoping my little friend gets some relief and pulls through.
Sadly, Jed’s illness did in fact develop into pneumonia and he had to be quarantined from the other animals.
This is such a detrimental step though because the possibility of picking something up from others is always a concern with kittens. Let alone a peg-leg kitten fighting pneumonia! They also had to try numerous eye meds in the hopes of saving his site.
[Pneumonia is] very serious in small kittens like him and will take weeks to clear. The vets think it’s all feline herpesvirus related. So the eyes are being affected by the virus and that’s where the URI symptoms are coming from as well. Nebulization really helps though.
He’s gaining weight! Which means he’s eating enough. At first I had to syringe feed him. Now he will eat on his own which means he can smell better. He also consistently uses the litter box so he can smell that too!
But thankfully his cold cleared up, his eye infection faded and he was ready to be set “free” on June 25th.
It’s release day for Jed! Release into my living room that is. After a month of isolation, antibiotics, nebulizer treatments, eye ointments and lots of love, he’s free to play with his new friends. Thank you to everyone who’s helped me with the little man. He’s doing great!
Of course just to keep her on her toes, he relapsed into labored breathing a week later and they had to begin his nebulizer treatments again. But his tiny body was stronger this time and before long, it was under control once more. Nothing like a fading kitten scare to get your blood pumping! =(
Jed spent the next weeks playing with Alex’s larger family pets and learning how to be a normal kitten before undergoing his next surgery.
On August 25th, Jed rid himself of a few problematic things…his remaining peg leg and testicles. But with all that had been going on with his health issues, Alex hadn’t realized one odd thing.
I was so distracted by Jed’s leg/eyes/congestion that I didn’t realize he was a double cryptorchid (his testicles were NOT where they “should” be), until I called the vet asking why he has inguinal sutures #problemchild
With his health now improving and all the issues removed, he could focus on the most important thing.
Jed needed a home.
But he was so distracted by all the medical attention and growing into a strong and sweet kitten, he didn’t see what was right in front of him!
And on September 26th she made a happy announcement online.
Jed came as a Blue Pearl special on May 23. He was missing a foot, eyes were swollen shut, could barely breathe and had lung sounds for almost a month. The nebulizer was our best friend for a while. He also underwent a leg amputation at the time of his *double cryptorchid* neuter due to his unknown injury that he came with. The last picture is from today. We’re still working on his upper respiratory issues and eye issues (he’s seeing a specialist in a couple weeks) but he’s made so much progress from day one.We all know I have a soft spot for special needs and Jed will be staying in the Guida family and living at my parents’ house. They absolutely fell in love with him during his journey and we couldn’t be happier to add him to the fam #fosterfail #specialneedscats #adoptdontshop
You see, Jed made one very special connection.
With Alex’s 13-year-old sister who has fallen head over heels in love with the little tripod kitten.
All photos/video courtesy of Alex Guida