A sweet and fluffy little “Bug” came running and meowing up the driveway of an Orlando-area woman’s home. She seemed to be permanently winking. The lonely 6-week-old tuxie kitten only had one working eye, one nostril, and a cleft lip. At about 6 weeks old, she had a URI (upper respiratory infection), which probably worsened due to difficulty breathing through one nostril.
Bug chose the right person to ask for help, as the caring woman scooped her up, took her inside, and gave her a cute name. Then, she contacted Ashley from Liberation Cat House, who had luckily had space to take in Bug. For Ashley, the name Bug was a familiar one.
Ashley suspected Bug was born a little different, but the kitten was friendly and fearless and had overflowing kitten energy from the start.
“Her finder reports that she has been eating well and is super sweet, and clearly, she is a little fighter. She has been calling her Bug, and I like that because it reminds me of my youngest sister, who we nicknamed Bug when she was little,” Ahsley wrote. “This little Bug will need a trip to the vet for a full examination to determine if she has any treatment needs.”
Bug Doesn’t Know She’s Any Different
As it turned out, Bug had some serious health issues. But she didn’t know she was any different. She had the energy of six kittens, rearing up on her back legs to pounce on a toy. It was her “signature move.”
Online, followers fell in love with her unique, quirky purrsonality. She also became a star at the vet’s office, where she played as usual. She charmed everyone who met her.
“Despite it all, Bug has remained her spunky, playful, cuddly, quirky self. She doesn’t know that she has any issues, and we just want to give her the best chance possible,” Ashley said.
The kitten needed specialists after a vet found she also had a heart murmur and a congenital eye condition. Helping her would be expensive, but she won over lots of hearts, and kind people donated to help.
‘Her Confidence and Energy Give Me Hope’
After the specialist visits, they learned she had a restrictive ventricular septal defect (VSD), commonly called a “hole in the heart.” She also has an underdeveloped eye with cataracts. Amazingly, Ashley had experience with similar eye conditions after caring for another kitten named Louie.
None of this mattered to always-curious Bug, who continued about her energetic kitten business as usual. Ashley told Love Meow that the kitten gave her hope.
“Her confidence and energy give me hope. She can play and navigate around the house even if she doesn’t see fully,” she said.
But, the prognosis for her long-term health was uncertain. When she was ready to find a home, her family would need to be ready for lifelong checkups, medications, and the unknown.
“Bug can be hard to photograph because she is always a blur while playing! She loves her lobster toy, and I love her spirit.😊”
Bug Flies Away to a New Home
There was lots of interest in the one-of-a-kind kitten as she went on meet-and-greets. Everyone fell in love with her, and an artist named Emma, who fosters, did this adorable portrait of her.
After the holidays, it was time for her to find her forever home, one ready to commit to her long-term care. In early January, Bug flew away to her forever home in Pittsburgh. There, she would have everything she needed including a local cardiologist.
“Her new human has experience with special needs animals and is committed to providing Bug with the best care possible. Thankfully, there is a veterinary cardiology practice in Pittsburgh to monitor Bug’s heart. Not only that, she has other kitties at home, including a 6 month old kitten to be Bug’s playmate,” the fosterer shared.
A Bug’s Life
Finally, the day came for Bug to fly by airplane to her new home. Ashley was sure everything would be great for her there. She even made friends at the airport when she popped out of a bag, attracting a crowd!
“Though I’m going to miss her, I don’t worry about Bug’s life from here. I know her fearlessness and curiosity mean she will settle into her new home well, and she loves other cats so she will be excited to meet her new siblings,” she said.
The kitten’s new mom Lisa shares updates about Bug’s life, and she’s fearless and doing great with her big brother Archee and several cat sisters. You can follow along on Instagram. You can help support Ashley at foster.love.repeat and Liberation Cat House on Instagram.