Staff from an animal shelter brought a new-born kitten to Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue last week (w/c 15/04/19) when they discovered that he had some serious congenital deformities that they were not equipped to deal with.
The kitten nicknamed Voldy has, according to director Rachel Lienemann, ‘a cleft in the front of his hard palate, a unilateral cleft lip, and he was born without a functional nose and is most likely missing his right eye’.
Kittens with such an array of conditions are very unlikely to survive the first few weeks after being born. Those with hard palate deformities are sure to die since they tend to aspirate their mother’s milk and suffocate.
Lienemann’s intervening to save Voldy was not guaranteed to work but it did at the very least afford the kitten a better chance of survival.
According to LoveMeow, Lienemann took to feeding the cat via a gastric tube ‘every hour around the clock’, and her persistent regimen led to 0.7 ounce gain of body weight in just one night.
Every day a blessing
‘I kept telling myself “if he lives through the first 24 hours, I will be more hopeful”,’ Rachel said, ‘then it became “if he lives to be a week old, I'm sure he will make it”.’
Thanks to Lienemann’s round-the-clock care and attention Voldy’s weight has increased from 63 to over 100 grams in just one week. The kitten is also scheduled for some ground-breaking reconstructive surgery of its jaw and soft palate.
‘He is sassy,’ Rachel added. ‘If I am even a couple minutes late to feed him at night he will let me know. He absolutely loves belly rubs. The fact that he is gaining weight and active shows us that he is a fighter. He wants to live, too.’