Cameron Bender from Los Angeles could not have predicted that a mundane task such as clearing out a garage would dramatically turn into a desperate effort to save the lives of two little felines.
A stray cat and a small white kitten had been spotted near Cameron’s home a few days before but hadn’t been seen since. Until that eventful day, as Cameron explains.
"My roommate, Corey, and I were cleaning out our garage, prepping to move houses," Cameron told Love Meow. "While I was doing something in the back, Corey said he saw the white kitten."
Cameron went over to check and found a little lifeless kitten who was barely alive. The poor kitty also looked to have some injuries on its neck. Not even sure if the cat was alive, Cameron knew he had to see if the kitten was breathing.
"For some reason, I blew air on him, and he stirred," he said.
No time to waste
Cameron knew that if he was going to be able to save this kitten, time was of the essence. So he rushed the kitten to a local vet who found four puncture wounds on the little guy's neck. After cleaning and treating the wounds, Cameron concentrated on keeping the kitten warm as he tried to work out what to do next.
Still terribly worried about the kitten, he decided to take him to a nearby cat shelter.
"I worried every time I looked down at him, he wouldn't be moving. But I would gently stroke him and he would stir. I figured if he kept fighting, I would try to give him his best shot," Cameron said.
Staff at the shelter recommended that Cameron take the little kitten to the Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles. Cameron wasted no time and drove the cat there himself.
"That was the longest drive in my life, during rush hour, worried that I was just going to take too long.
"But we made it. He made it!"
Cameron handed over the poor kitten to Courtney Bean, a caregiver at Best Friends. "The wonderful nurse Courtney took him into the back. I started weeping from the stress of the day, but he was in the spot where he'd get his best chance at survival," Cameron said.
Staff at Best Friends examined the bite marks on the kittens back and neck and thought they looked as if they had been made by an adult cat. The injuries were so severe they had actually temporarily paralyzed the kitten from the neck down.
The kitten was put in an incubator where he could be kept warm and given oxygen therapy.
“He was unresponsive completely besides an occasional meow while we handled him. He didn't even react to his injuries," Courtney said.
But despite everything, the little kitten never gave up and showed he was a true little fighter.
"He accepted food and medications as if he was grateful to receive them. Every time I would massage his limbs, it really seemed to help but also he wanted to try doing it on his own," Courtney said.
"He had such a strong will that he very quickly began pulling himself around on one arm, and then two, and so on until he was able to move himself around his incubator, despite doctors' orders."
Staff at Best Friends had to turn the kitten every hour, but it wasn't long before the kitty was doing it himself. Courtney would comb him each time he was fed and he was always very excited to drink his milk.
Cameron and Kameron
Cameron couldn’t stop thinking about the little feline and came back to visit him later that day. He couldn't believe what he saw. The desperately fragile little kitten he had found earlier in the day was now on his paws.
Staff had even named the kitten Kameron after the man who undoubtedly saved his life.
Cameron continued to visit little Kameron, but one day he had brought another feline friend with him.
"I found his brother and they were quickly reunited," Cameron said.
Cameron had discovered the kitten's little brother in the same place where he had earlier found Kameron. The second kitten was named Zidane and as soon as the two brothers were put together they started playing and snuggling up to each other.
"Both Kameron and Zidane, once well enough, left the nursery to a foster volunteer who raised them up right and got some good weight on their bones," Courtney said.
When they were big enough, they returned to Best Friends to be neutered and are now ready to find their new forever home.
Staff at Best Friends couldn't praise Cameron enough for doing everything he could to save not just one kitten but two tiny feline brothers. "We knew he cared so much about this precious kitten that he didn't even know. Those are the exact type of people that we adore in the animal rescue world," Courtney said
A video posted on YouTube tells the story of little Kameron's remarkable rescue story.