A little kitten was born with a rare disease. He didn’t let anything stop him and turned out to be the happiest cat.
Penny Richards, a caregiver from Northern, Virginia, came across an online list of a kitten in need of rescue. A good-hearted woman found him alone in her garden and brought him inside when the mother cat never came back for him.
“She had been trying to take care of him for a few days but didn’t know what to do,” Penny told Love Meow. “If she hadn’t taken him in, he wouldn’t have survived.”
Penny picked up the finder and offered to help. When she got the kitten, she immediately noticed something else about the tiny bundle of fur. “It was very round and a little oddly shaped for a kitten.”
The kitten named Leo was so grateful that it was cared for. He was having trouble engaging and appeared to have other health issues. “He didn’t seem interested in eating at all, regardless of the time between feedings, but he also looked like he was struggling with it.”
Penny fed him drop by drop with a syringe around the clock and brought the little guy back from the edge.
With careful grooming, medication, and new food, the kitten’s appetite increased and he began to recover. As soon as his nose was clear, he started sniffing all the new scents around him. “I would hold him and he would spend forever sniffing my face or my hands with his tiny little nose.”
At night he snuggled up against his artificial mother, the heartbeat cat, or curled up in his foster mother’s arms before purring himself to sleep.
As he got stronger, he snuggled tighter and buried his little face in the blur of the toys. Once he had strength in his tiny legs, he was motivated to mess around and examine his surroundings.
“Over the weeks, I noticed that he wasn’t developing properly. His ears went flat and his teeth didn’t come in at all by six weeks of age (kittens usually get their teeth by three weeks of age).” Penny told Love Meow.
Even though Leo was half the size he should be, he was always in a good mood and just wanted to play and explore.
“He was an incredibly lucky guy from the start who was always purring and walking around with his weird walk cross-legged. He loved turning around and always slept on his back.”
After a specialist examination, the kitten was officially diagnosed with hypothyroidism, a rare condition found in cats.
“Hypothyroidism is both cognitive and physical, so it was always special,” Penny told Love Meow. “Among other things, this condition led to development delays.”
“He had short limbs and a round body. He also had a broad head with a more bruised face than most cats. His hypothyroidism is definitely congenital and I think his mother left him behind because a strange situation prevented him from locking big tongue. “
They started Leo on thyroid medication and saw improvement. “He ended up becoming more of a cat and less of a potato. He also started learning how to use the litter box, how to drink water, and how to eat solid foods – though all of these took much longer than a ‘normal’ kitten.”
Check out Leo’s journey in this cute video:
Leo the kitten @fosterkittenacademy www.youtube.com
Once Leo figured out how to eat one dish, he happily devoured several meals throughout the day. His weight began to increase rapidly and his energy increased. With the help of the right medication, the kitten’s teeth finally came in.
Although Leo was a bit uncoordinated, nothing stopped him from playing and running around the room. “He couldn’t jump properly and didn’t know how to drink water from a bowl until he was almost three months old.”
The kitten needed so much 24/7 care and small meals throughout the day that Penny held him by her side and took him to work every day. As Leo made further progress in his development, he became more and more curious and active, and his personality began to develop.
At 10 weeks, Leo hit the £ 2 mark. His sight and hearing had caught up and he was working hard to improve his climbing and jumping skills.
Over the next few weeks the tabby boy really blossomed and got closer and closer to readiness for his next chapter in life.
“I had an amazing couple who contacted me to adopt him. When he was nearly four months old and his thyroid levels were stable, I adopted him for them,” Penny told Love Meow.
The family showered Leo with unconditional love and gave him the best possible care to ensure his quality of life.
“He bumps into things all the time, he almost never lands on his feet and he can’t jump, but none of that slows him down a bit,” wrote Leo’s eternal family. “He’ll fall asleep practically every time you put him on his back.”
“Leo struggled so much after being found alone at a week old. He was always the happiest, most loving, playful, dumbest boy who always purred and cuddled,” shared Penny Love Meow.
“Now he’s his canine brother’s best friend in his new home.”
“I’m so glad to see him grow from a challenged potato to this little cat who loves life!”
It has been a year since Leo’s adoption. The tiny ball of fur has grown into a pretty tabby cat.
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