At four weeks old, kittens typically weigh around thirteen to sixteen ounces and start getting curious about what awaits them outside the nest. But when Henry was a month old, he weighed only a quarter of what he should have and was so weak that he was scarcely moving. The runt of his litter, he was rejected by his mother as she was hardly well enough to care for her litter.
When the cat-loving rescuers of Best Friends Felines in Brisbane, Australia, first saw Henry, their hearts wept because a kitten so sick and so tiny stood only a slight chance at survival. But no matter the odds, BFF wouldn’t give up on Henry. As it turns out, this tough little guy wasn’t going to give up on them either.
Seeing Henry when she arrived at the emergency vet, Nikki with Best Friends Felines was understandably upset as he only weighed 110 grams (3.9 ounces). He was far too small for his age, and he barely had any strength left in his tiny body.
“He was critically ill, dehydrated, emaciated, and super lethargic,” Nikki wrote on Facebook.
Nikki knew his survival odds were slim, but as she explained, “We have to give them a shot when there is a chance.”
After the vet, Henry went home to Jill, a caring foster mom with plenty of neonate experience. And over the next twenty-four hours, Jill would give Henry small amounts to eat every hour. Those hour-after-hour snacks did well for the boy because overnight, his weight began to creep upwards. Within just a few days, Henry packed on twenty grams!
“Emaciated and dehydrated, this little man had such a fighting spirit we all just fell for him and waited day by day with held breaths to see what each day would bring as battling coccidia was counteracting the battle of fattening him up and keeping him hydrated.”
But that fighting spirit saw sweet Henry push through every obstacle to make it to the food bowl! And before long, BFF and Jill were celebrating a one-pound Henry. From an emaciated lump to an active and playful kitten, Henry is more proof that rescue and foster care make miracles happen.
“The battle was long but it was a battle we won thanks to his dedicated carer Jill who went many a night without sleep fighting alongside Henry whose spirit never failed to amaze us as he continued to bounce back, setback after setback full of determination and cattitude.”
“Henry is now settled into his forever home with mum Kelly who couldn’t be more chuffed with her new family member.”
Five days after Henry’s rescue, BFF brought the little one’s ten family members into their care. Like Henry, both mom cats and their eight kittens were in rough shape. Henry’s brothers Hamish and Harrison also struggled with the same tummy bug as Henry, but the excellent care they received from Best Friends Felines got them up their paws and ready for a forever home. And it wasn’t just Henry, Hamish, and Harrison who had their furry dreams come true.
As BFF reported, “Every single family member survived thanks to the dedicated BFF carers looking after them and all have found their forever homes.”
Eleven cats were saved and adopted into happy homes… that’s a big win when dealing with some of the smallest in need!