The Story of Foster Jack
I often hear so many wonderful stories from people who have nursed a neglected and sick cat back to health. Some stories are more amazing than others. There are cats that survive horrible illnesses as kittens to become loving happy adults. Many of these cats are kittens that others would give up on. Sometimes though, this sick cats show a spark and a will to survive that cannot be denied. I just read one such story.
Elissa Brunette works as a trapping coordinator for a Wisconsin TNR group called cats anonymous. She writes how last June she was trapping on a remote farm with a group of other trappers when someone found a kitten. The kitten looked to be no more than three weeks old, tiny emaciated and very sick. Elissa put the cat on a disposable warming pad and gave him fluids. The little guy sucked up the liquid right away. When the farm owner told Elissa that the cat was between 8 and 12 weeks old, she could hardly believe it.
At home Elissa took that cat she was calling, Foster Jack to her vet. The vet said that the poor little thing has pneumonia that was so severe his heart was slowing and the prognosis wasn't good. All the same, she sent them home with antibiotics and good wishes.
Treating Jack was a challenge. He had problems keeping his food down and Elissa had to monitor his intake and make sure he didn't regurgitate his medicine. It took 8 weeks for the tiny kitten to recover, but the malnutrition left him debilitated. He had muscle and bone deformities which made him list sideways when he walked and make it impossible for him to jump up on the couch. At 4 months old he only weighed 1.1 pounds.
Elissa didn't give up on Jack despite the fact that he had several recurrences of pneumonia. The vet diagnosed him with esophageal motility disorder, which means he has a spastic esophagus that causes him to regurgitate. It even happens sometimes when he's sleeping, which causes him to aspirate into his lungs. This is how the poor little thing kept getting pneumonia.
Jack wouldn't give up though. The little fighter kept on gaining weight and slowing getting better. He now weights 2.9 pounds and although he will never be very big, he is definitely thriving. He is active and constantly purring. Elissa has kept him busy and moving. So amazingly he has overcome some of his coordination problems. Elissa even caught him climbing up the drapes the other day, which was oddly thrilling. Her whole family has bonded with this fabulous little cat! In fact, he's not Foster Jack anymore. He's just Jack!
Until next time…
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