Written by Kathleen Barnard of Seoul, South Korea – Contact her at the Four Cats, Five Eyes Bl0g
Dinner and a movie plans were set. Black dress was on. The movie was an hour and a half away. But we would never make it there.
On my husband’s way home from work that Friday night, he stumbled upon two very small kittens. Initially thinking it was just one kitten, he called me to come out with a towel and help him catch it. I left the house with only my phone and found him not far from where we feed some outside cats.
We have rescued at least 18 cats and kittens from the streets of Seoul in the last four years that we’ve been together. I thought this would be another regular rescue. As I got close, I noticed that there was an even smaller, all black kitten behind the gray tabby but it didn’t seem to be moving. I moved to a better position to see them as my husband prepared to grab the two small, and seemingly wounded kittens.
Once we had them in the towel in his arms, we realized that their eyes were not open, or in fact, they didn’t seem to have eyes except for the tabby had one small blue eye. The diminutive black kitten had a large mass covering one eye and it was evident that the other eye was missing. We rushed straight to our vet, just around the corner, and had the kittens looked at.
We decided to name these special kittens Zero and Hana (meaning one in Korea), respectively and lovingly. When Zero weighed in for the first time at the vet, he weighed .17 kg or 170 grams and Hana weighed .34 kg or 340 grams. Zero was half the size of his litter mate and had no functioning eyes, like his sister, who sported a beautiful baby blue eye. Zero was our main concern. His little, frail body was fighting to survive, but he wasn’t giving up, so neither were we.
After our first trip to the vet (the immediate trip after finding them), we took the babies home and kept them warm and fed and placed drops of antibiotics into the open wounds that were their eyes. Hana has been amazing and didn’t cause any alarms to go off. We could tell she was a chubby, healthy and happy kitty, whereas Zero, he made us nervous. The vet had told us we had a two day window. If he made it past two days, we might be in the clear. What a fighter Zero is. Zero not only ate like a beast, but he astonished us in the first day by eating on his own. Once the bowl of warm kitten milk replacement and baby kitten wet food was set in front of him, there was no stopping him. He took it all down.
Now, we are delighted to see how well Zero is doing all on his own. After a few sessions of bottle feeding him and feeding him with the use of a syringe, we attempted to let him smell his way to the food bowl and guess what? He found it! Not only did he find it, but he finished every last morsel in the dish. What a man. The next surprise came when later that evening, he walked himself over to the tiny litter pan and stepped in all on his own! The beauty of cats is their innate ability to take care of themselves. The cat’s instinct to poop and pee in a dirt-like matter and then to cover it up. The absence of eyes is proving to be no hinderance to Zero!
Currently, these kittens are looking for a good home. We are insisting that they stay together, but if we kept them ourselves, we wouldn’t have the room to rescue all the other cats and kittens in the future. Our own two cats always help us out, but four is a crowd in a small apartment. Not to mention when we had six kittens! See more photos of Zero and Hana here
Brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase.