Night Nurse Gives Best Medicine to Unexpected Patient

Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite. It was originally published on January 8, 2012. Enjoy!

Written byCarolyn Craig of California

It was close to midnight when my pager sounded, a call from the night caregiver of a senior care facility our hospice serves. As theon-callnight nurse, it was my responsibility to respond toafter-hours emergencies. The thoughtful and able caregiver described breathing problems for one of her charges. Could I come? Of course, I told her, and was quickly on my way. It was a chilly late October nightso I pulled on a warm fleece jacket with deep, zippered pockets before heading out the door.

After attending to my patient and feeling assured thather symptoms wereunder control, I headed back to the nurses’ station. Suddenly, aseries ofloud piercing wails filled the air.Since frightened human beings can makeamazingly shrill sounds, I assumed one of the elderly residents must be having a nightmare.”Is that one of our hospice patients?” I asked.

“No,” the caregiver replied. “It’sa baby kitty. Our administrator found her in the parking lot today. She won’t eat.”

When I looked at her, my heart nearly broke…

My 21-year-old cat Lazarushad died three weeks earlier and I was grieving. Although I had resolved not to get anothercat for at least a year, I found myself asking to see the kitten. What could it hurt just to see her? When Ilooked ather, my heart nearlybroke.Huddled in a corner wasa tiny, dirty, pitiful kitten. Although her eyes were clouded over andshe appeared to be partially blind, she darted away as I approached, shrieking the whole time. The staff had carefully put out food and something for her to drink but she didn’t know how toeat since shewas too young to havebeen weaned from her mother. The administrator had found herhiding in a pile of leavesoutside the facility with just her ears peeking out and had taken her inside for warmth.

As I left, a tiny bundle was nestled inside one of my fleece pockets. That night she got a warm bath to bring up her body temperature and for the next 3 or 4 days I fed her with a dropper since she was too weak to eat. Her tiny tail was broken in 3 places, she weighed only a poundand she had abrasions on her face. She has sincethrived and today that tiny kitten I named Sheila is a beautiful,healthy, intelligentone-year-old. Her sight is completely restored.

Here's what Sheila looks like today.

I’m so grateful to the kind staff at the senior facility for rescuing her and trusting me to take care of her. People tell me she’s a lucky cat to have found me but I disagree. “I’m the lucky one,” I tell them. “She helped my heart to heal. Sheila is a prize.”

Brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase and the Harmony Fund international rescue squads.


Related Stories:

10 Seconds to Save a Cat: Story of Divine Timing

Fields on Fire: Race to Rescue Sugar Cane Kittens

Woman Suffers Head Trauma Rescuing Baby Raccoons, Calls it Her “Lucky Day”


Photo Credit for Kitten: Sergey Berezin |

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Jim Ven
Jim Ven5 months ago

thanks for the article.

Angela K.
Angela K.11 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H.about a year ago

It's good to have a nice story for the end of the day.

Carol S.
Carol Shinkerabout a year ago

Lovely baby. Thank you, new Mom! The ones left to die are the best babies of all. Grateful and finally happy. My two children were found on the mean streets of Oakland - very tiny - and all alone. They will never be alone again!!

Val M.
Val M.about a year ago


John W.
.about a year ago

A lovely story.

Jill Sidley
Jill Sidleyabout a year ago

I trapped a feral kitten who was about 10-12 weeks old. There was no sign of mother or siblings. She was terrified of me so I put her in a large dog cage and kept her under the card table on the enclosed porch to keep her away from my 14 year old cat. When she finally allowed me to touch her and show her she was loved, I was able to get her to the vet to be checked. She was missing a claw and her front foot but other than that, healthy. She is now 10 years old the most loving cat (to me) I've ever owned (she #11). And , suddenly, she is becoming social! She doesn't hide under the bed when friends come over and she goes to them and lets them pet her, then falls asleep on their feet-she has a shoe fetish! Dusky is my true companion in my old age and I love her dearly!

June Lacy
June Lacyabout a year ago


Bonnie Lynn M.
Bonnie Lynn M.about a year ago

Thank you

Angela Roquemore
Angela Roquemoreabout a year ago

Did she ever find out why Sheila's eyes were initially cloudy?