I believe everything happens for a reason and even more so now. We had just moved to a new town and had barely gotten settled in when I had to put down my beloved Manx cat of 16 years, Adida. I was heartbroken, but it was time and I knew she would be waiting for me in heaven.
A few months went by and before we knew it, the Fourth of July was here. We were on our deck celebrating with friends when we saw a lady across the street walk to a row of trees. We thought little of it until she walked away and we began hearing mewing sounds from that area. My friend and I are avid animal lovers, so we ran to see what was going on.
There under the trees was a kitten so small and sickly-looking, it just broke our hearts. He was crying and shaking and sitting next to a bowl of breadcrumbs. Really, breadcrumbs for a kitten barely 6 weeks old with obvious medical problems! I was furious, but the focus for now was this poor little kitten.
Shawna Defies Veterinary Advice to Euthanize
I picked him up and he began purring. His shaking stopped and I cried a little because I believe he knew I needed him as much as he needed me. Right then and there I vowed to give him everything he needed to get through his ordeal.
That morning I took him straight to my vet’s office to get him started on the road to recovery. As the vet began checking him over, he started to look worried. He then asked me if I planned on keeping this kitten, and I said yes. He told me that the kitten had two internal parasites: mange and ring worm, and an ear infection from mites and that it would be better to give him to the Humane Society to have him put down. His chance for survival was less than 50 percent. And if he did survive, he would probably only live for five to six years because of the damage from his parasites.
I began to cry and told the vet that I was willing to do whatever it took to give this little guy the best chance at a good life. He deserved at least that much. The vet agreed to help and we began the six month process of treatments. At that moment, I realized he needed a name and decided to go with a Fourth of July themed name with some spunk. So I began to call him Punky.
Daily Treatments Begin to Show Results
Punky was to be given a bath every day in medicated shampoo and was given three oral medications daily as well as special food. He was to be kept in a quiet room that would be easily cleaned. So every day for the next six months, Punky lived in the basement bathroom with only me as a visitor.
Between the baths, meds, and cuddle time, Punky and I became great friends. Needless to say, he grew to be quite the cat. He is now almost four years old and weighs around 13 pounds. He wants for nothing and knows every day that he is loved. It was rough going for a while, but I would’ve done the same thing again for this little guy. Everything happens for a reason!
Want to See Punky All Grown Up?
The photo of the kitten on this page is a likeness of Punky. His actual kitten photos were sadly lost during a computer hard drive failure. But, the full grown Punky is a beautiful sight. Click here to see what Punky looks like today.
Have You Saved an Animal?
Shawna is a participant in The Great Animal Rescue Chase, a worldwide rescue event with the goal of bringing together one million everyday animal lovers to unleash one of the largest rescue operations of all time. Every week Care2.com features one participant from this event with an amazing story to tell. Next week it could be you. Please share your stories and photos on our website and in the comments below. You never know who you’ll inspire. Thank you!
Laura Simpson is the Founder of The Great Animal Rescue Chase and the Harmony Fund international animal rescue charity.
Photo credit: Shawna Svoboda
By Shawna Svoboda of Nebraska