Finnegan the kitten arrived at the Chris Griffey Memorial Feline Foundation (in Arlington, Virginia) at the end of January, in need of critical care.
The kitten came from a different town, Colonial Beach, where he couldn't get the medical attention he needed. He was experiencing neurological issues and had a soft lump on the back of his head near his left ear.
"He was absurdly small for his size for his birth date being January 3rd. He was quite wobbly to the point he could not hold himself up," Ellen Carozza, Licensed Veterinary Technician at NOVA Cat Clinic and co-founder of the Chris Griffey Memorial Feline Foundation, told us.
The little bundle of fur had limited mobility and needed a lot of assistance. Ellen saw the fight in his big doe eyes and heard the feistiness in his voice, and knew they had to give him a fighting chance he so deserved.
The veterinary team carefully tailored a treatment plan for the palm-sized wonder cat, and provided antibiotics, a new nutrition routine, electrolytes and complementary therapies to help get him back in tip-top shape.
After X-rays and sampling the abscess, they were able to officially diagnose the kitten.
"We found out the cause of his abscess, which was a Beta-hemolytic Streptococcus infection, and is usually passed from an infected Queen (mom), and the antibiotics we had him on was appropriate for his treatment course," Ellen shared with us.
Meanwhile, Ellen's resident cat Benedict didn't hesitate to come bestow some tender loving care onto the kitten. He gave Finn a good face wash as if to tell him that he would be alright.
"Benedict, the ultimate cat dad, had to give him his signature 'blessings' when he met Finn. Having older cats in the house that enjoy kittens, really helps the kitten learn how to be a cat," Ellen added.
Benedict's protege, Loki the gray tabby, also joined the support squad to cheer the kitten on.
With round-the-clock, painstaking care from Ellen and lots of support from the cats, Finn began to show incredible progress within a short period of time.
"After a week, he finally started feeling better enough to use a bottle slowly, and now he eats with gusto. He is also putting on weight, and learning to finally walk and hold himself up as a normal kitten," Ellen shared with us.
Ellen no longer needs to prop him up during feedings as he is strong enough to sit up on his own. With his new-found strength, Finn is eating like a champ.
Finn is gaining muscles in his legs and trying to figure out how to put them to good use. His personality is emerging and he is getting more curious and playful each day. The little guy is surrounded by his feline friends who keep him company and shower him with love and licks.
"He gets the kitten crazies. He also likes to hold your face and give kisses."
Whenever Finn is doted on by the resident cats, he soaks up the love in bliss. They encourage him to try new things and show him how to be a proper cat.
Loki is never far from the kitten, so he can come running whenever Finn needs attention.
"You don't need a mom cat all the time to help raise them, you just need a cat with an amazing personality and the patience that enjoys the presence of kittens," Ellen told us.
"He has made incredible achievements already and we are confident he will be walking and playing in no time like any healthy kitten should. This is another case of getting out of your comfort zone and treating these patients outside the box regardless of size and age."
Finn loves to watch the world go by from the comfort of his basket. He is working on perfecting his sitting and standing skills and getting steadier every day.
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