At a little over 5 weeks old, sick, hungry and frail, Braille the kitten’s life outlook was bleak. But thanks to a kind soul who brought her to the right place, all that was about to change.
Braille was taken to the Animal Care and Control Team Philadelphia in late June with a severe upper respiratory infection and was nearly euthanized until one worker there prevented it. Sara Konnecke provided customer support at ACCT and was one of the first people to see the sick gray kitten with the bulging eyes. She and Erin Signor fostered the small cat and stuck with her through a lifesaving surgery a short time later.
“When Braille was admitted to the shelter, a foster parent was necessary because of her age and critical condition, otherwise she would have been euthanized,” Signor told Petcha.com. She and Konnecke are fostering her until she’s ready for adoption, when they’ll complete the process to keep her.
Part of getting ready is fully healing from bilateral enucleation surgery — an eye-removal operation. Removing both eyes was necessary because they were inflamed to a point of bursting.
“The eyes were most likely still in their developing phase when illness started to take over them and eventually destroyed the tissue and nerves in the eyes,” Signor said. “A nasty URI combined with being on the street on her own at such a young age resulted in her condition.”
Before the surgery, Braille required around-the-clock care. In addition to the constant feeding tiny kittens need, Braille had to have help with her bulging eyes.
“We performed hot compresses, a saline solution rinse, and placed tobramycin drops (tobra only in the eye not in proptosis) in the eyes every four hours,” Signor said. “Since she was reluctant to eat very much and was very ‘nibbly,’ we would syringe/tube feed her a wet-food slurry mixture, goat’s milk and water three times a day. Amoxicillin orally twice a day as well. This was all in addition to giving her Dawn [dish soap] baths every other day to make sure all of her fleas were gone, and lots of TLC.”
Despite the care, Braille was in a great deal of discomfort for much of the time, until the surgery relieved the pressure from her prolapsed eyes. With that lifesaving procedure, however, her entire outlook — so to speak — has changed.
“She’s full of life!” Signor said of Braille post-procedure. “She loves to climb and play with toys that make noise. Exploring is her favorite thing right now; we know she’s trying to map out the house by herself and doesn’t appreciate our help in that aspect!”
“Once play time is over, however, she is always excited for some cuddles, a nice little perch on our shoulders, or a little gentle playtime one-on-one,” Signor continued. “She’s always trying to one up the other foster kittens, too!”
Care is still needed and you can help provide it. Visit Braille’s donation page here.
Signor has the best response: “We don’t let that bother us, because when we see her play… we know she is FULL of life, and doesn’t even know she’s at a slight disadvantage!”