As Bob and Marian Hull prepared to send their oldest daughter, Bailey, off to college, they knew they would miss her terribly. What they didn’t know was that they were in for a special furry surprise that would help fill that void while Bailey was gone.
The Hulls attended orientation with their daughter at Georgia Tech last August and, as they were departing the campus, out of the blue, a woman appeared before Marian with a frantic look on her face. She was holding a lifeless kitten in her hands and didn’t know what to do with it.
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As the minuscule creature quickly shifted from the stranger’s palm to Marian’s, the Hulls felt immediate grief and pity for the feeble, abandoned kitten. Marian did a flesh test and determined that the kitten was severely dehydrated.
With four dogs and a guinea pig at home (not to mention two growing teenagers) the Hulls weren’t anticipating adding another pet, but that didn’t stop Marian from rummaging through a nearby recycling dumpster where she found a small box that they carried him home in.
The family doubted the kitten would make it home alive and, if he did, he more than likely wouldn’t live much longer. Regardless, they stopped by a pet store on the way and picked up essential supplies. Marian says when she lifted him out of the box “it was like lifting a cotton ball. He weighed nothing.” He wasn’t able to stand on his own to eat, so she put some formula close by his head and he began to eat small amounts.
They named him Neville, after Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series. Tiny Neville slept most of that day. When he would wake crying, the family took turns giving him water or kitten formula. It would be two days before he was able to stand up long enough to eat on his own.
On his first visit to the veterinarian, it was estimated that Neville was approximately 6 weeks old. But, two weeks later, the veterinarian thought Neville was closer to 12 weeks. Still, it was December before he could walk, run and jump like a normal cat. The family had feared he had some sort of nerve damage, but it was only a lack of musculature in his hind legs.
Neville not only survived, but thrived. Today, Neville is busy indulging in his share of mischief in the Hulls’ home. With the four dogs in the house as mentors, there is never a dull moment for Neville. A favorite activity is hiding behind the furniture and scaring the dogs when they walk by. Keyboards are a treasured napping space, and he loves eating right alongside the dogs. If that doesn’t duly impress you, Neville sits on command, as well!
The Hulls have always considered themselves “dog people,” but with the addition of Neville, Marian says, “I can’t believe it took us this long to add a cat to the menagerie. We would feel empty without him.”
FreeKibble.com, a website dedicated to providing nutritious food to shelter animals, will donate 5,000 meals of Halo’s Spot’s Stew to a cat rescue of the Hull family’s choice.