6 inspiring stories for National Kitten Day

Tabby and white kitten, Carp, lying on a yellow chair
This year we’re celebrating National Kitten Day with these stories of snuggly little survivors.
By Sarah Thornton

Kittens are wonderful. It’s hard not to fawn over the fluffy little felines. With their bright eyes, tiny tails and powerful purrs, they’re practically made of sunbeams and happiness, and it’s impossible to resist those tiny little meows. It’s no wonder, then, that they have their own holiday. Sunday, July 10 is National Kitten Day and we are ready to celebrate.

This year, we want to share with you some tales of tiny tenacity. With the help of their human friends and family, these kittens overcame their challenges and went straight to shenanigans. If you’re looking for a story to inspire and bring a smile to your face, look no further.

Blind kitten with the heart of a lion

When it comes to exploration and playtime, there isn’t much that can stop a kitten. Not even blindness can slow them down. Just ask Leon, the fluffy orange fellow from Los Angeles. When he arrived at Best Friends, a veterinary examination revealed that his eyes were permanently damaged, likely due to an untreated upper respiratory infection. And they hurt. So, the decision was made to have both of them removed.

Free from ouchy eyes, Leon recovered smoothly and was soon doing zany zoomies all around his foster home — subject to the occasional stall-out when he found himself “stranded” on a raised surface. But his foster person and his fellow foster kitten, Poppy Seed, were always there to guide him to safety.

Then, he and his best kitten friend were adopted together.

Read Leon’s full story here

Tiny goddess with ‘kittentude’ comes back from the brink

Persephone may be tiny, but she is mighty. The little kitten was found with her siblings in a window well, and while the rest of the litter was healthy and strong, Persephone was struggling. When she arrived at Best Friends, she was underweight, dehydrated, hypothermic and in need of immediate veterinary care. But even in an incubator and hooked up to an IV as big as her entire leg, all she wanted to do was break out and get to the fun kitten activities she was missing.

Once she was released from the clinic and after another week battling giardia with the help of her foster person, Persephone finally started gaining weight in leaps and bounds. She was soon hitting her kitten milestones and making up for every second of lost playtime with her foster family’s dogs and cat.

Now she has a family all her own with plenty of playmates to pick from.

Read Persephone’s full story here

Life on three limbs can’t slow down this kitten

Norbert was missing part of one of his back legs when he arrived at Best Friends, but he certainly didn’t seem to notice. He let himself be held still just long enough for his leg to get cleaned up and for veterinarians to get some antibiotics in him. Then he was off like a rocket.

The black-and-white kitten’s gymnastic prowess had him leaping and tumbling right into his foster family’s hearts. By the time Norbert was big enough to be neutered and have an amputation surgery, it was already a done deal: His foster home became his official home, as well as his personal gymnasium.

Read Norbert’s full story here

Ailing kitten gets needed help and a kitten friend, too

We can all relate to being sick, stuffed up and having no interest in food, but for a young kitten who should be constantly gaining weight, that can be dangerous. Alucard was struggling with a nasty upper respiratory infection when he came to Best Friends. He couldn’t breathe through his nose and had no appetite. He also had diarrhea, and soon he was suffering from hypothermia.

He needed to be syringe-fed five to six times a day, put in a medicated nebulizer four times a day and given subcutaneous fluids twice a day — all while being kept as clean and warm as possible. His foster person fought alongside the tiny cotton ball of a kitten, doing everything she could to get him back on his paws. Finally, after a month of intensive care full of ups and downs, Alucard turned a corner and went into full-time kitten mode.

It didn’t take long after that for Alucard to snag himself a family.

Read Alucard’s full story here

Fast action saves two kittens on the brink

Tansy and Sage arrived at the Sanctuary just after hours when most of the staff had already headed home. But supervisor Brittany Nataro had stayed behind to welcome the new arrivals, and when she looked into their carrier, she found two very sick kittens. It turned out they had the feline panleukopenia virus, which is often fatal and has no real treatment. Intense supportive care is required to keep kittens strong enough to fight through as the virus runs its course. So that’s exactly what happened.

From the moment they arrived, the tiny twosome received round-the-clock care and, slowly but surely, they started gaining weight and energy. Soon, there was no “mountain” they couldn’t climb — even if it meant scaling someone’s leg to get there. Luckily, none of their caregivers minded becoming human ladders for the kittens, as long as they were healthy and happy.

Read Tansy and Sage’s full story here

Critically injured kitten gets help when she needs it most

When veterinary technician Faleshia Pyles saw a small black-and-white kitten get hit by a car, she immediately rushed to help. She carefully loaded the kitten into her car and called every nearby veterinary clinic until she found one that could help. Athena (as Faleshia would come to call her tiny new charge) was dazed and her front leg was limp. But after being examined by a vet and spending the night safe in Faleshia’s home, Athena started to perk up.

With only 30 minutes of physical therapy, Athena was able to pick herself up and move to the litterbox on her own. And from there she only got stronger. After arriving at Best Friends, a second foster family took over and quickly got attached to the affectionate little feline. By the time Athena had her amputation surgery, there was no question about it: She was already home.

Read Athena’s full story here

Play with kittens every day

By fostering kittens, you are saving lives and having fun. It’s win-win, really.

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