How one kitten earned her lion costume

Kitten attacked by another animal comes to Best Friends for care and treatment for bite wounds on her neck.
By Christelle L. Del Prete

Gingersnap’s spirit is far bigger and brighter than her tiny buff-colored body. Maybe that’s how she miraculously survived an attack that could easily have ended her life before it really even began.

Gingersnap was only about five weeks old when it happened. Though it was likely another animal, no one knows for sure what grabbed her. Looking at Gingersnap, it’s pretty hard to imagine how she managed to get away. Somehow, the tiny little ball of fuzz did exactly that. But it would take a good Samaritan to help get her to Best Friends where her healing could begin.

Katie holding Gingersnap the kitten in front of her other cats

Local teenager rescues kitten

As incredible as Gingersnap’s escape was, she wasn’t out of the woods once she was free. The result of the attack (bite wounds on her neck) left her in pain and incredibly vulnerable. After all, baby kittens running around outside aren’t really good at avoiding infection. As deep as her wounds were, an infection could easily have turned deadly.

Luckily, a concerned teenager recognized that the little kitten was in distress and that she needed medical attention right away, so she got her to the nearby Best Friends Animal Clinic.

Treating an injured kitten

When the injured kitten arrived at Cat World, the veterinary team cleaned her wounds and gave her some medication to ease the pain.

Gingersnap wasn’t in Cat World’s medical area for long, but while she was there, the veterinary team fell in love with her. “This kitten stole my heart,” says vet tech Cindy Froh. “After doing all the cleaning and stuff to her, she put her front paws on my chest and looked up at me to be picked up! When I picked her up, she snuggled her head under my chin. She is so sweet.”

Katie snuggling with Gingersnap the kitten she's fostering

A loving foster home

After getting patched up, Gingersnap needed a quiet place to rest and recover, as well as someone who could watch her closely for any signs of infection. That’s why the injured kitten hit the road again — this time on her way home with Cat World team lead Katie Kyzivat. Gingersnap will live with Katie until she is big and strong enough to be spayed and vaccinated, at which point she’ll move into Cat World, and eventually into a home of her own. In the meantime she’s not only getting better each day, but she’s also coming into her own and letting her bold personality show. For such a tiny little kitten, she’s incredibly curious and brave, even fearless. “Nothing fazes her,” Katie says.

Learn more about pet fostering

These days, Gingersnap is running around in a fuzzy orange sweater that Katie calls her Lion King costume. It prevents her from being able to reach up with a back leg to scratch the tender skin on her neck and risk reopening the wound. The sweater makes her look like a tiny Muppet, but that just makes her even more endearing as she scampers around Katie’s house, exploring or chasing after a green jingly ball.

Gingersnap the kitten wearing her fuzzy orange sweater, her Lion King costume

A brave explorer

She’s a brave explorer who leaps up a set of tall, steep stairs without help, using her tiny claws to pull herself up the carpeted risers into unknown territory. For what she lacks in size, she makes up for it tenfold in confidence and independence.

No one will ever know if surviving her traumatic experience is what gave Gingersnap her bold streak of confidence, or if she was born with it and that was what helped her survive. But this tiny survivor has left hardship in the past and is now safe, loved and ready to begin the rest of her life.

Help bring hope and healing to more animals like Gingersnap

Katie playing with Gingersnap the kitten

Photos by Molly Wald

Cat Caring for Pets