Kitten comes back from the brink
Nowadays, you’re as likely to catch Johnny wrestling with his feline BFF as you are snuggling up with him. “It’s heavenly,” says his adopter, Micah Durham. “He is so joyful and playful.”
Sometimes, as Micah watches the not-so-tiny-anymore kitten having the time of his life, it’s hard for her to believe he was once so weak that he couldn’t even lift his head. That was back when he first arrived at Best Friends in Salt Lake City, unresponsive and with a body temperature so low it couldn’t be read.
Johnny needed a miracle, or at least help from modern medicine, stat. With time of the essence, the veterinary team placed Johnny in an incubator to warm his body. They also gave him fluids and sugar for energy. After a few minutes, Johnny started to move. Slowly, he began to lift his head, albeit shakily.
Twenty minutes or so later, Johnny was able to stand on his own. Within the next hour, he was meowing as if he was letting everyone know he was alive.
But Johnny wasn’t in the clear yet. Just as soon as he started to recover, he began showing signs of panleukopenia, a potentially life-threatening virus that causes loss of appetite, upset stomach, and a high fever.
Johnny’s body temperature kept dropping below normal, so he remained in the incubator and received fluids — all part of the supportive care that makes it possible for kittens’ immune systems to fight the panleukopenia virus. Finally, he got the all-clear from the veterinary team — this time for good.
The next stop for Johnny was a foster home. There, he grew healthier and stronger, and he played and cuddled to his heart’s content. Adoption day wasn’t that far away.
Healthy, handsome, happy
While Johnny was in his foster home, Micah and her family were thinking it was time to adopt a kitten, especially for their younger cat, who seemed like he could use a feline friend to play with. (Their older cat prefers naps to romps around the house.)
When Micah saw a photo of Johnny as she looked online at adoptable kittens at Best Friends, she was smitten. “There was something about his tiny little body and his eyes that just made me feel like he was meant to be with our family,” she says, noting that her other two cats have long hair and Johnny does, too. She thought he’d fit right in.
Choosing to adopt Johnny happened in a flash, as soon as she held him in her arms for the first time. Now, he’s healthy, handsome, and happy. “If you start petting his head he flops over on the ground for a belly rub,” says Micah.
He’s also fine-tuning his fetching skills. In fact, he’ll play fetch “for as long as it takes for your arm to give out,” says Micah, who has given Johnny a new name: Ghost. “He has brought so much happiness to our family,” she says. “We feel so lucky to have found him.”