Swift action saves young kitten’s life

Jean Paul the cream tabby kitten
Life is grand today for Jean Paul, a ginger kitten who came to Best Friends in need of a miracle.
By Best Friends staff

Time was not on Jean Paul’s side when he arrived at Best Friends in Salt Lake City, cold and unresponsive. But there was good reason to be hopeful. An entire team of people were on his side, ready to do everything they could to make sure the kitten got the care he needed to survive.

The Best Friends veterinary team acted fast to save Jean Paul’s life. First, they placed him in an incubator to get his body temperature higher. They also gave him fluids and medication, via a catheter, to help stabilize him.

[Kitten comes back from the brink]

For Best Friends, it’s not only about a single cat like Jean Paul. Best Friends’ goal is for all shelters to reach no-kill, and that means working together with rescue groups and other animal welfare organizations to save pets who need extra care or time.

It was an around-the-clock effort, with someone from the veterinary staff always keeping a close eye on Jean Paul for a couple of days. Little by little, as soon as he started receiving medical care, he made progress.

When Best Friends veterinarian Dr. Megan McCarthy held him during a checkup after his first night in the incubator, he wiggled a bit, which she took as a good sign. She could also finally see his beautiful blue eyes. That gave her hope, too.

Healthy, strong, and beautiful

72 hours: That’s about how long it took for Jean Paul to go from a kitten fighting for his life to a kitten full of energy, ready to take on the world.

Out of the incubator and eating on his own, Jean Paul went to stay in a foster home with his sibling, where he continued to grow.

He spent the next couple of weeks playing with his sibling, and they often looked like two little balls of orange tumbleweed rolling down the hallway. When they were finished with a wrestling session (or a few) they’d curl up and sleep together. Sometimes, they’d clean each other, too.

[Tiny kitten overcomes a big problem]

Soon, it was time for Jean Paul to return to the Best Friends Lifesaving Center to be neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped. When he arrived, the team could not believe he was the same kitten whose life once hung in the balance. He looked healthy, strong, and beautiful.

Today, Jean Paul has been adopted and is having the time of his life in his new home. He even has a canine sibling whom he’s apt to cuddle up next to on the couch. It’s a life the team at Best Friends always knew was possible for Jean Paul, with 24/7 veterinary care and, of course, hope.

Our goal at Best Friends is to support all animal shelters in the U.S. in reaching no-kill by 2025. No-kill means saving every dog and cat in a shelter who can be saved, accounting for community safety and good quality of life for pets. Shelter staff can’t do it alone. Saving animals in shelters is everyone’s responsibility, and it takes support and participation from the community. No-kill is possible when we work together thoughtfully, honestly, and collaboratively.

Cream tabby kitten lying on his side
Photo by Molly Wald

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