Tiny but mighty: a kitten’s journey

Smooches the kitten on a fuzzy blanket
Born with three legs, Smooches came to Best Friends for special care when she was just days old.
By Nicole Hamilton Photos by JaNae Goodrich

Smooches was only a few days old when she and her tiny siblings were found alone without a mama cat around and brought to a shelter near Salt Lake City. From there, they went to Best Friends in Salt Lake City, where Dr. Megan McCarthy, Best Friends veterinarian, examined Smooches and determined that her umbilical cord had been wrapped around her leg. Without circulation, it hadn’t grown completely.

Smooches would eventually need surgery in order to thrive and live life a full kitten life. But there was one big problem: Because she was tiny and underweight even by newborn kitten standards, surgery was just too risky.

To get her healthy and ready for the operation, she was transferred to a foster home, where her foster family, which included one very helpful dog, diligently fed and weighed her until she tipped the scales at a whopping 3.45 pounds.

Finally, she was ready for the big day. “We went ahead and amputated the leg just so it wouldn’t give her any problems in the future,” says Dr. Megan. “And she’s done amazing.”

Once Smooches healed from surgery, it didn’t take her long to get adopted. Today, she’s zipping around her new home — running, jumping and breaking every now and then for some, well, smooches from her new family.

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