A woman noticed a little, squeaky noise emanating from some shrubs in her backyard late one day. She searched about in the bushes for a while, then out came the smallest kitten ever, unwell and in need of assistance.
Knowing she wouldn’t be able to assist the ailing kitten on her own, the woman reached out to Sandra Lee, a well-known Los Angeles cat fosterer. Even though Lee had recently taken in another special care cat, she knew she couldn’t say no when she saw the small kitten’s image.
“She was found when she was approximately 6 to 8 weeks old, but it was a little difficult to accurately age her because she was so dehydrated and malnourished for her age,” Lee told The Dodo. “She had the characteristics of a 6- to the 8-week kitten, yet weighed barely a pound, which is about the average weight for a 4-week-old kitten. Upon first sight, she was so dehydrated, that every backbone in her spine was visible. She was covered in fleas, and we would shortly discover she was suffering from medical ailments.”
It was evident as soon as Lee brought the kitten, later named Livvie, home with her that her road to recovery would not be simple. The poor animal could hardly move and appeared to be suffering from some sort of neurological condition. She was also unable to defecate on her own, despite attempting hundreds of times every day.
“To be honest, I wasn’t sure she’d make it the first two nights,” Lee said. “All I wanted to do was provide her a warm home and a secure area.” “I honestly would be frightened to check on her for the first week since she was so unwell.”
Lee took Livvie to the vet as soon as she could, but everyone there was baffled by Livvie’s condition too. Her inability to go to the bathroom was causing the worst backup they had ever seen, and was likely caused by her life on the streets and not having access to proper food or water.
They determined that her neurological symptoms were probably caused by the toxins from all the waste backup, but couldn’t be sure what kind of lasting effects there would be once she recovered.
Livvie spent most of her time in her foster home’s first four weeks at the veterinarian. No one knew if she’d ever be able to recuperate because her problems were so serious. Her foster mother had to keep a close eye on her meds as well as her food and drink consumption. Her small meow sounded more like a goat than a cat since she was so thirsty. Livvie’s path to recovery appeared to have no end in sight, yet after four months, she was entirely recovered.
Once she was feeling better, Livvie’s personality began to shine through, and she transformed into the goofiest, sweetest cat. Her foster mom began the search to find her a forever home and quickly found the perfect woman to adopt her. She sent her off to her new home, hoping for the best — but she soon realized that Livvie had her own idea about where she forever home was supposed to be.
Livvie struggled to acclimate to her new surroundings and spent most of her time hiding, only emerging to feed or play when she was fully alone. Livvie’s new mother tried everything she could think of to encourage her to warm up, including lying on the floor for hours on end and chatting calmly to her, but nothing worked. Lee eventually decided to go over there one day to see if she could help, and as soon as Livvie saw her, she was back to her old self, meowing like crazy and ecstatic to see her.
“I just laid down on the floor and started talking to her,” Lee explained. “Livvie let out a little meow and began squirming her way out from behind her hiding place towards me. ‘I suppose she wants to go home,’ the sweet lady remarked. With over 60 fosters coming in and out, I realized we’d had our first legitimate ‘foster fail.’”
As nice as Livvie’s new mom was, as it turns out, all the kitten really wanted was to spend her days with the woman who saved her life.
Now, Livvie is back with her original family, and couldn’t be any happier about it. She fits right in, and is enjoying every moment of the second chance she’s been given.
“I believe we recognized Livvie was unique,” Lee recalled, “even though we had particular ties with all of our fosters.” “We were usually against foster failures since we were already overburdened with our own resident animals, but Livvie had other ideas.” She was fully normal as soon as we came home and I took her out of her carrier. She was aware that she had arrived at her destination.”
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