A kitten who was found in a backyard, grew unique markings on his coat. He was so tiny but determined to thrive.
Four newborn kittens were found in a resident’s backyard without a mother in sight. They were extremely tiny, and their mom never came back for them.
The resident reached out to Orphan Kitten Club, a kitten rescue based in San Diego County, California. “When I heard the kittens were just hours old and had been without a mom, I headed there straight away to pick them up,” Yige, Satellite Nursery Coordinator of Orphan Kitten Club, told Love Meow. “They were found outside as preemies and their mom took off as soon as she gave birth.”
One of the kittens was exceptionally small compared to the rest of the litter. He was so thin, frail and cold to the touch. Yige immediately placed him on a heating disk and put her hands over his body to warm him up.
“I spent about 20 minutes in my car warming him up before I felt safe enough to make the drive home. Warmth is the most important thing to a newborn kitten.”
The pint-sized feline baby, Denim, was a warrior from the start. After wiping all the gunk off his body and slowly getting some food into that tiny belly, Denim began to perk up, but things were still touch and go. Yige continued to provide supportive care around the clock, doing everywhere in her power to save him.
“He was the toughest little fighter. During that first week, I stayed up with him every night because I was afraid that I would lose him if I went to sleep,” Yige shared with Love Meow.
“There were so many times where I thought he wasn’t going to make it but his body kept going miraculously.”
After a few days of tube-feeding and painstaking care, Denim started to put on weight and even discovered his new-found energy. Six days into foster care, the little miracle kitty surpassed the 100-gram mark and was officially off life support.
As the kitten grew bigger, they noticed that parts of his coat started to change color which resembled that of a fever coat.
“He was not born with a fever coat. He actually developed it due to being extremely sick his first week of life,” Yige told Love Meow.
“Our vet suspects that he suffered sepsis, and he was tube-fed every 1-2 hours for the first week and on multiple meds and supportive care.”
Throughout his recovery, Denim was inseparable with one of his littermates who was his biggest cheerleader.
Whenever he needed a cuddle or support, his brother Corduroy turned up next to him as if to cheer him on and try to comfort him.
“Corduroy has been Denny’s unwavering protector since day one.”
Watch Denim and his journey in this video:
Denim the kitten
Whenever Denim was not feeling well or took a turn for the worse, Corduroy would come to his rescue.
“I braced myself for the worst every time Denim’s heart rate slowed down. I noticed that almost every time this happened, Corduroy would come over and nudge Denny’s limp little body and his heart rate would go back up right away.”
With the help of his foster family and unconditional love from his brother, Denim finally doubled his weight. He was still the smallest in the clowder but what he lacked in size, he made up for in personality.
Denim blossomed into a playful, rambunctious little mischief-maker.
He would initiate a good wrestle every chance he got and had garnered quite the cattitude. When he turned nine weeks old, the little miracle kitty was finally big enough for his next chapter in life — his forever home.
“He found a lot of comfort from his brother Corduroy, and they ended up getting adopted together,” Yige told Love Meow.
“I’m so proud of how far they’ve come since the day I picked them up as sick little preemies,” Yige said.
“Their journey has not been an easy one but it has taught me some very important lessons: sometimes we have to slow down and take things one day, one hour or one step at a time. We need to celebrate the small wins, and we must always have hope.”
The two kittens (renamed Lestat and Laszlo) are living the best life with their wonderful forever family that loves them to bits.
They have grown so much over the last three months, and Lestat’s dark fur has come in, in its full glory.
Share this story with your friends. Follow Yige’s foster kitties on Instagram. Follow Lestat and Laszlo and their adventures on Instagram.