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Martha's Kittens - A Miracle You Can Help Happen

Posted by Harry Shubin on

A Miracle… that you can help happen!

You probably recognize that photo of our foster Martha, as her happy, playful kittens climb all over her, from a few past newsletters (a better photo to promote the joys of fostering, we just can’t imagine).  But  what you don’t know – yet – is that those kittens are waiting for a miracle.  You see, those kittens, BIJA & HER BROTHERS, SERB, VLAD & THOM came to us as newborn babies along with their momma Dallas from an Momma had a nasty upper respiratory infection (URI). As often happens, the URI quickly spread to the kittens, and the little family was very sick indeed. We lost the tiniest kitten, but the other four were fighters and seemed to recover well, with the exception of eye infections that just didn’t seem to get better. Our vet was very concerned, and recommended a consultation with a veterinary ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist told us that the kittens were all born with a rare congenital defect called agenesis. This means they were born without eyelids! They cannot blink and their eyes are vulnerable to injury and irritation—one of Thom’s eyes had already ruptured and had to be removed, and sweet Serb was blind in both eyes. Thankfully, the babies are now on a regimen of antibiotic, antiviral and lubricating eye drops every day to protect their eyes from further damage. But when they are bigger, Bija, Thom and Vlad will need a procedure to freeze the hair follicles around their eyes so that the hair doesn’t continue to damage their uncovered corneas. Some of them may even extensive reconstructive surgery to create an eyelid to protect their eyes. If all goes well, they will no longer need eye drops at all! (Because he is already blind, Serb will have a simpler surgery.) While this all sounds overwhelming, we have to tell you that these babies have not missed a beat. They are among the sweetest and best socialized kittens we have known and have absolutely NO idea that anything is wrong. They are cheerful, curious and affectionate to a fault! They are everything kittens should be and make it impossible to be worried about their adoptability. Thus, while the babies’ surgery has to wait until they are bigger and can handle a lengthy period of time under anesthesia, they are so loving, well socialized and unfazed by their condition that we couldn’t bear to keep them all to ourselves. So we are introducing them to prospective adopters who might be willing to commit to them now and wait for them to be able to go home. The first part of the these kittens’ miracle happened when they were rescued, and we hope you’ll help with the miraculous rest.  Even if you aren’t in a position to make a commitment to adopt, we would be exceedingly grateful for contributions toward the cost of their surgery, which will be in the thousands of dollars for each kitten.  A blind kitten?  If you’ve ever read Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat, then you know what an incredibly normal life a blind cat can lead. 


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