When 6-week-old Moo was captured as part of PDX Cat Trapper’s trap, neuter, release (TNR) program for feral cats, he was in rough shape. He was only about the size of a three-week-old kitten and wasn’t able to eat. The trapper brought him to veterinarian Jessica Thompson for care.
Seeing his condition, Thompson decided to keep Moo as an in-home foster until he recovered, despite the fact that she was already very busy with a baby on the way, 22 foster cats, seven pets of her own, and her veterinary business (read more about her story and work here).
“He just looked like he was going to die, and of course, I said, ‘Okay, he’s staying with me,’ Thompson recalls. “I had all of my supplies in the house, so I started him on an IV at home, started him on some fluids, and was trying to do some care at home and just monitoring him.”
But in the early hours of the next morning, Moo’s blood sugar dropped and he started to crash, and Thompson decided to call an emergency vet clinic for higher-level care. However, the vet there, knowing how these types of cases often turn out and knowing that foster care programs usually don’t have a lot of money to spend on very sick animals, simply recommended euthanasia.
“I understand where he’s coming from, because he has experience seeing them not do well and then seeing them cost a lot of money,” says Thompson. “But you’re also having someone say, ‘I’m willing to spend the money to save their life. So can we try?’ And so ultimately, he gave me some good advice on dosing and things like that to get him on the right fluids and support overnight.”
Miraculously, Moo survived the night. The next day, a friend helped Thompson find an ER that would be more willing to work with Moo. They were able to get him eating again and wean him off of fluids. They dewormed him and gave him amoxicillin to help with diarrhea and infection before sending him back home with Thompson.
With the help of support and sponsorship from organizations like Foster Kitten Love and Northwest Animal Companions (NWAC), Thompson worked to get Moo healthy. But the tiny kitten continued to struggle, going downhill again every time he was taken off amoxicillin. But eventually she was able to successfully wean him from the medication, and now he is a beautiful, playful 14-week-old boy, although he’s still behind on his growth. He just hit two pounds, when he should weigh about three or four pounds, but he’s otherwise very healthy and happy.
“Since day one, he’s just been all about people and wanting love and attention,” says Thompson. “And like I keep saying, insta-purr, you pick him up and he’s just purring, and he’s very playful. He climbs up the scratching post, climbs up my legs, cuddles with his siblings.”
Thompson also brought in Moo’s sister, Milk, so he would have a friend during his recovery, and later, another younger kitten named Cow from the same colony joined them. Cow had a nasty eye infection that took three weeks to get under control, but she’s also been thriving recently in the company of her new little friends.
“It’s just amazing when you don’t give up on them. Like how you can just watch them thrive and, with proper medical care, you can really help them improve and get through it,” says Thompson.
Thompson admits she’s going to have a hard time giving up Moo, Milk, and Cow when the time comes, but she knows that they’ll have great lives with their new families, and then she’ll be able to take on more kitties in need. “Once you find the perfect place for him, then then it just warms your heart,” she says.
However, Moo’s story will always have its own place in her memory: “It was a special one. It’s this story of not giving up on this tiny little nugget that was just in the palm of my hands trying to die,” she says. “And now he’s this monster that climbs all over me and climbs on my legs and purrs all the time.”
We’re so happy that this vet and foster mom made the choice not to give up on Moo and that he’s healthy and thriving now. Best of luck in finding your forever home, Moo! We know you’ll have a great life!Whizzco