As the director of Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue, Rachel Lienemann recently received a phone call regarding a special needs kitten who had been born to a stray cat at a local animal shelter. Unfortunately, his little brother did not survive, but he was holding on and battling for his life.
«We accept animals with unique needs from all throughout Texas. We put a lot of emphasis on the underdog,» Rachel told Love Meow. At addition to having a cleft in the front of his hard palate, a unilateral cleft lip, and being born without a functioning nose, he was also born with a missing right eye.
Rachel realized she needed to move soon, so she began tube-feeding him every hour of the day, every day of the week. They chose to call him Voldemort or Voldy, and he was determined to survive, putting on 0.7 ounces of weight overnight with the assistance of Rachel.
«I told myself, ‘if he survives through the first 24 hours, I will be more optimistic,’ and then it turned into, ‘if he lives to be a week old, I am certain he will make it,'» Rachel said.
In addition to displaying all the characteristics of an energetic baby, Voldy walked about his blanket and meowed whenever he desired food.
«He has a sassy personality. It does not take him long to let me know if I am even a couple of minutes late to feed him in the evening. In addition to the fact that he enjoys belly massages, the fact that he is gaining weight and being active demonstrates that he is a fighter. He, too, wants to live his life.»
«Every day has been a major milestone,» she said. «He wants the world to know that he wants to stay.»
«Cleft palate newborns should never be breastfed or bottle fed since they will aspirate and die rapidly. The only way to rescue them is to feed them via a tube. One of the reasons we began receiving these cleft palate infants is because not many people know how comfortable tube feeding is,» Rachel told Love Meow.
«There is a significant lack of knowledge but they may flourish with the proper care of a skilled rescuer.»
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