Cheezel came into care at two weeks old with her mum Marmalade. Cheezel was the smallest of a litter of four tiny ginger kittens, three girls and one chubby boy!
At three weeks of age, the BFFR team started to notice that Cheezel was developing more slowly than her siblings, and she seemed to be in a lot of pain and discomfort and developed swelling and lameness in her back end. It was obvious that she needed help.
Cheezel’s early weeks were marked by vet visits multiple times a week, as she was so tiny it was impossible for the vets to run any tests to determine a diagnosis. All we could do was try to gather a history to help the vets get a picture of what was going on. The BFFR team were in regular contact with the wonderful vets at Lynbrook Vet Clinic to monitor Cheezel’s comfort levels. Poor Cheezel would become constipated which caused her extreme pain and even with medications to help keep her comfortable and the assistance from her carer to toilet her, Cheezel still required multiple enemas to stabilise her discomfort. We were told by one Emergency vet that we should euthanise her as she would never have a quality of life.
Cheezel was small and uncoordinated, and she couldn’t eat on her own. She had been through so much in her little life, but she was also feisty, determined, full of life and love to give. Kat saw a future for Cheezel free from pain and was willing to fight to keep her alive and get her healthy. Cheezel was affectionate, curious and had so much determination despite the pain she was experiencing.
An appointment was made at Peninsula Vet Emergency & Referral Hospital so that we could see both an internal medicine specialist and specialist surgeon. The staff were so lovely and absolutely adored Cheezel and couldn’t wait to help her! Now that we had a detailed history of Cheezel they were able to diagnosis her with Atresia ant-type 1, a birth defect where her lower digestive tract wasn’t formed correctly. She would continue to be unable to poo on her own. We were relieved that Cheezel’s birth defect could be corrected but it would require this tiny 600g kitten to undergo at least one and likely multiple invasive procedures to give her a chance to live a healthy and pain free life. The surgeons would need to insert and then very delicately dilate a balloon to help correct her poorly formed gastrointestinal tract. In the case of a complication such as the balloon bursting, Cheezel would require emergency surgery. These procedures were risky, and they were also expensive.
The Beary Fuzzy family came together and with the help of our phenomenal online community we were able to raise the money for Cheezel’s first procedure within a few days. Special thanks to our wonderful friends @lunaandpeppa who were instrumental in raising the money needed to save Cheezel’s life. Without this procedure Cheezel would not have had quality of life and she would have most like not survived past four weeks of age on the streets.
At six weeks of age, Cheezel’s big day quickly arrived, she got lots and lots of cuddles and kisses from our Director, Kat and was dropped off to undergo her corrective procedure. After an anxious wait, we were told her procedure went well without any complications. Cheezel was able to come back to the BFFR HQ where she slowly began to improve. She began to eat on her own, and importantly, to be able to toilet a little on her own but although she had improved she still wasn’t able to toilet properly on her own- even with the help of twice daily stool softeners.
At her two week review the surgeon informed us that the first procedure was a success. Cheezel wouldn’t need to undergo another procedure and her condition could be managed with daily medication moving forward. A new medication was added to Cheezel’s daily routine which helped to improve the mobility of her colon, which has been successful in helping Cheezel to finally toilet on her own and remain healthy and happy.
@lunaandpeppa’s family were kind enough to foster Cheezel and her siblings and now, at six months old, Cheezel is an active cat living a happy and healthy life. Her foster family fell so in love with her that they decided to make her a part of their family forever. No longer a tiny baby, she has grown to be as big as her siblings. She has a huge personality and a big appetite and has made up for lost time by becoming a foodie. Cheezel’s favourite foods are cooked green beans, pumpkin and broccoli. She loves to snuggle with her humans and can purr the house down. Her new siblings, Luna and Peppa, are playmates and friends as well as family.
@Lunaandpeppa “Cheezel is loved beyond measure. She will be cherished and taken care of for the rest of her life”.