Kitty born with cleft lip left abandoned and needing round the clock care captured the heart of one vet student

2017 is nearly gone, and it has been a game changer of a year for many. No one has more right to say that then a tiny, ginger kitten named Smush. Back last summer, when Florida was sweltering under a hot, tropical sun, a motherless kitten with a cleft palate, an upper respiratory infection, some congenital problems and a bad case of ringworms was found abandoned in a yard. And to top it all off, she couldn't even eat on her own. How's that for a way to start your life?
Fortunately, the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine had a young student named Lindsey Hidenrite who took one look at the infant feline and volunteered to foster her until she could get a good start in life. So that's what happened.
Of course, a vet student's life is a hard one, often turning into a study-fest late into the night. Still, Lindsey wanted to see Smush make it. The University was so accommodating and kind—they allowed Lindsay to take Smush everywhere she went on the campus.
Lindsay syringe fed the little kitten every four hours for a whole month. Finally, she was able to eat on her own. But the ringworm took even longer to take care of and required a whole lot of baths. Smush never seemed to mind.
Smush was getting used to people on campus, but she still needed a lot of socialization. It was time for a new foster home.
That's when another kind person named Laura took it upon her shoulders to continue Smush's entry into the world of humans. She helped make Smush a gentle, playful, loving young cat that was ready to take on the world. Then, just about Thanksgiving, something wonderful happened.
Shannon Jackson, a photographer who does pet photography and volunteers her services to multiple rescue organizations and shelters, saw the ginger kitten. She already knew about Smush, and when they finally met, it was love at first sight. Shannon took her home to live with her and Sarah and some new brothers and sisters, too.
Smush's family now consists of two humans, three dogs, three other cats, and a hedgehog. She's a very happy young cat who loves to snuggle with her fur buddies and play with anyone who'll give in to her adorable little face.
Smush thinks this year has been a stellar one, and for her and her new family, it really has. Christmas is well on its way now, and who knows? Maybe Santa will bring her something special. But even if he doesn't, she has all any cat could ever want—all the love she can hold.
Watch the video below to see how little Smush went from nearly a goner to the lovely cat she is today. Share it with your friends, and when you're making out your Christmas list this year, don't forget your local animal shelter!
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