The odds were against Kramer the kitten from the moment he was brought into the world. His mother had an emergency c-section and gave birth to eight kittens; the mother cat and one of the babies passed away shortly afterward. After the veterinarians examined Kramer, it was determined that he had congenital neurological issues. But despite the obstacles he was facing, little Kramer was determined to survive. All he needed was a best friend to help him find his way in the world.
Kramer and his siblings had been saved by the Valley Cats Cat & Kitten Rescue in Wisconsin, and they were staying with a foster mom who was bottle-feeding them. Another rescue volunteer, McKenzie Springer, stopped by to see how the kittens were doing. She noticed Kramer immediately.
"When I went into the foster room, he stuck out like a sore thumb. He was playing and wrestling with his brothers and sisters, but continuously fell and tumbled around. He lost his balance when he was even just walking," Springer recalled.
Despite his condition, Kramer kept picking himself back up off the floor and continued playing with the other kittens. "He had the most adorable face and he was the sweetest and happiest kitten in the room. He brought me to tears, not because I felt bad for him, but because he showed such an uplifting spirit against such adversity," Springer noted.
From the first time she saw him fall, Springer knew that Kramer was the cat for her. Multiple vet visits helped determine that Kramer's nerves from his mid-back through to the back of his tail were pinched which caused his balance issues. He also had depth perception difficulties although the veterinarians thought this would improve over time. But no one knew for sure how long Kramer would have to live.
Springer brought Kramer, named after the famous Seinfeld character, home to her already pet-populated home. One of her dogs, Winston, bonded right away with Kramer, letting Kramer lean on him for balance. "It's like Winston knew that Kramer didn't have a mom and needed someone to guide him in certain situations. I say Winston became Kramer's 'Mr. Mom'," Springer said.
It's virtually impossible to find one without the other! Winston has taken on a very protective role in caring for Kramer, including running to Kramer's aid at a moment's notice. "Any noise Kramer would make, Winston would run to see what was wrong. Anytime Kramer got out of the litterbox, Winston was there to make sure he was all clean, " said Springer.
Winston loves Kramer and lets Kramer get away with things that other dogs might not tolerate from a cat. Springer explained, "Being a bottle baby, Kramer still tries to nurse on everything, even though he doesn't really know what he's doing. That 'everything' often times includes Winston, and Winston just lets it happen."
Kramer is now getting bigger, and his balance has improved, but that hasn't changed the deep friendship between cat and dog. "Winston still is very protective of Kramer and they are the best of friends. They wrestle and snuggle all of the time," Springer shared.
Kramer has beaten all the odds and continues to do so by growing and thriving every day. That desire to live was in him from the start, said Springer: "He has his sassy moments like any cat, but he is the happiest cat I have ever met. He has faced so much adversity, but he's so happy to just be here and be Kramer. And that's what I love most about him."
A significant source of strength and love along the way has been Winston and the bond between these two best friends. You can follow their adventures on Instagram and Facebook. We wish them many long years of happiness, snuggles, and naps together! Share this sweet story with your family and friends on Facebook.