Two severely ill kittens only 24 hours old were released from Operation Hood, a local rescue group in Virginia and transferred to NOVA Cat Clinic. Ellen Carozza, the Feline Licensed Veterinary Technician recognized the urgency of the need for intensive care.
"They knew these two babies needed more intensive care than what they could provide and drove from Spotsylvania, VA to Northern VA to drop the babies off," Ellen remarked. The drive took over two hours before the kittens would arrive in Ellen's hands.
Benny, the resident cat, immediately began to nurture them, like he has every kitten that has come into the clinic.
Even before they arrived, Benny knew something was up. He was especially attentive to a photo of the kittens that was shown to him—and he was ready.
Benny took up residence beside the incubator 24/7 so he could be ready to clean the kittens after each tube feeding.
"We knew we had a severe problem at hand when one of the babies had blood in their urine, which indicates a significant problem that needed immediate attention," said Ellen. Unfortunately, that kitten crossed the Rainbow Bridge two days later.
"Benny knew something was wrong with the critical baby as he would push his way into the hourly checks, tube feeding sessions and cleaning the sick baby," Ellen related. "We like to think he was prepping this baby on letting go as his attitude changes a bit and becomes more intense with his care."
"Despite the intense care we provide with medical intervention, we still can't save them all. But we can learn how to create better protocols for care on the next case that may have similar issues," Ellen said sadly.
Benny increased the TLC for the remaining kitten, a female Ellen named Jubilee. "From 24/7 monitoring at the incubator at home, to waiting at the window for us when I get home from work, he's ready to dish out the kisses (Benny blessings) and much needed grooming from another cat," Ellen said.
Benny was very protective of his little charge, even pushing the camera away so she could get much needed rest.
At just five days old, Jubilee's color began to change. Her nose, tail, ears and toe pads became darker. "She started to look more like a polar bear than a kitten. We have a Siamese mix on our hands, not a white kitten," Ellen laughed.
Benny always watches closely when Ellen feeds "his" kitten and is right there to clean her up after each meal.
"Jubilee enjoys belly rubs and snuggling with anyone who will hold her cupped in their hands," Ellen said. Now that Jubilee has reached her tenth day, she is passing milestone after milestone. Benny is right there to cheer her on, too. "As she grows Benny's care changes, and he will soon begin to teach her how to cat."
I always find it interesting when a male cat takes on the nurturing of a baby, don't you? Benny seems to have that nurturing gene. Watch the video of Benny and Jubilee below, and if you'd like to help, you can make a donation to NOVA Cat Clinic right now!