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This little kitten was born very special. He is determined to live and thrive.

Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue

Rachel Lienemann, director of Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue, was contacted about a special needs kitten, who had been born to a stray cat at a shelter. His sibling didn’t make it, but he was hanging in there, fighting to live.

“We take in special needs animals throughout Texas. We focus on the underdog,” Rachel told Love Meow. “He has a cleft in the front of his hard palate, a unilateral cleft lip, and he was born without a functional nose and is most likely missing his right eye.”

Rachel took him in and immediately started tube-feeding him every hour around the clock. The little guy whom they named baby Voldemort or Voldy, took to his feedings like a champ and put on 0.7 ounces overnight.

Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue

“I kept telling myself, ‘if he lives through the first 24 hours, I will be more hopeful,’ then it became ‘if he lives to be a week old, I’m sure he will make it,'” Rachel added.

Little Voldy moved around his bedding, meowed whenever he wanted food, showing a lot of vitality and signs as a bubbly newborn.

Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue

“He is sassy. If I am even a couple minutes late to feed him at night he will let me know. He absolutely loves belly rubs,” Rachel said.

“The fact that he is gaining weight and active shows us that he is a fighter. He wants to live, too.”

Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue

Within a week, the little tabby boy went from weighing 63 grams to well over 100 grams. His lungs sounded clear, and his energy simply soared.

“Every day has been a milestone,” Rachel told Love Meow. “He wants everyone to know that he is not going anywhere.”

Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue

They are working closely with veterinarians to explore options when it comes to his nasal breathing.

“He breathes through his cleft lip but with his mouth closed. We have more than one vet researching options for him now,” she said. “They have assessed him and believe that he has hope of a good future.”

Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue

“Cleft palate babies should never be allowed to nurse or be bottle fed as they will aspirate and die quickly. Tube-feeding is the only way to save them. Not many people know how or are comfortable tube feeding, which is one of the reasons we started getting these cleft palate babies,” Rachel told Love Meow.

“There is a huge lack of awareness that they can thrive with the right TLC. They need to be in the hands of an experienced rescuer and they too, can thrive.”

Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue

Little Voldy just turned one week today. He’s doing very well and continues to make strides every day.

“We are going to do everything we can to get this baby boy to have a good quality of life.”

Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue

Follow updates on little Voldy on Facebook.

Watch his journey in this video:


Kitten born special gets a second chance at life

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Related story: Abandoned Kitten Finds Comfort in Special Needs Puppy Who Needed a Friend



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