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Vet Talks: Thankful For Food – A Kitten’s Transformation Tale

Vet Talks 7 min read
Vet Talks: Thankful For Food – A Kitten’s Transformation Tale

I really enjoy watching animals eat. The noises they make, the way they chew their food. Some are quick gobblers, others take their time. But the best thing is the faces they make. Such thankful and happy faces!  There are so many things to be thankful for in our day-to-day life but food, I think, is the most important one that we should all be thankful for every day. We can learn this from our pet companions.

We enjoy food for the taste and we may look forward to our meals because they make us happy. But our pets? They truly appreciate food and many gifts of health and a full tummy it brings. In this blog, I would like to share a story of 3 little kittens who were found hungry and abandoned in a construction zone in Brazil and how food brought about a happy transformation for them.

Like I said, one can learn the true value of food from an animal, the rest of the story is in the words of Salem, one of the kittens from the rescued litter.

Olá. I’m Salem. The humans who rescued us think I am magical like Sabrina’s Salem. Wait till I grow up, I’ll show them some neat tricks.

My sister’s name is Dora Magali. She is quite the explorer too. And I have a little brother too. He is Branquinho. 3 months ago we were found by our human heroes, as wee little babies.

salem cat rescued

We were born in August 2018. We don’t remember much but we know that our mother did care for us. She hid us in a post between two builds that were getting constructed. Maybe she tried to hide us from the world? Maybe something happened to her when she went out looking for food? Because on August 24, the humans tell us, we were little newborns, less than a pound each, and our mother had disappeared. Around midnight when we had started to freeze, and we were starving, we started to cry for help. We cried a lot and we were very loud. Suddenly, we saw a light and we heard some voices. Our hero humans found us!

Where our mother had left us, it was difficult for us to get out of there alone. It was starting to get colder and dark clouds had started to form in the sky. It was going to rain! The humans knew we needed to be rescued. Otherwise, we wouldn’t make it to the next morning.

For almost an hour, these strange hero humans tried to grab us. They put together a basket using things that they could find in that lot. We were still looking for our mother, so each time they would tuck us in the basket, one of us would pop out and head towards a danger zone looking for mama and food. We are so thankful that our humans persisted.

By the time we were rescued, we already had hypothermia, and the humans put us in a box with many clothes. They offered us some cow milk, but we did not how to drink it. The humans left us close to the place that we were found, inside the box with clothes to keep us warm. They had to remove the milk because they did not want other animals to come sniffing the milk and then hurting us.

They thought that our mother would return in the night and she would find us and nurse us.

We spent the night warm and dry, but starving. Mama did not return. The next morning, the humans came to get us.

The hero humans picked us up with the box and took us to what they call a doctor for animals. The doctor for animals helped them with precious advice. These hero humans had to now be like our mothers. They were to give us milk every 3 hours with a human baby’s bottle and they had to keep us warm. Just like we would have been with mama. The animal doctor also told them to clear our genitals with saline to stimulate us to urinate. Just like mama would. The humans did exactly what the vet said.

kitten rescued from brazil

Some days passed and we started to understand the humans were helping us. We were not so little anymore but Branquinho, my little brother was the tiniest and wasn’t growing like Dora and me. Our humans then tried giving us chicken kibble. Dora and I loved it. We would nom nom nom every time humans filled our bowls. We started to gain some pounds and get stronger. However little brother Branquinho did not develop. He would not even open his eyes, he could not eat and he started to lose all his hair. Also, many wounds started to appears on his body. His tail was very damaged and was not growing at all.

red infalmed skin Branquinho
Little brother’s skin was getting furless
wounds on Branquinho
Wounds started to appear
weak kitten Branquinho
Branquinho just would not develop and barely open his eyes

Dr. Amanda was very kind and gave a lot of attention to our history. She said that because we did not have our immune system completely developed, our immunity could be very down, and little brother Branquinho might be the weakest of the litter.

She said at this moment only food could rescue us. The right food. A correct diet could be very important for us. Just the cow milk could not be enough for our body. Therefore, Dr. Amanda formulated a specific diet for us and suggested an NHV multivitamin. Also, she prescribed a specific NHV ointment for use on the wounds present in our little brother Branquinho’s body.

Dr. Amanda formulated special milk for us. Complete with mineral water, rice flour, powder oats, egg yolk, taurine, and sour cream. And some fruits, veggies, and meat protein were tossed in. The diet was specifically formulated for our situation and every ingredient was listed for our hero humans. They were told to stick to it religiously. 

We were the happiest bunch of kittens to eat it! It was yummy and it made us feel good. All three of us kittens would eat our food and send thankful purrs to Dr. Amanda.

At some time, little brother Branquinho started to react to the treatment. He opened his eyes and for the first time, Dora and I saw how bright they were.

Branquinho tail starting to get better
His tail started to get better
Bald spots on Branquinho
The wound started to heal

He won some pounds, and the wounds started to be better, he also started to play with us. His tail? You have to see it. It is the cutest one in whole of Brazil.

Branquinho now
Branquinho now look at him

The humans continue to care for us and Dr. Amanda checks on our progress weekly. With all love showered by our hero humans that rescued us and with Dr. Amanda’s suggestions, we are growing healthy and beautiful. And every meal we eat, we are thankful for having a full tummy and a warm bed. The humans now keep sobbing when they look at us. Something about us going away to a forever home soon. We don’t know what that means but something tells us, they are happy tears.

little brother bran
cats in a box

I hope my sister Dora Magali, little brother Branquinho and I were able to tell you how much we love food and how much food loves us. If it wasn’t for the right food, we would have lost our little brother forever.

With love,

P.S. We still love boxes!

If we use an adequate diet, with the correct supplements, we will obtain very good results.

For these little kittens, I created a specific milk recipe, as cow milk is not recommended for many reasons. Also, I formulated a diet that could improve their immune system and help them in their recovery. As a multivitamin, I suggested Multi Essentials and as an ointment, All Clear. As we can see throughout this history, if we use an adequate diet, with the correct supplements, we will obtain very good results.

all rescued kittens
Bran, Salem and Dora

Through this beautiful story, I wish to tell you that we should all be thankful for food and learn from our animals. They relish every meal they get and when they fall sick, sometimes the correct diet alone can bring them back to their bouncy self. Branquinho’s immune system needed food, not medicines.

all three kittens
bran the little one

If you have a pet and you’d like to know what food should you be putting in his bowl, please reach out to me. I will help you decide just the recipe. I’ll always be thankful for being able to help you. 🙂

Dr. Amanda Nascimento DVM, MVSc, PhD

Dr. Amanda Nascimento DVM, MVSc, PhD

Dr. Amanda completed her undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine in 2010 and graduate studies in veterinary pathology (MVSc. 2012 and PhD 2016) at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo. She completed her post-doctoral training at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine – University of Saskatchewan in 2018. Dr. Nascimento will be hosting her own blog series and sharing her knowledge with our extended NHV family.

Published: November 22, 2018

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