Jingles the Wonder Kitten
by Bingle Vet
A kind soul found Jingles on the side of the road, on Thursday, December 8th, wrapped in a towel and left to fend for himself in the pouring rain. The temperature outside had dropped dramatically that day, leaving a grim outlook for little Jingles. The man who had been so kind to stop and pick him up was unable to keep him, and did not want to risk taking him to a shelter, where he likely would not have been given a chance. He was less than six weeks old, and we were unable to determine if he was still alive by simply looking at him.
A couple of our staff members here at Bingle Vet immediately decided that they would pitch in to help the little guy along, if our vet on duty that day deemed him to be beyond our help. Our nursing team set to assessing his situation, by first, and most importantly, getting his body temperature back up to a more normal level. Jingles was suffering from hypothermia, on top of what was quickly diagnosed to be an upper respiratory infection, as well as, an eye infection that was causing him to be unable to open his eyes and he was covered in some pretty sizeable fleas! He was also very malnourished, leaving him even tinier than he already would have been for being so young.
Once his body temperature reached a point that our team felt comfortable with, Jingles was placed on a heating pad and wrapped in blankets in our isolation area. It was still unclear as to whether he was carrying any other illnesses, and we could not risk the upper respiratory infection being spread to other pets in our care. The doctors administered injectable antibiotics and fluids, and said a majority of the outcome would be up to Jingles. The illnesses he appeared to have so far could be overcome, if he had the strength to fight for his little life.
On Friday morning, Jingles had made a bit of an improvement! He, of course, was still very sick, and had an unenviable case of the sniffles, but he seemed relatively alert, and took a small amount of food by syringe. Antibiotics and eye ointment were administered regularly over the course of the day, along with a lot of love and attention from the staff, and he continued to show signs of pulling through. Saturday morning, however, he took another downward turn, as his body temperature again dropped when the heating pad had turned off. Our opening team members immediately tended to him, though, and got him warmed up again.
It was then that one our staff members decided she was going to take Jingles home with her that night to make sure his heating pad stayed on, and to feed him every couple of hours from a syringe since the respiratory infection left him unable to smell his food to trigger his instincts to eat. None of us wanted to fail this little guy! Though it had only been a couple of days, and he was still in pretty bad shape, it was clear he was a fighter, so we wanted to fight for him too!
That Saturday night, Jingles slept snuggled up in fuzzy blankets atop his heating pad. He happily took any food offered to him, and then quickly went back to resting peacefully in his cat nest. He was also awarded his name that night, as it was Christmas time, and his chest rattled (or jingled) a bit when he breathed due to the upper respiratory infection. It had a happy sound to it, and this kitty needed as much positivity as possible! He returned to the clinic with our staff member the next morning, a bit more alert, and happy to have remained warm throughout the night. His antibiotics were changed to an oral dosage as opposed to injectable, and there was another medication prescribed in addition to the ointment for his eyes, which still showed no signs of opening any time soon. Jingles went back home with our team member, where he was happy to be curled up again in his blankets, with a loving lap to lay on. He became even more alert, attempting to get up and walk around a bit, but he tired quickly and went back to sleep after a few wobbly steps. But he was still eating, and he was talking to us! He was going to make it!
On December 13th, Jingles took the huge step of starting to eat on his own! He had been a bit more aggressive with the syringe starting a couple of days prior, and his antibiotics were finally starting to clear his nose up a bit, so when a bit of food dropped from the syringe to the blanket, he caught a delicious whiff and took a nose dive for it! We immediately put his food in a bowl, and head-first he went in, devouring every bit.
With every day that passed, it was as though Jingles was determined to give us one more sign that he was going to make it. By December 18 (day ten), Jingles’ eyes were mostly open, his sniffles and chest congestion were on the mend, he was eating us all out of house and home, and he decided he was ready to try out playing with his new toy mouse. He found a wonderful, loving home with our team member, who has loved being able to watch and mark his daily progress. His eyes are fully healed, as is the upper respiratory infection, and he is still a hungry boy, weighing in at four and a half pounds! While health issues do still arise from time to time, they pale in comparison to what he overcame in his first couple of weeks with us. The only problem that seems to be stubbornly sticking around is a case of ringworm, which is fully treatable.
Without the kindness of the stranger who picked Jingles up that cold day in December, and without the expertise of our medical team, and all the love that was showered over him, Jingles’ prognosis could have ended on a much less cheerful note. He showed us all that, given even the smallest chance, accompanied with magnitudes of love, anything is possible.
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