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Sprout & Shadow: Bonded Pair Domestic Short Hair Mix Clayville, RI
- Coat length
- Special needs. No special medications, diet or surgery called for. Please read the bio for more info.
- Good in a home with
- Other cats.
- Prefers a home without
Meet Sprout & Shadow: Bonded Pair
Little Sprout and her three littermates were born the shelter on April 14 to mama Shadow. They went to live in a foster home when they were 14 days old, so that they could have more space to run and play as they grew. When the kittens were about 5 weeks old, the foster family noticed that Sprout’s breathing was more labored than that of her littermates, and not just after active play. So off to the vet went Sprout, where x-rays showed she had a condition called “flat-chested kitten syndrome.” This is a rare condition — the shelter’s first documented case! — but fortunately it is somewhat correctible. We won’t bore you with the details of the condition, and information on it is largely anecdotal, but if you’re curious, Wikipedia actually provides a pretty good description.
Sprout’s lungs were compressed, which caused her thorax to flatten, so the vet fashioned a homemade corset to encourage her ribs to form more correctly as she developed, which would ease the pressure on her lungs. As you can see in the photos, Sprout looked like a little linebacker in her first cardboard corset! She struggled at first to stay upright with the heavy vest she was wearing, but her spirit was never diminished — she would topple over, and spin around a bit until she found a way to right herself. She sure looked funny walking around in the cardboard contraption, which made her look bow-legged, but it wasn’t long before Sprout adjusted to it.
When her littermates were all adopted, Sprout moved into her second foster home long with mama Shadow, so that she’d have a companion. In the new home they were able to have their own bedroom, complete with a TV to stave off boredom. There they enjoyed occasional visits from children and a cat-friendly little dog.
Sprout saw the vet every week so her development could be checked, and eventually received a more regal corset, one made of flexible plastic. Each week she made more progress, better than any of us had hoped, and each week everyone who knew her, from her two foster families to the vet and all the staff at Scituate Animal Hospital, fell deeper in love with the corseted princess.
She seemed to enjoy the weekly vet visits, because Sprout loves everyone she meets — she’s a very friendly, affectionate and happy little kitten, and enjoyed nuzzling noses with her various vet techs once her exam was finished.
July 29 was a big day, the day the vet decided she had developed enough and could go without the corset. She was scheduled for a follow-up August 25, just to make sure she didn’t suffer any setbacks, and once again, Sprout showed more improvement, so the vet gave us the go-ahead to finally find a real home for her!
There are a few important things to know. First, there are no special medical needs for Sprout — no medications, no special food, and no surgery indicated. But because her ribs did not develop normally, her heart and lungs are still a little more exposed within the thoracic cavity than the average kitten. It’s very possible this could improve over time with further development.
Second, because her lungs are still somewhat compromised, surgery for her is inadvisable for some time. This means she can’t be spayed until a vet determines her lungs are functioning well enough for her to undergo anesthesia. And right now, we simply cannot say when that will be, just that she has shown progress with each and every visit to the vet. She should be reassessed by a vet when she is one year old to see if her lungs are strong enough for anesthesia.
Third, because of her condition, a low-activity household is best for Sprout. Though we can’t prevent her from being a crazy little kitten sometimes, she needs a home where she doesn’t become over-excited, and this means no homes with young children who won’t understand that she shouldn’t be riled up with excessive play. This also means no homes with lively young dogs that will want to play with her, though a home with a very laid-back old dog should be okay.
Lastly, we think it would be best for Sprout to go to a home with her lifelong companion, her mama Shadow. She’s been the one constant in her kitten’s young life, and ideally they will stay together. Shadow is a devoted mama, and a very sweet, quiet and laid-back cat. She’s not the type of cat to engage strangers or even seek out attention, but she does let her foster caretakers know how much she appreciates them by giving them a soft little rub against the legs with her head, as if to say, “Thank you for everything you’ve done for me and my baby.” She is a very nice, sweet cat — she’s just not a very outgoing cat.
Sprout has received her rabies and distemper vaccinations. Shadow is spayed, up to date on vaccinations (including a 3-year rabies vaccination), and tested negative for FIV and feline leukemia. Sprout is now 4 months old, and Shadow is just two years old. There is no adoption fee — all that is required is a loving, quieter home for Sprout and Shadow.
If you think you can provide the right home, please email ClayvilleCritters@cox.net for more information and an application, or call the shelter at (401) 647-7200 to have your contact information shared with her foster family, who will contact you promptly. Applications must be submitted before visits in the private foster home can be scheduled.
An application can be emailed to you, or you can access a downloadable application by scrolling down the Town of Scituate’s Animal Control page at http://www.scituateri.org/departments/animal_control/
Please email all PDF applications to ClayvilleCritters@cox.net for faster processing.
And please share this story of this very special little lady and her mama!
Ask About Sprout & Shadow: Bonded Pair
- Domestic Short Hair
Scituate Animal Shelter
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