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Jonah, the kitten who survived a drowning attempt

by Peggy Miller Sheffer - December 12th, 2009.
Filed under: Rescue Stories.
Jonah, the cat who survived starvation and abuse

Jonah, the cat who survived starvation and abuse

Hi, Peggy here.  This is a picture of “Jonah” our 6-month old kitten who came to us starving and abused.  My husband and I were home from our honeymoon only a couple of hours on the afternoon of August 8th, 2009 when we got a call.  A man had picked up a kitten who ran up to him as he left a bar late the night before.  This kind-hearted person could tell the kitten was starving, so he took it home.  He fed it some milk and dog food because he had no cat food on hand, and tried to make it comfortable for the night.  The next morning, his 14-year old daughter took one look at the kitten and said “That’s the kitten the man in the apartment down the street tried to drown by flushing it down the toilet.  The little girl that lives there peed on him too.”

The man who rescued this little one didn’t know how to care for sick kittens, so he called the Green County Humane Society the next morning and, in a round about way, the message got to me.  I was so angry when I heard what the daughter had said that I couldn’t even talk on the phone.  My husband and I immediately went to get the kitten.  When we got to the man’s home, the kitten was hiding under a dresser, as far back as he could get from people.  It was a very sad site.  I initially thought the kitten was a male, but he was covered in filth and diarrhea, and it was difficult to tell for sure.  He was very weak.  We named him Jonah, because, like Jonah in the Bible, he had survived being in a watery place that should have killed him.

When we got back to our house, I called my favorite animal rescue rehabilitator, Chris Reis, one of ENAH’s board members and asked her what I could do for Jonah.  Chris is a nurse and has saved hundreds of injured and starving wild and domestic animals.  Jonah was a tiny bag of bones; his spine, hips and ribs were poking sharply out of his dingy coat.  This kitten had not been fed good food in his short life.  Chris told me the amount of subcutaneous fluids to give a kitten that size.  It was more important that we get him hydrated than full of food right away, especially with his diarrhea.

On Monday morning, I spoke with my veterinarian at Center Hill Clinic in Darlington who recommended that I continue with the supportive care until he was stable and said we should not worm Jonah at that point because dying worms might put too much stress on his already stressed body.  She said to wait until Jonah was stronger before worming him.  As soon as he was ready, in he went to the vet for his initial vaccinations and de-worming.

It wasn’t until we had Jonah a few days, he had a couple of baths, and the diarrhea stopped that I took a closer look and realized that Jonah was really a girl!

As of this writing, Jonah is now a 5-pound kitten, about 6 months old, flourishing in all the attention, love and good food she is getting.  She is pure white, beautiful, and loves to be held and snuggled like a baby.  Fortunately, Jonah doesn’t show any of the fear and sadness she had when she first came to us.  Little Jonah doesn’t know it, but she’s going to be spayed in a couple of weeks.

I have asked myself “Why?” so many times.  Why would someone do something so horrible like try to flush a tiny, defenseless kitten down a toilet?  What kind of cruelty was in this person’s life to make him in turn treat others with such cruelty?

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