Meet "Benjamin". We rescued him (along with three other kittens that are 2 weeks old and their mom) tonight (5/7/12). We were told that the people who had them all were giving the babies away at two weeks old and decided that they didn't want the remaining ones any longer. They threatened to put them all outside.
"Benjamin" is about 4 weeks old. He is from a different litter but luckily the mommy cat has accepted him as one of hers. He is going to the vet first thing in the morning because there is some sort of neurological problem with this poor little angel. He cannot walk and seems to be unable to control his legs. He otherwise looks healthy- he is nursing well and also did very well being hand fed kitten canned food.
He is a true survivor. Please say a prayer for him that the vet visit goes well tomorrow.
We do not know how much his medical bills will be at this point but will update this website tomorrow.
"Benjamin" did well last night. He purred for the first time this morning!
Went to the vet: our vet has never seen anything quite like this. We discussed certain conditions like C.H., toxoplasmosis and numerous others. He felt it would be best to take Benjamin to a neurologist. He has an appointment with Dr. Glass at Red Bank Hospital tomorrow morning. Keep your fingers crossed!
UPDATE 5/9/2012: Benjamin went to see the neurologist today. It is still uncertain what the diagnosis is.......they want to take blood tests and have a MRI done but he is too little. They did do x-rays but the doctor is afraid they might not show everything. He was either born with a birth defect in his brain......his head shape is also deformed. As well as his eyes......it is unsure how well he can see. Other options are trauma.........
I have to call the vet tomorrow to get the results of the x-rays and he goes back to see them again in one week. So far now..........he is getting loved, kissed and hand fed. More pictures will be coming.
Our little guy is still doing ok but can't do much on his own. With help he does eat canned kitten food well. Spoke to neurologist: did not see any breaks on x-rays. But x-rays wouldn't show any lesions on the brain so now we wait. He goes back next week to discuss more options. He gives kisses to all!
Coming soon: "Benjamin's" Diary on our website: updated photos/videos. Will let you know when it is ready!
UPDATE 5/15/2012: Little Ben is doing ok. We are having some issues with keeping him clean now. Because he is now eating kitten food he is going to the bathroom more...it is frustrating for him and for us.......we are trying our best to keep him comfortable.
He still purrs and plays with his little friends. He also loves to be held.
We made a tiny diaper out of baby socks today and hope this will help a bit. He just had a bath and has his 'new diaper' on (please go to flicker images to see updated photos). He goes back to the neurologist tomorrow and we are hoping for some answers as to how we can help him.
Went to neurologist today. The doctor feels he may be a bit worse but really hard to tell. We don't think he is worse....just more frustrated w/the diaper, bathing etc. He still purrs, plays and eats very well.
Options: we have to make a very hard decision. He would need an MRI to get an accurate diagnosis. (approx. cost $2800). If he is like this because of trauma or a birth defect there is a chance that surgery would 'fix' him. The doctor was confident that if that is the diagnosis he can do the surgery.......he has done many before. I misunderstood him last week....I thought he hasn't seen anything quite like Benjamin........but he assured me today that he HAS seen cases like this.......and if the diagnosis is trauma/birth defect then surgery would be an option. The problem is brain surgery cost anywhere from $2500---over $3000.
If he is like this from a disease such as F.I.P. then there is nothing to do.
The only way to know is to do the MRI. But if we can't afford to DO surgery if he should need it I don't think going forward w/the MRI is right. We have to either do this 100% or let him go.
The estimated costs if he does need surgery would be over $5500.
He truly is a little angel...........please contact us with any thoughts or suggestions...
We have two weeks to decide....he is scheduled to go back to the neurologist then. Although he is still very small the doctor doesn't want to wait much longer to do the MRI in case there is something we can do to help him. But he would need to be sedated which is risky for such a little guy.
Another update will be coming soon (and more photos of this special little angel).
SECOND UPDATE FOR 5/16/2012:
Thank you all for supporting little Benjamin. We have decided to go forward with the MRI and hope he is a candidate for surgery so we can offer a better life for him.
Helping kittens like Benjamin is ‘what we do’. We are proud to be true to our mission statement—of helping the special ones.
We hope and pray that he comes through the MRI (there is a risk of sedating such a small little guy).
Please forward our plea so we can raise the much needed funds to take care of this little angel.
We have two weeks to raise $2800 for the MRI and then if all goes well we will have to quickly raise the money for his surgery.
If anyone would like to visit and meet this little angel please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you all for helping us help Benjamin.
WE HAVE CREATED A DIARY FOR BENJAMIN ON OUR WEBSITE: www.angelsofanimals.org. Daily updates will be provided.
UPDATE 5/24/2012: An anonymous (AND WONDERFUL) donor has agreed to MATCH any donations that come in from this point on! PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING FOR BEN'S MRI NEXT WEEK!
GO TO WWW.ANGELSOFANIMALS.ORG AND CLICK ON BENJAMIN'S DIARY: NEW PHOTO!
UPDATE 5/30/2012: Ben went to see the neurologist again today for possibly having the MRI. He feels he is still too small and it would be too dangerous for the sedation. So...we are bringing him back again in 2 weeks to be evaluated again. He is doing well. He had LOTS of fun at Petco last Friday and thank you to all who came to see him. We learned he likes french fries and chicken!
And today at the specialist he enjoyed watching the fish in the big fish tank they had....he was so alert........Then we held him outside to listen to the birds....he really liked that.
The one photo with the HUGE diaper was taken today. He pooped on the way home in the car and I had to improvise with one of my daughter's diapers........too cute.
He continues to purr and cuddle and also likes to play with his little toy mouse.
More updates to come...........new photos below on flicker and see a slideshow on www.angelsofanimals.org!
UPDATE 6/13/2012: Ben went in for his 2 week exam. He is 10 weeks old now. He gained a very little weight......he now weighs 1.2 pounds. The doctor felt he might be a bit worse in his symptoms. He twitches at times which are probably little seizures. On the positive side: he still is his happy adorable self. Eating canned and dry food. Purrs like crazy. Loves to play with his toys and snuggle and take naps with you.
He was admitted to the hospital and will have his MRI first thing tomorrow morning. PLEASE SAY A PRAYER that he comes through the procedure safely. I will send another update tomorrow--as soon as I hear how he is doing. We are supposed to be at the hospital between 2 and 4 to pick him up and speak to the doctor.
UPDATE 6/14/2012: Ben came through his MRI safely.
We went to pick him and spoke with the specialist. Bad news: Ben is like this because of a disease inside his brain. It could be FIP or some other disease that is attacking his brain.
It was NOT from trauma. He was not dropped. Sadly, there is nothing........no surgery........no medications......to help him improve. We are devastated to hear this news. We are considering our options at this point. We will post another update within a couple of days. He is such a little angel...........we want what is best for him.
On a positive note: when they brought Ben out to me at the vet: I picked him up and he gave me so many kisses.......he is a lover boy.
UPDATE JUNE 25TH, 2012:
Well, it has been almost two weeks since Ben's last visit and MRI...Our orginal plan was to let him go if we couldn't help him but we just cannot do it at this time...........We have decided to take it one day at a time. He is still his wonderful self........eats like a champ, purrs, plays and simply adorable. The doctor feels his symptoms will get worse over time and he will probably start to have seizures....he has had some tiny ones but they really don't look like seizures. His eyes and head dart back and forth at times but that is all. If he starts to have major seizures then we will do what we have to do. But for now.....we are giving him LOTS of love and letting him enjoy his life while he is still happy. He loves to snuggle and play with other cats and even had a playdate with a chihuahua!
He goes back to the neurologist this coming Friday for a recheck exam.
PLEASE GO TO WWW.ANGELSOFANIMALS.ORG & CLICK ON HIS PAGE TO SEE HIS UPDATED PHOTOS!
8/14/2012: UPDATE! Ben is doing GREAT! He is growing and continues to be a happy little guy. He is going to HIS NEW HOME on August 20th. One of our volunteers is flying him to California believe it or not......This wonderful family out there adopted a special needs kitten from us 2 years ago and fell in love with Ben and wants to adopt him! It is an AWESOME home for this beautiful angel.
Ben will be at our Summer House Party/Partylite Candle Fundraiser this Saturday August 18th in Belleville from 3 to 5 (email email@example.com for details).
THANK YOU ALL FOR LOVING HIM!