After being found in a shoebox in the middle of a road, a newborn kitten was taken into care by LemonAide Rescue fighting for life.
A tale of love and courage
Only a few hours old, Tufoti was found in the middle of a busy road by a passerby. He was cold and still covered in amniotic fluid.
Unsure if he would make it, the good samaritan rushed the newborn kitten to Coral Springs Animal Hospital in Florida to be assessed.
After his initial assessment, Bryanna Rosario, a vet nurse and director of animal rescue association LemonAide Rescue, began treating Tufoti.
"A nurse from the emergency department ran over and told me that Tofuti was found in a shoe box, that was open, in the middle of the road near a grocery store. It was one of the most heartbreaking stories I've heard or had in my rescue," Bryanna said.
"The thermometer couldn't even pick up his temperature because it was so low."
Bryanna was able to get Tufoti warm and he began to stir. But she was worried he would refuse the milk formula.
"Sometimes when they are that young, they don't want the formula. They want their mother's milk so it can be challenging for any rescuer that's bottle feeding a neonate," she said.
Luckily Tufoti responded and took to the bottle straight away.
Under Bryanna's care, Tofuti began to gain strength daily despite his size and fragile state. He even began to purr in response to the care.
"He is so soft, and he loves his belly rubs," said Bryanna.
Fighting a cruel battle
Touched by the story, Yummypets contacted Bryanna to find out more about Tofuti's progress.
Despite showing signs of progress, Tofuti was lagging in development normally expected of a kitten.
A neurologist tentatively diagnosed him with Cerebella Hyperplasia, a genetic defect that causes tremors and stability/coordination issues. However, given his age, a concrete diagnosis could not be given.
While many cats live long and healthy lives with this disorder, Tufoti's age, and potentially other genetic issues, made it all the harder to determine the exact issues at play.
What they did know is that swelling in his brain was putting a lot of pressure on his tiny skull.
Despite all efforts to help reverse his condition, it was with a broken heart that Bryanna told us a decision was made to euthanise tiny Tofuti.
It is a tragic end to a story of selflessness and courage, but we know that in his short life Tofuti received an enormous amount of love and care thanks to the efforts of some incredible people.
Photo credits: LemonAide Rescue