Home Blogs Two Compassionate Rescuers Save Stray Kitten Entangled by Tape, Unveil Startling Transformation

Two Compassionate Rescuers Save Stray Kitten Entangled by Tape, Unveil Startling Transformation

Two Compassionate Rescuers Save Stray Kitten Entangled by Tape, Unveil Startling Transformation

Stray cats often face grim realities in urban environments, with the smallest kittens confronting the most perilous risks. This is the story of Valentine, a tiny kitten whose resilience is nothing short of inspiring.

In a California neighborhood, passersby spotted a stray kitten, Valentine, in distress with a tape roll painfully stuck around his neck. His struggles to move and eat were evident, and the discomfort he endured was palpable and heartbreaking.

Efforts to rescue him initially involved local residents and animal control, but Valentine was too terrified to let anyone close.

However, hope was restored when two determined rescuers, Kimberly Saxelby and Chris Gattas, stepped forward to save him. Capturing him proved difficult, but after persistent attempts and the use of nets, they finally succeeded.

It was only upon closer inspection that the severity of Valentine’s condition became clear. The tape, having been around his neck for an extended period, emitted a horrendous smell. Kimberly told LoveMeow,

“We thought there was a dead animal near the shed, but it turned out to be the smell of his rotting flesh and infection.”

The team was deeply affected by the severity of Valentine’s situation and rushed him to the Rancho Cucamonga Animal Shelter for urgent care. The veterinary team there discovered that the tape had deeply cut into his flesh, causing serious injuries and infections. Recounting the moment, Kimberly said,

“It brought tears to my eyes because I couldn’t imagine the pain and suffering this poor sweet cat has been through.”

Without delay, the vets performed emergency surgery to clean and stitch his wounds, giving Valentine a fighting chance at recovery. He was christened with the name Valentine to symbolize his new beginning.

Kimberly, overjoyed to see Valentine free from pain, started a Facebook page to chronicle his recovery,

where she shared updates and received support and donations from animal lovers.

Valentine’s health gradually improved, and his appetite returned, allowing him to eat and drink without obstruction. Yet, his spirits were initially low, understandably wary after his ordeal. Kimberly explained,

“He was caught, placed in a crate, and underwent surgery. It’s no surprise he wasn’t in the best mood.”

To make him feel secure, the shelter provided a feral box where he spent most of his time. He was temporarily fostered by a friend of Kimberly’s before being taken in by April Glatzel, who allowed him the space to adjust at his own pace.

Over time, Valentine began to trust April, eventually sleeping next to her, which Kimberly described as a “HUGE step.”

As he grew more comfortable, Valentine’s playful and curious nature emerged, and he started exploring beyond his initial confines. His confidence grew, and he swapped the bathroom sink for more comfortable spots like the couch.

Finally, Valentine’s hesitancy gave way to comfort and trust. The bond between him and April flourished, ultimately making her home his forever home. Kimberly celebrated this joyous development, noting April’s dedication to helping him trust humans again.

Today, Valentine thrives in his forever home, enjoying cuddles and interactive meows with April, showcasing an incredible transformation from a scared stray to a beloved family member.

What started as a foster care arrangement blossomed into a permanent, loving relationship, marking a beautiful chapter in both their lives.


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