One kitten was so badly infected with mange that no one seemed to want him. So he sat overlooked in a kill shelter until rescuers finally came to his aid. And once he was giving some much-needed TLC, his transformation was unbelievable.
Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue is a volunteer-run organization based in south Florida. Since its formation in 2012, it has rescued thousands of homeless animals and provided them with loving forever families. The rescue also runs an animal hospital, which provides affordable veterinary care in the community.
In August 2017, volunteers from Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue went to a shelter to pick up a dog in need. However, while they were there, another animal caught their eye. As a result, they decided there was no way they were leaving without him.
The creature in question was a tiny kitten. By looking at the animal, rescuers concluded he couldn’t have been any older than four weeks old. However, it was evident that the world hadn’t been kind to the fur baby over the course of his young life.
The poor kitty was suffering from a severe case of mange. The skin disease had ravaged almost his entire face and body. Consequently, there was no denying that the little cat was in a significant amount of discomfort.
Mites are responsible for mange, and, while it is common in dogs, it rarely affects cats. The condition leads to intense itching and can cause hair loss. If left untreated, mange can spread throughout the entire body and result in skin infections.
With that in mind, Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue volunteers were keen to deliver the sick kitten to a vet. So they took him and the dog they’d originally came to help into their care. “They were both rescued at the same time from the shelter,” one team member told Love Meow in August 2017.
Back at their facility, rescuers were able to survey the full extent of the kitten’s condition. They discovered the animal weighed not even a miniscule one pound. However, they knew that underneath the crust, there was a beautiful cat waiting to be unleashed.
Rescue staff named the kitten Jorah and soon got to work on his rehabilitation. They placed him with experienced foster mom Ana Castro, who would help the cat on his journey to recovery. With a support system around him, his carers could start Jorah off on his treatment.
His rescuers revealed, “Little cute and crusty Jorah got his revolution for his skin and a medicated bath.” They added, “His foster momma made him a sock sweater, which he hates, so he wouldn’t be able to itch and scratch himself! On top of that, this poor boy also has to be on antibiotics for a cold.”
As well as fighting Jorah’s mange, it was important for his carers to build up his energy. Luckily, the little kitten had a lot of catching up to do when it came to eating. As a result, he always seemed to be hungry. So it wasn’t long before he started piling on the pounds.
However, with that said, the cat still had a long road to recovery ahead of him. But, thanks to the support of his foster mom, Jorah made progress each and every day. And soon his scabs began to clear up.
“He’s so itchy from his crusty scabies, but the sock is doing the trick,” Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue said in a statement. “He received another nice bath and a new sock sweater. A lot of his mange crusts are falling off and he is starting to feel more comfortable.”
Ten short days after his rescue, and Jorah was completely unrecognizable. The mange on his face had disappeared to reveal the most adorable features. Now it was hard to believe that the kitten had gone overlooked in the shelter all that time.
Given his transformation, some at Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue thought Jorah could serve as a good lesson to potential pet owners. Perhaps, when it comes to animals, it is best not to judge a book by its cover. After all, who would have known such a cute kitty was hiding behind all those scabs?
“Baby Jorah is a perfect example why so many of our fosters aren’t scared to take on mange cases,” the organization wrote on Facebook. “They know the beautiful being underneath all that crust, is so worth it. Baby Jorah was definitely worth it! He is stunning!”
And it soon turned out that those at the organization weren’t the only ones who thought Jorah was a handsome boy. “Gorgeous,” one Facebook user commented on the post. “All one has to do is look into the eyes of a kitty. They are all precious and beautiful.”
“I love him. Look at that face. Don’t you just want to hug, squeeze and kiss him?” another commenter enthused on another update. Meanwhile, one more said, “Bless this precious baby and his wonderful foster mom!”
Now that Jorah was on the mend, his rescuers could turn their focus onto finding him his forever home. So it posted an advert on its website. In it, the rescue portrayed Jorah as the perfect family pet. That’s because he could live with cats, dogs and children.
The ad also contained photographs documenting the cat’s recovery. As a result, it wasn’t long before someone snapped Jorah up. So the kitty went to live with his new family, who will hopefully dote on him like the cutie he is.