When an injured cat came out of surgery, the main focus was on making sure that the animal recovered well. But no one could have foreseen what happened next. You see, just a few weeks after the operation, the cat gave everyone a truly unexpected surprise.
In March 2016 an animal rescue center in Cincinnati, Ohio, admitted a stray cat that was in serious trouble. Yes, the black and white animal was badly injured. And the staff at Save Cats & Obliterate OverPopulation (SCOOP, Inc.) knew that they had to act fast.
The cat in question is called Sweetie. Although she had no official home, a member of the local community had been feeding her. And one day, the person who had been looking out for the stray kitty noticed that the animal was injured. Moreover, the cat was no longer eating the food that was left out for her.
This prompted a phone call to animal rescuers, who arrived on the scene to try and help. Eventually, they were able to catch Sweetie and bring her into the animal rescue center. And once there, vet Dr. Jennifer Jaax treated the kitty.
Sweetie’s injuries were so bad, though, that she required emergency surgery. And most of the damage was around the cat’s mouth. In fact, executive director of the non-profit organization, Barb Wehmann, told LoveMeow.com in October 2016 “[Sweetie’s] mouth was shattered.”
Not only that, but the cat’s jaw had become detached from her palette, leaving it “hanging” and requiring urgent attention. It had all become infected, too. This, then, was why Sweetie had been in too much pain to eat or drink for days on end.
The surgery was complex, but thankfully the vet was able to fix the cat’s damaged mouth with a total of 35 stitches. Happily, the next day Sweetie finally managed to eat some food again. The kitty’s weight had dropped to a tiny 4.5 pounds, so this meal gave her some much-needed nourishment.
Distressingly, the staff could tell that Sweetie’s injuries were inflicted deliberately – most likely by something hard and metal, such as a golf club. Thankfully, though, the team could help the cat, and slowly but surely she began to recover in their care.
A month after Sweetie had been brought into the center, she was eating well and had managed to gain some weight. But something happened next that the vets could never have expected.
You see, on April 29, 2016, Sweetie gave birth to a little kitten. The newborn was tiny, though, and weighed only two ounces. And the vets, who had had no idea that Sweetie had been pregnant, weren’t too optimistic about the kitten’s outlook.
You see, because Sweetie’s body was still recovering from her injuries, she wasn’t producing her own milk. She therefore wasn’t able to feed her baby. As a result, the staff at SCOOP, Inc. had to step in, and they bottle fed the tiny kitten to give it the best chance of survival.
After 10 days, though, Sweetie’s baby was still as small as a piece of chewing gum. The tiny furball was putting up a good fight, however. And thanks to the hard work of the staff at the animal rescue center and Sweetie’s motherly love, the baby cat started to get stronger.
The kitten was named “Jaax,” after Dr. Jennifer Jaax, the vet responsible for saving Sweetie’s life. And while mother and baby were both in need of some extra special care, together they began to thrive.
Subsequently, a Facebook group was set up to document the journey of Sweetie and Jaax. And although Sweetie wasn’t able to feed her baby herself, she still devoted all her attention to the kitten. In fact, the Facebook page describes how the mom used to watch her baby like a hawk.
Not only that, but Sweetie would also make sure she was there for cuddles straight after her baby was bottle fed by the staff. “She had such a great will to live. As I fed the kitten every two hours, Sweetie watched and then waited for me to finish so she could do the rest of the care for Jaax,” Wehmann said.
Wehmann also described how Sweetie used to show her baby how to eat “by putting food on her mouth.” And considering the trauma that Sweetie went through, staff were impressed with her mothering behavior.
So while other cats may have given up the fight to live after suffering such terrible abuse, it seems as though Sweetie was inspired to carry on by her newborn baby. “We feel that Sweetie’s will to live was tied closely into saving her kitten,” the executive director of SCOOP, Inc. said.
Similarly, the Facebook page which documents the story of the two cats described Sweetie’s love and devotion as an “integral part” of her baby’s survival. What’s more, given that Jaax had been in the womb throughout the 10-day period when Sweetie was unable to eat or drink, it was miraculous that she survived at all.
Happily, though, the determined duo are still going strong. Yes, mother and baby are still living in the care of the animal welfare center, where they have been able to make friends with other rescue cats. But according to the Sweetie and Jaax Facebook page – which has more than 9,000 followers – the two are rarely seen without each other.
And although Sweetie has battled various illnesses since Jaax was born, she continues to be very protective of her baby, who, in turn, looks out for her mom. Against all odds, Jaax has survived the most turbulent of starts in life. So there should be no doubt, then, that Jaax truly is a miracle kitten.