When one California resident discovered a stray kitten with severely infected eyes, the unfortunate feline's condition seemed dire. Through the determination of a series of saviors and the financial contributions of a sympathetic community, the kitten was able to receive the medical attention she needed.
In July 2016, a woman named Jackie Alves discovered a feral kitten crying out in her neighborhood in Union City, California. The kitten, who was given the name Ruby, had infected eyes and was in deep discomfort.
Ruby's infection was plain to see, with her beautiful blue eyes coated with puss and struggling to remain open.
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Jackie took the sick kitten in and contacted a colleague named Rose Morales, a former coordinator of the Trap-Neuter-Return program, Shareably reports.
Established in 2008, TNR sought to spay and neuter feral cats in the local community in order to minimize the number of strays without a home, according to Purrfect Cat Rescue.
Jackie was already tending to foster kittens and could not provide Ruby with the time and attention her condition required. Rose arranged for her daughter to transport the ailing kitten to an emergency veterinarian clinic. Upon examination, the doctor determined that the kitten was only five or six weeks old and suffered from an upper respiratory condition as a result from herpes.
The feline herpes virus is not transmitted sexually, but it is highly contagious. The virus results in upper respiratory infections that prompt nasal discharge, congestion and swelling of the ocular membrane, according to Catster.
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Ruby's infection had rendered her blind. Rose took in the kitten and put her on medication to treat her eyes. The combination of antibiotics did not yield results, with Ruby's eyesight only worsening. Rose was able to take Ruby to an eye specialist with the financial contributions of her daughter, Jackie and a sympathetic foster cat owner named Suellyn.
"It takes a village sometimes," Rose said.
The eye specialist determined that Ruby required an expensive surgery to save her eyes. The ailing kitten was put on a new regimen of medications that treated both her eyes and herpes. Two weeks later, Rose noticed that the cat was beginning to recover her eyesight.
"She could finally see her toys," Rose said.
The medication could only moderately improve Ruby's condition, leaving surgery as the only option. Jackie set up a GoFundMe page to raise the $1,500 to afford the operation. Fortunately, the fundraiser was a success and Ruby was able to have her eyesight restored.
Ruby eventually found a loving owner in Monica, a friend of Jackie.
"Monica is a truly wonderful and exceptional animal lover," Rose said.
Ruby and Monica's dog, Gracie, immediately bonded as pet siblings. The recovering kitten was even able to claim the pooch's bed without protest.
"For Gracie... it was love at first sight," Rose said.
Ruby could have languished on the streets if it were not for Jackie's intervention and the help of Rose and other committed animal rescuers. Their community's financial contributions helped save the kitten's eyesight. After a long and trying ordeal, Ruby can settle down in a loving home with a new best friend.