Leo, The Tiny Kitten With The Heart Of Lion

Antonio65

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Like my proud badge says, I'm friend of ferals. I take care of ferals when I find one.

In early October 2014 someone spotted a mother cat with two tiny kittens under a bush, so they called me over. The kitties were in trouble, were hungry and cold. I set up the cage trap, I caught them all and took them to a local vet who spayed the mom and held the kittens. The mom was released a week later.

I would visit with the kittens at the vets' every day after work, one black female and a tabby male. In a few days they were tamed enough to allow us to hold them in our arms. The black one was growing day by day, the tabby one was always the same size. But each day I would see him drinking, not eating, so I asked the vets whether they had found any issue with the tabby kitten, they said that everything was fine and in a short time the tabby one would have caught up with his sibling.

The truth was different. The little tabby kitten wasn't growing, I asked the vet to run a complete blood test to see if any kidney failure was the cause. They told me that no kitten has ever suffered from bad kidneys. I insisted on this matter and 10 days later they finally ran the blood test that revealed high creatinine and BUN levels and some altered liver levels. I told the vet I was right and they were wrong, but they shut me up with the words "You're not a veterinarian, you don't know anything!".

A week later, on the last day of October, the vets told me I had to take the kittens with me because they couldn't take care of them anymore. I took the kitten with me and found a relative of mine who had an empty room where I could have taken them to. Three times a day I would go to my relative's, early in the morning, during my lunch break and before dinner. They were lovely and grew fond of me in no time.

I spread the voice to look for a new home for them. It was clear since from the beginning, though, that the tabby one wasn't alright, and he couldn't have ever found a home. In about a week, on November 10th, the black girl found a lovely home. She was already three times bigger than her brother when she left, they were 10 weeks old.

The tabby one was alone, without his sister, and started crying all day, so on the following day I took him home with me. Five weeks after catching them, he hadn't grown a bit and was still 450 grams. He was tiny and thin, but his paws were big, like a lion's paws, I named him Leo.

I took Leo to my vet (not the local vets) and she said that an ultrasound was necessary to understand what was going on. The scan revealed that the poor kitty had both his kidneys malformed, he had a bilateral kidney dysplasia. According to my vet he had a few weeks more to live. His creatinine and BUN were over the roof already. We switched his diet to renal wet food and I started with daily sub-Qs that didn't work at all. His skin was so thin and frail that he would lose all the fluids I was giving him immediately from all over his tiny body, like a colander. But he was fighting hard, and loved me like I had never seen before. He would climb up my legs and my torso up to my neck, then he would hug me tight around my neck with his front paws and would give me dozens kisses on my face, every time I was with him.

I would weigh him twice a day. He would let me sit him in a small plastic cup and I would put this cup with Leo in it on a small kitchen scale. He liked to be weighed. He was getting heavier day by day, 10-15 grams each day. I was so happy.
Then, on November 20th, in the morning, I found him weak, he had lost about 60 grams overnight. He didn't want to eat on that day, so I force fed him. When I came back from work that night he was sleeping, and as soon as he saw me, he ran to me, but after a few steps he fell on a side and couldn't move anymore. He wasn't able to stand anymore, he was even lighter than in the morning. I knew it was time. I took him to a 24h clinic to have him euthanised, but the vet sent me back home because according to her opinion he would have recovered in a few hours. Unfortunately he was terribly sick and weak, he was clearly suffering so half an hour later I went to another 24h clinic where I asked them to put him to sleep. He was almost in a coma by then. The vet had to give him very high doses of anesthetic before the last fatal injection, his kidneys were so compromised that the drug wouldn't work.

Leo passed without even realizing what was going on, I was crying like a baby. Leo had been living with me 10 days only, but he had stolen my heart. His love for me was inversely proportional to his size. He was very sick, he wouldn't have had a chance, but he was sent to me to live the best life possible for the short time he was given. I know that someone chose me as the guardian of that tiny creature. And I know that who sent me Leo was Tom, the cat that I took care of and died the year before. Leo was cremated on the following day. The man at the crematorium saw such a tiny body and felt really sad for him and gave me a huge discount on the cremation cost.

Leo was a tiny kitten with the courage of an adult lion, he didn't f ear anything and proved that even a tiny heart can hold a huge love. His courage and love will stay in my heart forever!

It's 3 years today, but it's like yesterday to me :(

RIP Leo!

Leo_r.jpg

Leo in his plastic cup during a weighing session, November 8th, 2014.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Rest you gentle, Leo, dream you deep. Your pawprints are in someone's heart always.

What a beautiful tribute to Leo. I am so thankful that you found him, and that he lived is short life knowing, and giving, so much love. The two of you fought so very, very hard together. Sometimes, even in seeming defeat, there is a victory. His victory was a triumph of love and perseverance. And you know that that love didn't die with his poor little worn-out body. It only changed its form, and curls next to you even now.
 

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That WAS a wonderful tribute to a little lion, for certain :hugs:. A short life, but a well loved one.

Now he is with all your other beloved cats, Kitty, Romeo, Tom, and Lola, along with all the others who have found their way to the bridge, mine included. I like to think they are all healthy and happy and chasing butterflies every chance they get.
 

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You did the best that you could and then some, but for some reason it just wasn't meant to be. What a sweet little fella, such a touching story, where's my hanky?......:( :bawling2:

He is just fine now, all grown up and healthy, Lord Bless you for taking such good care of him....
 
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Antonio65

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Thank you so much everybody!
Yes, anniversaries of this kind are never easy, but what hurts me the most is that he was so young, tiny, innocent, defenceless, and hadn't the chance to grow up. He looked like a 4 weeks kitten even if he was nearly 12 weeks old. He could stay in the palm of a hand, as you can see from the photo. That scale is small, its pan is the size of a CD.
If you look closely, you could read Leo's weight on that day, 464 grams (1 lb 0.3 oz) when he was 10 weeks old.
I reckoned he was born end of August/beginning of September 2014.

He had the last flash of energy and will of life the night before he died. He was running in the house from room to room, jumping from table and floor and sofa restlessly, before the surprised and annoyed eyes of Lola and Pallina.
That night I thought he was getting stronger and he could have made it against all odds, but in hindsight he was just enjoying his last hours... :bawling:
 

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Oh, Antonio65, I'm so sorry for the pain you are feeling from the loss of one so innocent and young. These anniversaries bring back the sadness along with the beautiful memories we hold so dear in our hearts.
You did all you could for that sweet little boy, you had an understanding and a bond before the vets even knew what was happening. Every minute you spent with that tiny little soul is a precious gift, his life was measured in increments of time as tiny as he was. That he found you to care for him, to love him, is a miracle in itself. You would not give up, you agonized over his condition as any loving parent would do, and you gave him the most precious gift of all, your love and care. You even stepped up at the end to make sure he didn't suffer one more minute than necessary, and even though it broke your heart, you made sure he crossed the bridge with your love held in his tiny heart.
It still brings a pang of hurt to my own heart to think of all those little ones that have passed. They came into our lives for a reason, I truly believe they were sent to us because someone up above knew they would receive what they needed the most....our love and compassion. Although it reopens those wounds on anniversaries such as this, I believe it is because they need to be remembered, they need to have had a purpose on this earth, even if for such a short amount of time. And we, as someone who can empathise and take the time to make their lives a little more comfortable and to feel loved, are chosen and guided to find one another in a world that can be so cold and frightening. Leo was guided to you and was given a gift as precious to him as he was to you, your love. He takes that with him, and will continue to fill your heart with the gratitude and love he sends your way for eternity.
You will be blessed for showing kindness and mercy to one who so desperately needed it. You come away with the goodness that will be added to your ever growing Karma, but it comes with a price. A broken heart.
You are a comforting presence at this site of remembrance and sorrow, now the comforter needs comforting himself. I give you my prayers, I cry for that sweet, precious boy that deserved so much more from life but gained an eternal bond with you.Take care, my friend, and keep up teh good work, you are needed so much more than you will ever know.......RIP precious Leo. You will never be forgotten and will be carried in a loving heart forever more. May the good Lord bless and keep you both until you meet again. Goodnight, sleep tight, little warrior!
 

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He had the last flash of energy and will of life the night before he died. He was running in the house from room to room, jumping from table and floor and sofa restlessly, before the surprised and annoyed eyes of Lola and Pallina.
That night I thought he was getting stronger and he could have made it against all odds, but in hindsight he was just enjoying his last hours... :bawling:
I remember when Sebastian had his right leg stuck in the mini blinds his last night I thought the same thing, the house was pretty dark and I could barely see him and I thought "oh, he's looking out the window, he's feeling better!", but when I turned the light on I noticed his leg was stuck in it, and when I asked the vet what he thought he was trying to do he said that they get a burst of adrenaline before they pass, thought maybe he was trying to run up the blinds or jump out the window. :( :frown:
 

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So much love inside that tiny kitten was made possible by YOU, Antonio. I can guarantee you that you made a world altering difference in that baby's life. You showed him what love was, and for him that was his everything. Although it hurts so very much to not have him here anymore, you gained so much more by sharing his life for a little while.....
 

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I know this is an old story, but I just wanted to say your and Leo's story is beautiful. You are a beatiful person. And I get the feeling about vets messing up every step of the way (and too proud to admit how wrong they are, even when you are not even blaming them...) I just wanted to say... and I know how long it's been but, I'm with you, and Leo. All my love.
 

Maria Bayote

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Leo was meant to be an angel. He touched your life even in a brief moment just to probably remind you again how beautiful it is to love and be loved by an animal, even though you already know it.

That was an equally beautiful tribute. Made me cry.
 
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Antonio65

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I know this is an old story, but I just wanted to say your and Leo's story is beautiful. You are a beatiful person. And I get the feeling about vets messing up every step of the way (and too proud to admit how wrong they are, even when you are not even blaming them...) I just wanted to say... and I know how long it's been but, I'm with you, and Leo. All my love.
Yes, the vets that had him and his sister under their care in the first days messed things up from the beginning and didn't want to admit they were doing wrong.
Anyway, they couldn't have done anything more for him even if they did everything right since day one. The fate had been cruel to Leo. I'm sure he would have been the sweetest cat ever if he had lived his life as he deserved.
Thanks for your kind words!
 
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Antonio65

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Leo was meant to be an angel. He touched your life even in a brief moment just to probably remind you again how beautiful it is to love and be loved by an animal, even though you already know it.

That was an equally beautiful tribute. Made me cry.
Thanks for your words, Maria Bayote Maria Bayote , Leo was sent to me so that I could help him feel loved. I can't imagine what kind of life he would have had if I didn't rescue him on that day...
I cry over him very very often.
 

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Like my proud badge says, I'm friend of ferals. I take care of ferals when I find one.

In early October 2014 someone spotted a mother cat with two tiny kittens under a bush, so they called me over. The kitties were in trouble, were hungry and cold. I set up the cage trap, I caught them all and took them to a local vet who spayed the mom and held the kittens. The mom was released a week later.

I would visit with the kittens at the vets' every day after work, one black female and a tabby male. In a few days they were tamed enough to allow us to hold them in our arms. The black one was growing day by day, the tabby one was always the same size. But each day I would see him drinking, not eating, so I asked the vets whether they had found any issue with the tabby kitten, they said that everything was fine and in a short time the tabby one would have caught up with his sibling.

The truth was different. The little tabby kitten wasn't growing, I asked the vet to run a complete blood test to see if any kidney failure was the cause. They told me that no kitten has ever suffered from bad kidneys. I insisted on this matter and 10 days later they finally ran the blood test that revealed high creatinine and BUN levels and some altered liver levels. I told the vet I was right and they were wrong, but they shut me up with the words "You're not a veterinarian, you don't know anything!".

A week later, on the last day of October, the vets told me I had to take the kittens with me because they couldn't take care of them anymore. I took the kitten with me and found a relative of mine who had an empty room where I could have taken them to. Three times a day I would go to my relative's, early in the morning, during my lunch break and before dinner. They were lovely and grew fond of me in no time.

I spread the voice to look for a new home for them. It was clear since from the beginning, though, that the tabby one wasn't alright, and he couldn't have ever found a home. In about a week, on November 10th, the black girl found a lovely home. She was already three times bigger than her brother when she left, they were 10 weeks old.

The tabby one was alone, without his sister, and started crying all day, so on the following day I took him home with me. Five weeks after catching them, he hadn't grown a bit and was still 450 grams. He was tiny and thin, but his paws were big, like a lion's paws, I named him Leo.

I took Leo to my vet (not the local vets) and she said that an ultrasound was necessary to understand what was going on. The scan revealed that the poor kitty had both his kidneys malformed, he had a bilateral kidney dysplasia. According to my vet he had a few weeks more to live. His creatinine and BUN were over the roof already. We switched his diet to renal wet food and I started with daily sub-Qs that didn't work at all. His skin was so thin and frail that he would lose all the fluids I was giving him immediately from all over his tiny body, like a colander. But he was fighting hard, and loved me like I had never seen before. He would climb up my legs and my torso up to my neck, then he would hug me tight around my neck with his front paws and would give me dozens kisses on my face, every time I was with him.

I would weigh him twice a day. He would let me sit him in a small plastic cup and I would put this cup with Leo in it on a small kitchen scale. He liked to be weighed. He was getting heavier day by day, 10-15 grams each day. I was so happy.
Then, on November 20th, in the morning, I found him weak, he had lost about 60 grams overnight. He didn't want to eat on that day, so I force fed him. When I came back from work that night he was sleeping, and as soon as he saw me, he ran to me, but after a few steps he fell on a side and couldn't move anymore. He wasn't able to stand anymore, he was even lighter than in the morning. I knew it was time. I took him to a 24h clinic to have him euthanised, but the vet sent me back home because according to her opinion he would have recovered in a few hours. Unfortunately he was terribly sick and weak, he was clearly suffering so half an hour later I went to another 24h clinic where I asked them to put him to sleep. He was almost in a coma by then. The vet had to give him very high doses of anesthetic before the last fatal injection, his kidneys were so compromised that the drug wouldn't work.

Leo passed without even realizing what was going on, I was crying like a baby. Leo had been living with me 10 days only, but he had stolen my heart. His love for me was inversely proportional to his size. He was very sick, he wouldn't have had a chance, but he was sent to me to live the best life possible for the short time he was given. I know that someone chose me as the guardian of that tiny creature. And I know that who sent me Leo was Tom, the cat that I took care of and died the year before. Leo was cremated on the following day. The man at the crematorium saw such a tiny body and felt really sad for him and gave me a huge discount on the cremation cost.

Leo was a tiny kitten with the courage of an adult lion, he didn't f ear anything and proved that even a tiny heart can hold a huge love. His courage and love will stay in my heart forever!

It's 3 years today, but it's like yesterday to me :(

RIP Leo!

View attachment 206236
Leo in his plastic cup during a weighing session, November 8th, 2014.
Thank you for being a friend of ferals.

Im sorry about Leo. He was obviously very happy in your company. Although his time was short, you made it special and gave him love and comfort.
 
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