It started with a plea on social media, then a trip to the vet to amputate his leg. On Friday, July 7, his foster mom took in Braveheart temporarily.
Through most of his journey into his second of nine lives, this kitten that is about one year old has been purring and winning the hearts of everyone who meets him.
“We are a Chihuahua rescue,” said Megan Barrett, director of Limbo Chihuahuas of Gulfport, a non-profit organization. On June 26, “I was home working in the afternoon and went on Facebook to check out the dog posts and saw that one of our volunteers, Lacey Glass, had picked up Braveheart’s picture from Gulfport’s Get Rescued Facebook page, posted it and tagged people that she knew in rescue. I said that we need to get that cat to the vet right away before they close!”
Braveheart, a shorthaired domestic named by his Facebook rescuers for his tenacious spirit and ability to survive, was located in the Childs Park area of St. Petersburg near Gulfport. He had a critical and life-threatening injury to his entire front right leg along with other related health issues.
“By his behavior, he is a cat that is very tame and was maybe somebody’s pet at one time,” said Barrett. “Even in his rough condition, he’s been incredibly friendly.”
The Limbo dog rescue volunteer arranged for somebody to pick up the group’s “honorary kitty” and “I met them at Gulfport Veterinarian,” said Barrett. “They did not hesitate to take him in. It was near their closing time and they could have told us to take him to the emergency vet, but they didn’t. His condition was really bad. People had to walk out of the waiting room.”
The vet’s office quickly determined that in order to save his life, he needed treatment for gangrene and his leg had to be amputated. According to the vet, “the leg injury was most likely caused by a larger predator like a dog,” said Barrett. “Neglect by humans was also involved. Somebody should have taken him to the vet immediately after his leg was injured. If it had been another eight hours to get him care, the vet said he would have been dead.”
Through it all, Gulfport and southern St. Petersburg rescue people worked together through Facebook to save Braveheart, said Barrett. The Limbo rescue group has been posting updates about Braveheart on their Facebook page.
“Now, he’s remarkably turned around,” said Barrett. “He’s gained almost two pounds and his fur has grown back in nice and soft. He is now nine-and-a-half pounds.” He likes cat food but his favorite eats are donated grilled chicken and tuna treats from Fuzzy and Furries Pet Store, Spa and Barkery in St. Petersburg.
The rescue is seeking tax-deductible donations to cover Braveheart’s “extraordinary vet bills,” which are nearly $1,000, said Barrett. “One hundred percent of each donation goes to the vet care.”
To donate, visit limbochihuahuas.org/braveheart-the-cat.php or visit the offices of the Gulfport Veterinarian.
“The ultimate outcome is that he gets a new home,” said Barrett. To give Braveheart a forever indoor home, visit Limbo Chihuahuas at limbochihuahuas.org, or call Barrett at 727-423-0226.
“It’s a miracle this cat is alive,” said Barrett. “I know he’s going to get a great home.”