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For several years I rented a small apartment on a farm. The farm owner left a lot to be desired in terms of animal care. My studio apartment was right next to his barn, where feral barn cats lived (and, sadly, died). I helped when I could but with my own animals I couldn't take on the task of caring for the whole feral colony.
One afternoon I heard meowing from his barn. I tried to ignore it but couldn't. I went looking and found a Siamese-colored kitten sitting in a puddle, screaming on the top of her lungs! Sadly, usually by the time one of the feral kittens would let a human approach, the kitten was too far gone to survive. The most I could do in those cases was to give them a peaceful end. But this kitten was different -- her problem was her legs, not her overall health. She couldn't walk well so presumably her family abandoned her.
I took her inside expecting the worst. My wonderful vet gave me lessons on bottle feeding, and assisted me with daily weigh-ins and check-ups. They only charged me when I had an actual procedure done. I wouldn't give her a name, wanting to minimize the hurt if she didn't make it. The vet listed her name as FOUND. And it was touch and go for a while. But she had a robust appetite and very healthy lungs, and a fighting spirit. It took over two weeks to get her over the one-pound mark, and from then on she grew and improved in leaps and bounds. And soon she was walking, leaping and running!
She is my little darling, and loved by my other cats too. Her name is Trouve which is "found" in French!
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