I talked a bit about Zen’s background in my introductory Feline Friday post, but I didn’t really go in depth with all that she went through. So today, I want to share Zen’s story, and all that she’s overcome throughout the years.
We originally heard about Zen and her litter through a local Craigslist post, and at the time, we were actively looking for a kitten to adopt. My mom wanted a female kitten, which the listing specifically mentioned. It even went on to claim all the kittens were up-to-date with their shots and vaccines. Everything seemed perfect (although we quickly found out that wasn’t the case), so my family hurried over to visit the kittens.
Almost immediately, my parents and my brother fell in love with a little black and white kitten that plopped down into their laps. Of course, this kitty turned out to be Zenny. My family spent a bit more time visiting with the kittens before they decided on adopting Zen. During the visit, they noticed that she was very tiny, even compared to the other kittens. Most likely, she was the runt of the litter, lacking proper nutrition and sustenance from her mother.
On our first night with Zen, my mom worried that she’d actually passed away. At some point in the night, my mom woke up and realized Zen was barely moving. It turned out she was just in a deep sleep, but I do think she was really low energy at the time. In fact, Zen was like that for the first few days, lethargic and not moving much. After a few days of proper food and hydration she seemed to be in much better health, playful and full of seemingly boundless energy. It was so nice to see Zen stampeding all over the house after that scare.
Within her first week with us, we got Zen to the vet, just to make sure everything was okay. Well, this is when that earlier point about the shots and vaccinations comes in. It turned out that Zen hadn’t received any of those yet, and to make matters worse, she had a whole host of health issues too. Ear mites, ringworm, almost every type of parasitic worm; poor Zenny had all of these just several weeks into her life. And I can’t even imagine how she felt having to deal with all of that, especially so young. It breaks my heart to think about that.
Fortunately, we were able to get all the medication she needed right away. Giving that medicine to her on a daily basis was a different story, though. Zen absolutely hated having to take medicine, and she would fight every single dose. The poor kitty also had to take baths with special shampoo once every couple weeks, to get rid of the ringworm. She disliked that even more than the medicine.
However, in doing all this, we were able to finally nurse Zen back to decent health. It took months and months of repeating baths and medication to get rid of all those horrible conditions. But we did it, and so did Zen. The whole time, she was incredibly strong and brave. I know a large part of her survival was her own will and courage.
In the process, we racked up quite a few medical bills, but I think I speak for myself and my entire family when I say, it was entirely worth it. After seeing Zen go through all this, it was so amazing to see her be able to run around and play like a normal kitten. She no longer had to experience the pain and discomfort that came along with her health conditions. She was finally free from it, and that will always be priceless. I love this cat so so much, and I’m beyond grateful to have her in my life. We all are.