Cleo was only 4 days old when she arrived at the Helen Woodward Animal Center. The tiny, hairless sphinx cat was starving. She had no mum to look after her, making the shelter staff fear the worst.
Cleo, a small, hairless kitten, who was starving
When Cleo came to us, she was very little . Our vet immediately started bottle-feeding her, but it was hard to get her to drink. We knew she needed mom's milk to be a better chance of survival. – says Jessica Gercke.
A little spark of hope
One week later to the shelter a pregnant kitten named Bellarina arrived. It was then that the staff sensed a glimmer of hope. They hoped that when Bellarina was born, she would accept Cleo among her children. However, it was not certain if it would succeed.
Bellarina gave birth three days after arriving at the shelter. After we saw how great she is doing with her kittens, we decided to introduce her to Cleo. We knew a hairless kitten would smell different from her own babies, so we were always concerned about whether it would succeed. – admits Jessica Gercke.
A touching sight for everyone
It's amazing, but when Bellerina met Cleo, she looked like she knew the little kitten needed help. She didn't care that Cleo was different and she adopted her without hesitation.
Bellerina literally softened at the sight of Cleo. She favored her while feeding and always made sure she had a good spot. She loved to nurture her and show her love. It was an incredibly touching sight for all of us. – says Jessica Gercke.
Soon the cat's family went to a temporary home, and Bellarina continued to bravely care for her fluffy kittens – and Cleo.
She had an even more careful eye on Cleo as she looked different and needed a little extra care. She was the best mom all the time. Says Traci Parker, the cat's temporary carer.
Every day more and more blooming
Due to her unique appearance, Cleo needs to be warmed and her skin requires special care. Everyone is bathed and massaged with coconut oil. But thanks to Bellarina and Tracia, Cleo is still thriving, and she will soon be available for adoption.
Cleo is very curious. He loves to play with toys and with his siblings. She also loves her furry round bedding which is super soft against her skin. – admits Traci Parker.
“We predict a beautiful future for her”
Bellarina and her kittens are ready to find their homes forever, while Cleo continues her journey to become a fully healthy and happy cat.
Cleo will stay with us for another month as she continues to grow and gain weight. It needs extra time to make up for its slow start. However, we anticipate a beautiful future for her. – adds Traci Parker.