Happy Tail: Nuka
Nuka was rescued as a kitten in December 2011 after both of his siblings were found frozen to death. He was very sick with a severe upper respiratory infection, an underdeveloped third eyelid and was severely underweight at just 12 weeks old.
With four cats of my own, I had a full house, but Nuka had no where to go. We couldn’t turn him away and I agreed to foster him for Paws for Life Rescue. For the first week, we weren’t sure if Nuka would make it. He was just so small and so sick.
But as time went on, Nuka got bigger, stronger and healthier. After six weeks, he was healthy enough to be neutered and have his third eyelid surgically opened up so that he could see with both eyes. Not long after that, Nuka was diagnosed with Feline Herpes. I started doing research and learned all I could. Turns out, it is very common in cats who are sick for long periods of time. But with some supplements it was very manageable. As time went on, Nuka grew into a very healthy and beautiful cat. By 7 months old, he knew his name, learned to come when called, sit on command, give hugs, walk on a leash and play fetch.
He also developed a love for small, sickly and feral kittens. Somewhere along the way he decided that he made a great mom. So we began fostering feral kittens.
Nuka was just so loving and nurturing with each and every kitten that we brought home that we started to call him “Mother Nuka.”
He would carry the kittens with him everywhere, sleep with them, watch them for hours and hours and even let them nurse on him, despite obviously not having any milk for them. They just suckled on his long fur and belly and he would purr them to sleep.
For two years Nuka raised kittens and helped them become social enough to find homes, yet he himself was still “homeless.” Everyone who met him loved him, but they were all afraid of him having feline herpes.
Finally, after fostering Nuka for two years, watching him socialize feral kittens, make friends with dogs and charm the pants off of everyone he met, I realized this cat wasn’t meant to go to just any home. He was meant to stay with us. He was meant to live in a rescue family and help raise other kittens to help them find homes of their own. So, in the summer of 2013, I finally and officially adopted Nuka.
He has been the most amazing and inspirational cat and I can’t imagine our lives without him.
Sincerely, Santa Z.