Sweet baby Olive was born with three legs and an underdeveloped sternum and ribs, which left her little heart vulnerable.
When Olive and her litter mates were brought to the Philadelphia shelter, her siblings were adopted almost immediately, but Olive's fragile condition meant that she would require extensive surgery - something the shelter just couldn't afford. So, Olive was 'timestamped' (put at risk for euthanasia).
Thankfully, a woman named Holly Dixon saw little Olive on Facebook and noticed she was on the urgent list.
Dixon told The Dodo. "I help run the Philly Urgents Facebook page, and the shelter sends us the list of any 'timestamped,' or urgent cats, so we can help promote them to find rescues, adopters or fosters."
Dixon contacted The Philly Kitty Rescue and they agreed to take Olive in under Dixon's care as her foster mama.
"Aside from her missing leg, she appeared to be a normal kitten when I met her at the shelter," Dixon said. "It wasn't until I put my hand under her to lift her from the carrier that I could literally feel her tiny heart beating against my hand. That's when I really understood the enormity of her situation."
After multiple visits to the clinic that included x-rays and an ultrasound to better understand what was needed.
Dr. Jennifer MacLeod recommended that a surgical repair of Olive's sternum defect.
According to Dixon and Dr. MacLeod, it would be ideal to perform the repair "soon since her bones are still "pliable" and would likely have a better surgical outcome."
In addition to fixing her sternum, the vet will also perform a spaying. The total cost for little Olive's surgery is between $3,000 and $5,000 USD.
Dixon created a YouCaring page to raise money for the surgery and within record time, they met their goal! The fundraiser remains open to support other kitties living at The Philly Kitty Rescue in need of lifesaving care.
Meanwhile, as little Olive awaits her surgery, she is just a normal kitten in her own mind. Dixon writes, "despite her physical differences, Olive is very much a normal kitten who has boundless energy, no fear, and gets into everything."
"The minute I enter the foster room, I can hear her purring in her cage. She is not the least bit shy and she loves exploring and meeting new people."
We wish her a successful surgery and a long, happy life!
[h/t The Dodo]