Written by Megan Bayne, founder of Harvey’s Haven
Professional photography by FourPawz Photography
The white-and-grey kitten was born with severely curved front legs and was the only survivor of the litter. The owners, who reside in Mitchells Plain, were stumped as to what to do with this precious three-week-old boy and called me in for help.
They adore their cats
The family are of limited income and have no transport, but they adore their cats; we don’t want to be the people to take them away.
We offered to help… with a few conditions. The kitten would be surrendered to us to get him the care he needed. We’d take mother cat, named Oreo, and the kitten together, and once the little one was weaned, the mother would be returned to the owners – sterilised, fully vaccinated and treated for parasites. And the other two male cats on the premises would also be sterilised before Oreo was returned.
Our friends at the Animal Welfare Society Philippi stepped up to assist the family, even performing life-saving surgery on one of the male cats’ eyes.
Emma, one of our board members, and I drove to collect them from their home and you could immediately see that the cats were very much loved and part the family. So we took Oreo and Baby Dax in for about six weeks. They stayed in foster care and were loved and doted upon by the foster parents.
Fast forward six weeks, and Dax is a happy, healthy and quite chunky boy with a spice for life and adventure. One of his legs has straightened and his foster is working on fixing the other leg.
P.S. His mom, Oreo, has been spayed and returned to her owners, who were delighted to have her back.
Kara Louw, Dax’s foster fail mom, shares…
I collected little Dax and his mom, Oreo, on the 1st of July 2019. It’s a day I’ll never forget, because I got to meet the spunkiest and most determined little ball of fur ever.
At the time I was house sitting, and he’s since travelled quite happily with me between house sittings and even made a few trips to the office (because this foster mom has grown far too attached to leave the little man behind).
At first Dax was still feeding on his mom and highly attached to her; I figured weaning over to solids might become an issue, but one that I’d only have to tackle later. To my astonishment, Dax, with the help of his mommy, successfully weaned over to solids and litter-trained all by himself – in less than eight days, I might add!
I could tell after his first week with me that he was an intelligent and mighty curious boy, always wanting to adventure to “the beyond”. Despite his bowed legs, no space was off limits in little Dax’s mind.
Since Dax arrived with me he’s picked up from his original weight of just over 400 grams to a whopping 1.5kg, and boy, does he love his food!
Amazingly, during his stay one of his front legs has straightened out quite drastically, and as such we’re looking into “kitten physio” in hopes that we can get the second front leg a bit straighter too.
A special boy
I have to admit, Dax has not only wormed his way into my heart during his stay with me, but he’s also successfully managed to twist everyone else in the house around his little “poep voet”, as we call it. Let’s not even mention his award-winning performance of “I swear I haven’t been fed yet” that he has down pat!
It’s no surprise that this amazing little boy even managed to get my other three cats on his side (which, trust me, is a miracle in itself). Needless to say, this meant that he was the perfect fit for our home. Daxi-boy has now been deemed a foster fail and has found his forever home with us!
This special nugget of fluff and indomitable force of laughter, happiness and love came to us during a time of healing after the loss of our fourteen-year-old boy, Sparky. While one child can never replace another, he made it easier to get through each passing day, and for that I’ll be forever grateful… and solemnly swear to buy him every toy he wants until the end of time.
ABOUT HARVEY’S HAVEN
Harvey’s Haven is a small cat rescue organisation based in Cape Town which aims to assist other animal rescue organisations with their overflow of neonatal kittens and cats and to help raise and rehome them. The cats and kittens are all from different backgrounds and ages, and we focus on neonatal kittens, mother cats and their babies, and special-needs felines. The organisation works with foster homes as they don’t have a shelter.
Harvey’s Haven is currently in the process of raising funds for a kitten nursery to enable us to save a few neonates and special-needs kittens at a time and offer a safe and healthy environment for them for those first few fragile weeks of their lives.
Find out more on Facebook @Harveyshavencpt.
Check out our story on Harvey, the kitten who inspired Harvey’s Haven: https://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/happy-tales/saving-little-harvey/