10th Jul, 2024

Written by Kate McCabe

Professional photography by Claud's Photography

Axel was found, along with a sibling, behind Watercrest Mall, Durban, on a Sunday morning.

Their mom, sadly, was deceased, leaving these two little bubs orphaned. I was contacted by the people who found them and asked if I could foster the little boy, which I agreed to do; the little girl had found a home.

When he arrived, he was estimated to be about two or three weeks old. I’d never bottle-fed kittens before and had to watch YouTube tutorials to learn how to do so.

Axel thrived and hit all his milestones, and my bond with him grew. I knew I couldn't give him up for adoption, so I decided to keep him.

He’s been an incredible cat, growing with me and helping me through some very difficult times in my life.

Unfortunately, Axel was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Chronic Kidney Disease and has been brought home for palliative care. This includes medicine given daily and I have to manually flush his kidneys via subcutaneous fluids twice daily.

He’s now on borrowed time as he’s receiving palliative care at home. He has to go for weekly check-ups to observe his haematocrit, his weight, his blood pressure and his hydration levels.

Through all of this he’s been such a trooper and willingly takes his medicine from my hand without fussing.

He’s been poked and prodded and still has such a will to survive. The incredible thing about him is that he’s still eating despite being nauseous, which is common in kidney failure.

Combined with his incredible will to live and an amazing vet team at Hillcrest Veterinary Hospital (Drs Shontelle Naidoo, Inke Helm, Pieter Hanekom, and last but not least, Dr Lauren Myles), he’s been with me a lot longer than we originally expected.

Axel’s vet bills are unfortunately crippling, but he’s been worth every cent. This boy of mine is truly a fighter.

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