Written by Clare Burns, Foster Mum for KittyCare Durban
Photographs supplied by Cara Reeve
Marmaduke the ginger cat was rescued in 2020 by KittyCare Durban from a Chatsworth cat hoarder (who fed him on stale curry and rice!), along with several other cats, including his brother.
All of them were terribly sick with snuffles and malnutrition, including Marmaduke. Several of the cats needed teeth removed, and they’ll likely all suffer lifelong problems due to their earlier malnutrition and neglect.
On top of this, poor Marmaduke seemed to have constant problems with his eyes, which were constantly teary and irritated. We later discovered that he was born with underdeveloped eyelids, which made him a special-needs cat. We worried how we’d find him a forever home, as it’s hard enough to get a healthy adult cat adopted, never mind one with eye problems.
This poor boy went through so much, including two surgeries to lift his eyelids to assist him in seeing properly, but he never gave up. The first surgery, when I was fostering him, was done at the Montclair Animal Hospital and worked perfectly on one eye; the second, for which his new family took him, was to perfect the other eye.
Fast forward to six months after his rescue, and this beautiful, special-needs boy found his happily ever after! It was a long road, but he found his miracle home with Cara, and we’re so thankful that she opened her heart and home to him. Homes like hers are few and far between.
We’re absolutely delighted that he’s thriving, enjoying life on a farm with his human family, a doggy brother and a fellow cat friend. He gets to sleep in a proper bed and will never have to eat stale leftovers again.
Thank you to Cara for giving him the best home we could ever hope for!
Cara Reeve, Marmaduke’s new owner, shares…
I’d been scrolling through Instagram and saw a story about another kitty from KittyCare Durban, so I decided to go onto Facebook and look more into the story on their page. And that’s when I came across Marmaduke’s post. My heart simply melted, and the fact that no one wanted him because of his eyes broke me.
Something in me just needed to have him, so I showed my partner the post and he didn’t even hesitate. I contacted Clare straight away, and without even meeting him first, we went to pick him up to bring him back home to his new brothers.
It only took him a few days of hiding in a box and under the bed before he became one with the family.
Unfortunately, his eye took a turn for the worse, and when we took him to the vet, they said that they might need to remove his eye after a few days of antibiotics. We were devastated, as he has such beautiful eyes. Fortunately, after the treatment, we returned to the vet and they said they could indeed save his eye.
We had an operation done to lift his eyelashes away from his eye (which was the cause of him not being able to see properly) and, since then, he’s never been happier.
He’s the cuddliest and most loving cat we’ve ever had. He sleeps every night between us, often cradled in my partner’s arms.
Marmaduke has been a blessing to us.