A tiny one pound kitten was born, missing a leg, and her heart beat just beneath the skin. Olive arrived at the city shelter in Philadelphia. They had thought she had diaphragmatic hernia and was timestamped for euthanasia. But one volunteer, named Holly Dixon, felt this kitten COULD be saved. She quickly called Philly Kitty Rescue, a no-kill, all volunteer shelter that is known to take in “broken” cats and kittens.
When Holly Dixon first meet Olive and held her, she was shocked to feel her tiny heart beating, pretty much, in the palm of her hand. With only a thin layer of skin and some fur to protect it.
Olive was also born with a congenital amputation of her left front leg. Between her tiny exposed heart, and missing limb, Olive’s survival would be challenging– yet she showed everyone around her that she very much wanted to live!
“We got her to the vet, who confirmed her diaphragm was intact and she didn’t have a hernia, but that’s when they told us she was actually missing most of her sternum, which is why we can see and feel her heart beating in her chest,” Holly told Love Meow.
In spite of her challenges, Olive is incredibly happy and full of energy. Dixon says: “She purrs as soon as she sees anyone. She really has no fear at all. She wants to wrestle with my big cats, but I can’t let her because of her little unprotected heart. She is a funny girl. She makes me laugh every single day.”
When Olive is old enough, she will have surgery to repair her sternum, but for now her rescuer made her a tiny sweater with a home-made chest plate.
Olive deserves a full life and Dixon is committed to give her one. “We would love to give little Olive a chance at a normal life. A life where she can run and jump without the risk of injury to her unprotected heart.”
The heart that Dixon nearly held in her hand, is now protected by her rescuer’s own heart.
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