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February 26, 2024

Kurt’s Story: From Severe Infection to Incredible Transformation

Kurt’s Story: From Severe Infection to Incredible Transformation

Sometimes in our line of work, we think we’ve seen it all. Routinely taking in special needs animals and complicated medical cases brings the sense of rarely being surprised or shocked. But every now and then, reality gives us a little kick in the form of a cat like Kurt.

Kurt’s (formerly Gray-Cin) previous owner recognized that he needed more medical care than she could give, and chose to surrender him to Cat Care Society last year. To say he was in rough shape would be an understatement. At only 3 years old, the extent of his condition left our medical team in awe.

Kurt, named after the famed Nirvana frontman, was in so much pain that he lashed out during his initial exam. He had to be put under anesthesia just so we could assess him and get to work.

His wounds were seeping, his tissues were severely diseased, and his eyes and sinuses were in extreme danger.

Add to that, his fur was severely matted, but a full-body shave is an easy fix compared to the time and care the open wounds on his face would need. Turns out, Kurt had a tooth abscess that had been neglected so long that it ruptured, spread to his nasal cavity, caused a severe infection and resulted in a visible, fluid-filled cavity in his cheek. His case was marked a priority, and our medical team quickly got to work.

This alone could have been fatal, but there was more to come.

One of his teeth fell out when we first looked in his mouth, and it was clear that many more needed to be extracted before this gorgeous gray guy was going to feel the pain begin to subside.

He struggled to eat. His face was so swollen that it was difficult to see his right eye, and he was at risk of permanent damage without quick intervention.

Our lead vet, Dr. Cecily Palamara, said it was one of the most severe cases of sinusitis she had ever seen.

Kurt received X-rays, antibiotics and pain medication, and had his wounds flushed. He needed multiple surgeries to fully treat the wound and remove infected teeth and bone.

When he woke up from his first surgery, the relief in his eyes was immediate. The worst of his pain was finally gone. After a few days, he was talkative and asking for attention. After a few weeks, the swelling subsided. The abscess was almost completely resolved.

The result? Kurt became a gentle, happy lad who liked to play and be around other cats and people.

Once he was fully healed and up for adoption, it only took a week to find his new family.

Marc and his teenage son visited the shelter looking for a middle-aged cat who would do well with their dog, Bear. Kurt caught their eye thanks to his polydactyl feet and snaggletooth.

“He was bedraggled; I could tell he was in a rough spot but just needed some support,” the high schooler recalled.

Kurt adjusted pretty quickly to his new home, becoming a confident and independent explorer, and never losing the loving nature he showed from the moment he started to feel better.

“He has been the sweetest boy since we got him,” Marc’s son said. “As he came out of his shell, he started to play and make biscuits. He always talks to us, asking to be pet or be fed. He’s the biggest cuddler ever!”

Due to the extent of his injuries, Kurt’s sinuses and tear ducts will never quite be the same, though he is comfortable again. Kurt’s family reports that he still sneezes and has a runny nose occasionally, but his beautiful coat has grown back in and you’d never know what he went through.

Kurt is now a very sassy cat who knows how to meow till he gets what he wants. He struts around his home, loves catnip mice, and relishes in chin and belly rubs.

Kurt’s case is an extreme example of the importance of cats’ dental health. Because dental disease is so prevalent, tooth root abscesses are common but can be prevented with good oral hygiene and regular vet visits.

It was 317 days between when we first met Kurt and when he went to live with Marc and his family. That’s dedication and care, and it’s what we do best.

Even though Kurt’s case is a unique one, his story is just one of countless cats who receive top-notch medical care above and beyond what many other shelters would be willing to take on. It’s a testament to the spirit of Cat Care Society’s approach in caring for all cats and the dedication of our team.

We thank each and every one of you for your support in continuing to help cats in need.

With gratitude,

EC Michaels
Executive Director
Cat Care Society


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