- Cleo is a hairless sphynx cat.
- She arrived at the animal shelter when she was only four days old.
- Shelter workers hoped for a mama cat to care for her so she could survive.
Cleo arrived at Helen Woodward Animal Center when she was only four days old.
The small, hairless sphynx cat was malnourished, and shelter workers feared she wouldn’t survive without the care of her mother.
Jessica Gercke, communications director for the shelter, described Cleo as very undersized when she arrived.
“Our vet immediately started bottle-feeding her, but getting Cleo to drink was very slow-going. Ultimately, we knew that she really needed to feed off of a mother to have her best chance of survival,” she added. “But we continued to do our best.”
A pregnant cat named Bellarina appeared a week later, answering their prayers. The shelter hoped that once Bellarina gave birth, she would take the little kitten into her family, but they were unsure.
Bellarina gave birth three days after her arrival, and the caregivers introduced her to Cleo after seeing how good she was with her own babies.
Bellarina could tell Cleo needed help the moment she met her. She didn’t mind that Cleo was unusual (hairless) and quickly accepted her.
According to Gercke, the cat mom warmed up to Cleo right away and favored her during feedings, rolling over to her first and lifting her up with her mouth to ensure she had a nice spot. Bellarina enjoyed grooming and nuzzling Cleo, according to Gercke.
Bellarina stayed at home with her foster mom to care for her fluffy kittens — and Cleo.
“She treated her just as she did her other babies,” said Traci Parker, Bellarina’s foster. “She even kept a closer eye on her because she looks different and needs a little extra care. She was the best mom.”
Cleo requires daily baths and massages with coconut oil from her foster mother because of her distinct appearance. She is healthy, thanks to Bellarina and Parker, and will be ready for adoption shortly.
Parker describes Cleo as inquisitive, and she enjoys playing with feather toys and with her siblings. She also likes her fuzzy, circular bed, which is quite comfortable against her skin.
Bellarina and her other babies are now looking for their forever homes, while Cleo continues on her path to becoming a healthy and happy cat.
“Cleo will stay with us for another month as she continues to grow and put on weight,” said Gercke. “She needs the extra time to make up for her slow start, but we foresee a beautiful future for her.”
Source: The Dodo