Emaciated Kitten Found Outside by Dumpster to Undergo Reconstructive Surgery to ‘Save Face’

Whether caused by infection or trauma or by electrocution, a tiny six-week-old kitten is missing nearly half his face and will soon have reconstructive surgery at the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center before a new home can be found, the Jamaica Plain animal rescue said.

Nigel will have reconstructive surgery to rebuild his face once he\’s strong enough to endure the procedure (credit MSPCA-Angell)

The young kitten, who shelter staff named “Nigel,” was found wandering beside a dumpster in Dorchester by a good Samaritan, who rushed him to the MSPCA on July 7. At the time, the adoption center team thought Nigel might have been struggling with an upper respiratory infection.

“His nose and much of his face seemed discolored but that appeared to be a standard infection for which we started him on pain medicine and antibiotics,” said adoption center manager Alyssa Krieger of the adorable ball of orange who now has his own Instagram page (@NoNoseNigel). “We were shocked to discover later just how seriously injured Nigel was.”

Missing Half His Face

After just one week Nigel’s face, including the skin on and under his nose had simply fallen off. Krieger and her staff can only speculate as to why. “It’s possible that this was an advanced infection that did not respond to antibiotics and the skin simply peeled off—or it could have been caused by blunt force trauma or by electrocution.”

Nigel was emaciated and was neither neutered nor microchipped, making identification of an owner impossible. “We just don’t know how he ended up where he did,” said Krieger, who suspects the young cat may have been abandoned.

Angell Animal Medical Center to the Rescue

Nigel is facing an extensive reconstructive surgery which will be performed by the head of surgery at Angell, Dr. Mike Pavletic.

Dr. Pavletic, known internationally for re-attaching the skin of a cat whose face was torn away by a fan belt, as well as successfully re-allocating muscle tissue to help a crippled dog walk again pain-free, will perform a facial reconstruction surgery in about a month when Nigel is strong enough to endure the procedure. Nigel will be placed for adoption afterward.

The MSPCA will announce Nigel’s availability for adoption in the coming weeks.

  • LovesDogs2012

    With so many healthy cats and kittens in need of homes, is prolonging this kitten’s suffering in his (or other cats’) best interests? It seems cruel and wasteful. Because his pitiful mangled face gets donations is not a good reason to prolong his suffering and force him to endure expensive, experimental surgeries.

    • Marty

      I’m with you. It’s unnecessary and cruel.

    • return

      The cat isn’t in pain and the surgery won’t prolong pain.You didn’t even bother to look into it. The image in your icon is a joke, right?

  • realist

    Doctors love the challenge of radical surgery. They are on salary so bring on the challenges. No challenge to Euthanize a healthy animal, boring.