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.
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.