If cats could talk we would be amazed by the stories they could tell. Such is the case with Scottie, a four-month-old purebred Scottish Fold kitten surrendered to the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center in November in very ill health and a back story that beggars belief.
Scottie was bred in the Ukraine and then imported to a kitten reseller in New York. She was then purchased online by an individual in Boston and shipped to Massachusetts.
Owing to her long and arduous journey—as well as the premature separation from her mother—Scottie arrived with a severe upper respiratory infection, and she was significantly underweight. Upon finding out that she was sick, her new owner surrendered her to the MSPCA.
Scottie was evaluated by the Angell emergency center upon arrival and, despite numerous tests aimed at identifying the root cause of her illness, only a vague diagnosis could be revealed: failure to thrive.
“Unfortunately, purchasing animals online and having extremely young animals shipped over long distances is dangerous and can result in significant complications with both health and behavior,” said Alyssa Krieger, manager of the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center. “Scottie weighed only one and a half pounds—and a kitten her age should have been at least two pounds. She will likely suffer lifelong medical issues as a result of poor care and the conditions under which she was bred and transported.”
Krieger arranged for Scottie to be moved into a foster home after several days of intensive care at Angell. “She was, and still is, too fragile for life in the shelter and needed to be with an experienced caretaker who could administer medication and fluids,” she said.
What’s Wrong with Scottie?
While an exact diagnosis has eluded both the Angell and shelter veterinary teams, all agree that Scottie is highly susceptible to upper respiratory infections which, for her, can be severe.
“We’ve been able to reduce her symptoms over the last couple of months and she’s a much happier cat as a result,” said Krieger. “But her new owner(s) will need to be prepared for future respiratory illnesses that will need to be treated with antibiotics.”
Krieger stressed that whomever adopts Scottie will need to be prepared for regular visits to the veterinarian so that future flare-ups—as well as any other medical conditions that can be common with this particular breed—can be addressed quickly before they become dangerous. Interested adopters can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about Scottie and the adoption process.
Call for Donations
Scottie’s care has already exceeded $2,000 and that bill will likely go higher should she need more medical care while at the MSPCA. Readers interested in donating toward the cost of Scottie’s care can make a contribution to Spike’s Fund, which meets the medical care of homeless animals in the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center.