Tiny Bald Kitten Grows Up To Have The Biggest Personality
"She has developed an obsession for towels. When I come out of the shower, she cries until I wrap her in one, hold her like a baby and kiss her on her forehead over and over."
When tiny Bunny arrived at a Las Vegas shelter as a kitten, she had such a terrible case of ringworm that the shelter decided she wasn’t adoptable. Staffers would only release her to a rescue that could handle the intense care she was going to need. When no rescue was willing to take her on, the shelter decided to euthanize her — but before they could, a woman with a ton of foster experience stepped in and pulled Bunny herself, determined to save the sick kitten’s life.
Nikki Martinez found out about sweet little Bunny and knew she deserved a chance. As soon as she got the kitten home, though, she realized just how sick Bunny really was, and became worried that she might not make it.
“She was underweight, missing hair and urinating blood,” Martinez told The Dodo. “At one point she was so frail, I was scared to check in on her the following morning because I didn’t know if she would still be alive.”
Miraculously, Bunny survived her first few days in foster care, and then a few days more, until it seemed as though she might be out of the woods. Even as she began to heal, though, she couldn’t really be left alone — and so Martinez found a way to always be with her.
“She had to be isolated from my resident pets and other fosters so she was with me the majority of the time,” Martinez said. “I had shirts with giant pockets in the front and she would hang out in the pocket/pouch. I’d take her everywhere I went so she wouldn’t be alone. Doing household chores, walking the dogs, going to the store — she went everywhere with me.”
As the weeks wore on, Bunny got stronger and stronger, and it seemed her ringworm infection was on its way out. Her personality began to shine through more and more each day, and it seemed that she was almost ready to go off to her forever home, though Martinez knew that finding the right family to take her on might not be easy.
But somehow, the perfect family did find Bunny, and applied to adopt her, despite her history of ringworm and despite the fact that her fur was still growing in. They could see that there was something special about the little kitten right off the bat.
“Bunny appeared on my Instagram ... during the holiday of 2016-17,” Marija Jennings, Bunny’s new mom, told The Dodo. “I started following Nikki and immediately unfollowed because I didn't think Bunny was going to make it and it was too painful to watch her suffer. But photos of her kept coming up ... and at that point Jack [my partner] and I fell in love with her and became emotionally invested in her recovery.”
Martinez knew that Bunny would be happy and safe with the couple, who already had two cats, so after nine weeks of foster care, Bunny finally went off to her forever home.
“Not only did they adopt her, but they agreed to take over her fungal treatment,” Martinez said. “I couldn’t have found a more loving, dedicated family to adopt her.”
The couple happily welcomed Bunny into their family and took over the task of overseeing her recovery. At that point, they thought that her ringworm were essentially gone — but they soon realized that she had a much more aggressive case than anyone realized, and actually still had a very long road to recovery ahead of her.
“At that point, she had contaminated us and our other cats, and pretty much everyone we know,” Jennings said. “As Bunny got older, the treatments became more and more traumatizing and uncomfortable, but Bunny was able to take it in stride.”
Because Bunny’s hair had grown back and she was acting so much better, the severity of her condition wasn't obvious — but her new parents didn’t regret adopting her, and did everything they could to help her heal. She was a member of their family by that point, and they were determined to help her lead a completely normal life.
“It took biweekly baths, antifungal medication and decontaminating our apartment from floor to ceiling every week; even then the progress that we made was not very encouraging,” Jennings said. “After a few months of no progress, our ringworm case had become so legendary that our vet enlisted the help of specialists, and they held weekly meetings to discuss how to proceed.”
Finally, after trying everything under the sun, the vets prescribed Bunny a new type of medication — and it worked. In September 2017, after nine months of treatment, Bunny was finally completely healed.
After everything she went through, one might think Bunny would be anxious or nervous as a result, but she’s actually an extremely active, quirky cat who loves to climb and get into anything and everything. Her unique personality astounds and delights her family every day, and reminds them that their journey to getting her healthy was completely worth it.
“She has been bathed so much that she has developed an obsession for towels,” Jennings said. “When I come out of the shower, she cries until I wrap her in one, hold her like a baby and kiss her on her forehead over and over while she sleeps in my arms. If I stop kissing her forehead, she bites my nose. She also likes to be carried around the house inside of an Ikea bag and comes running as soon as she hears one crinkle.”
Bunny certainly didn’t have a normal start to life, and almost didn’t have a life at all. But she ended up with the most compassionate, dedicated people, and together they helped raise her into the sweetest little fighter of a cat, who will now hopefully be able to live her life happy, healthy and ringworm-free.
“Not all ringworm infections are as bad as Bunny's was,” Jennings said. “These cats deserve a chance that they don't get in shelters — it just takes someone that is willing to spend the time and have the commitment that is required to make them healthy again.”