Gunnison the kitten is starting 2016 with a new lease on life.
The affectionate grey-and-white feline was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer two days before Christmas, Shawn Simons, Headmistress at Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats, told PEOPLE.
Gunnison was born at Kitty Bungalow after the feral cat rescue saved his pregnant mother from the streets of Los Angeles, California. The mom, who gave birth the night she was rescued, was named Mississippi and each of her six babies were named after a city in the southern state.
Kitty Bungalow, dedicated to fighting feline over-population through TNR (Trap Neuter Return) and adoption, cared for the new family providing them with home and medical care. Everyone appeared healthy in the first few weeks, but as volunteers were prepping the kittens for the holiday adoption season, they noticed Gunnison had a bit of a limp. Figuring the playful 10-week-old kitten pulled a muscle while scampering around with his siblings, Kitty Bungalow gave Gunnison a few days to heal. But two days before Christmas, the little cat was still having trouble getting around, so he was taken to the vet.
During the appointment, the Kitty Bungalow veterinarian made a shocking discovery. X-rays showed that Gunnison had almost complete bone disintegration in the joint of his affected leg. This finding led the vet to diagnose Gunnison with a rare form of bone cancer.
While Kitty Bungalow covers the medical expense of their cats, the expensive treatment and amputation necessary for Gunnison’s recovery led them to seek out donations for an emergency medical fund. The rescue posted a call to help for the kitten who was in need of a $5,000 holiday miracle. The community responded by raising all the money just before New Year’s Day.
Now, with over $5,400 in donations, Gunnison is ready to take on any challenges that lie ahed. He has already visited a feline orthopedic specialist to begin treatment and is looking forward to a long and happy life.
Until Gunnison is treated and fully healed, he will stay under the doting care of Kitty Bungalow, where he spends his days hanging out with kitten buddy Isham and delighting volunteers. The rescue hopes to have Gunnison on the road to recovery by next holiday season, so he can spend New Year’s Eve in a forever home.
To donate to Kitty Bungalow’s efforts visit their website here.