As supervisor of the Kitten Nursery at San Diego Humane Society, Jackie Noble’s team of staff and volunteers care for more than a thousand kittens each year. But the one who stole her heart almost didn’t make it.
When 5-week-old Davey was brought to SDHS, he had an upper respiratory infection, his eyes were swollen and sealed shut, and his nose was crusted over. He was severely underweight, dehydrated and couldn’t eat.
“The man who found him was pleading with us to help,” Noble recalls. “Between me, the vet and the director, all of our knowledge led us to believe the kitten probably wouldn’t make it.”
But Noble wasn’t ready to give up on Davey. She cleaned him, and gave him fluids and antibiotics. After a few days, the kitten began to gain weight. Davey was blind, though, and because his eyes were ruptured and causing pain, he needed to have them surgically removed.
Noble and the vets cared for Davey for almost two months, providing constant checkups and medical care. Davey couldn’t be with other kittens, since they could have pulled out his stitches, so Noble also provided playtime and human interaction. She says spending so much time with Davey right from the beginning solidified her connection with him.
In the end, the man who found him decided not to adopt, and Noble took Davey home the very same day.
“All the caregivers could tell that I had an unusual bond with him,” Noble says. “I don’t feel like I chose him; I felt like he was my cat right when he came in.”
Davey is now almost 2 years old. Fur has grown over the scarring on his eyes, and Noble says he has an uncanny ability to sense his environment. Thanks to the care he received early on, Davey is a healthy, confident and playful cat.