A tiny kitten who was saved by Blue Cross when he was abandoned by his stray mum has survived yet another setback after getting a devastating health diagnosis.

Little Piglet was just 10 days old when he was brought into our Thirsk rehoming centre in north Yorkshire in urgent need of help, and was swiftly whisked home for hand-rearing by Animal Welfare Assistant Jenny Day.

Kittens of this size need food every few hours and so Jenny made sure that he was fed regularly, even waking up during the night to give him the milk he needed to build up strength.
The brave kitty was getting on well and as even playing with his new best pal, Lily the Chihuahua.

Piglet with chihuahua friend Lily
Piglet with his chihuahua friend Lily while she was being hand-reared.


But as he became ready to move onto solid food, disaster struck when a routine visit to the vet uncovered a rare, life-threatening defect of the oesophagus. This meant he could never eat solid food and was at risk of becoming malnourished; he was even at risk of developing serious health issues like pneumonia.

Jenny said: “We were devastated when the vet told us Piglet was in danger yet again. It is vital kittens start eating solid food, without it they don’t have the strength to live like a normal cat and rely on being hand fed a liquid diet for their whole lives. Despite his brave fight so far, without an operation he would become weak again.” 

The only option was surgery but, with such a rare condition, finding an experienced vet to perform a successful operation would be difficult.

Piglet when he was just 10 days old
Piglet when she was found all alone without her mum at just 10 days old.


Luckily for Blue Cross and Piglet, Helen Blackburn who is a vet at the charity’s local practice, Skeldale Vets, had experienced the problem before and was confident she could operate as soon as Piglet was big enough.

He continued to be hand-reared on a liquid diet by Jenny for a further month before the procedure could take place. Thankfully, the surgery went well and Helen looked after Piglet for another three weeks until he was given the all clear. And she soon turned out to be more than his life-saving vet.

After confessing she had fallen for the little puss she decided to take him on as her own, and Piglet is now a healthy kitten who enjoys life to the full.

Jenny said: “We are so happy to see Piglet now, fully recovered and back to his cheeky ways. He stole all our hearts and we never gave up on him. He is a plucky boy who was determined to live.”