Smokey - The Indomitable Kitty
Smokey - The Indomitable Kitty
"Smokey - the Indomitable Kitty" is a true story book about a burn victim who defied all odds and is now our living miracle.
"Smokey - the Indomitable Kitty" is a true story book about a burn victim who defied all odds and is now our living miracle. Read more
About this project
Hello, my name is Smokey. I was born as a feral kitten in Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii. At less than one month old, a wild grass fire almost took my life. This was the first time I saw a human when I dashed out of the fire and a firefighter hosed me down. I weighed less than a pound and all my fur had been completely burned off my shivering body. I thought I was doomed, until a compassionate neighbor saw me and called Jan Abbot. She's an advocate for homeless feral cats who works with KARES, a non-profit group on the Big Island, Hawaii.
Jan immediately wrapped me in her jacket and took me to her house. She gave me some nourishment which I was so thankful for. Jan told me later she didn’t think I’d make it through the night because I was in so much pain! Dr. Hall agreed to see me before office hours the next morning. Dr. Hall pointed out each area where first, second, or third degree burns had occurred all over my body. My ears were crispy remnants and my tail had to be amputated. Although I was small and funny looking, my determination and will to live trumped the pain and agony I experienced.
Besides, I had Jan to fight this for. She spent many tireless nights keeping me warm, comfortable, fed, and hydrated. She even gave me pain medication in the form of liquid drops called Burprenorphine. So I made it through another day and night, and another, then another. Each day I kept thinking, I have to fight and live. I have to try and make it. A return visit to the vet showed I was gaining weight!
Following the second vet visit, I now sported a body stocking that kept me from licking off the prescribed ointment meant to keep my burned skin supple. Boy did it itch! I wanted so badly to scratch and scratch at my skin but this stocking did its job and wouldn’t let me get to my wounds. In the healing process, I scabbed all over until I looked like a kitten with a hard rhinoceros hide. Visitors to the house shrank back when they saw me, then they came back to stare at me in a different way. They were in awe with my bravery and determination!
Jan backed off on my pain meds and for the first time in my life I became interested in toys and playing. I mean what is the point of living if you can’t enjoy some toys, right? I thought I was on the road to recovery but I had a major problem. Sorry for the TMI, but some days I just couldn’t ‘go.’ Yes my friends, on some days I didn’t have a bowel movement at all, and then to much of my embarrassment on other days I had raging painful and explosive diarrhea. I felt so bad for Jan who had to clean up after me. By nature, as a cat, I like to be clean but you know I would have chosen to walk around with a dirty butt because even though it was for my best interest it would HURT SO BAD when Jan immersed my backside in warm water to bathe me. “NO, NO JAN!” I’d scream.
It was about this time, my right rear quarters began to be pulled to the side as the thick scab pulled my skin and anus to the right deforming my body. Someone once remarked that it looked like I was pooping out of my leg. Another trip to the vet had us trying a motility drug to help the stool move through the intestines. Then a laxative was added to the protocol, and a careful regimen of finding the proper dose of both was begun. I’d have good days but inevitably I would fall down to my side, my intestines completely impacted with stool because let’s face it, I was getting more and more deformed. I would be so scared to ‘go.’ Jan would find me breathing hard laid out on my side in so much pain I couldn’t move. This went on until I was 6 months old. Jan and I knew the veterinary medical procedures in Hawaii were limited and we needed help if I were to make it to a year old. Every day Jan and I prayed for an angel and one day… she came.
My mom to be, Esther Hwang is a famous model from San Francisco, CA. (www.esther.com)
She was shooting her next swimsuit calendar at the Fairmont Resort Hotel in Kona, Big Island when she saw a small kitten (a different cat, not me) hiding in the bushes inside the hotel grounds. It was love at first sight for her and a bengal-mix cat she named “Kona,” who became my future big brother. Esther called KARES and asked for help to get Kona back to the mainland with her. With the help of Jan, they trapped Kona and Esther flew Kona back to California where he lives happily ever after. But let’s get back to my story.
My Mom, Esther also runs and is President of Pandora’s Hope Foundation (“PHF”), a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping underprivileged children and women stricken with cancer. When Jan approached Esther with my situation of needing better veterinary care, Esther took it upon her non-profit to get me the help I needed. I was so excited! I was finally going to get the help I needed to be a ‘normal’ cat! Well, as normal as I could get!
Pandora’s Hope non-profit made arrangements to fly me to San Francisco International Airport. This is where I met my Mom, Esther and my Dad, Henry Baba for the first time. I was so nervous! When I looked out of my smelly cage that I had soiled many times over on the flight and saw them, I mustered up the cutest hello I could possibly say.
“Meow” I said.
“Meow. Please don’t mind my smell. I am so cute and lovable if you give a chance.”
I knew I was going to be okay when they both looked at me and smiled.
They immediately whisked me off to UC Davis veterinary emergency triage department where I underwent emergency treatment to clear an intestinal blockage.
This was the beginning of my many visits to the UC Davis. When the big date was set for my major surgery with Dr. Phillip Mayhew who’s specialty is in internal medicine, I was so excited but so nervous! He said my case was very unique. He never seen a case like mine before and gave me special and careful attention. He told my Momma that there is no guarantee I’ll ever ‘go’ like a normal cat but that we will hope for the best. After subsequent major surgery, it was discovered that I had no anal sphincter, as a result from his burns in the wildfire.
No wonder I had such a hard time ‘going!’ After many months of round the clock caregivers my damaged intestinal tract was straightened and repaired. It was truly a MIRACLE when I started using the litter box for the first time! Mom couldn't believe it and she started crying. My UC Davis doctors told her that this was probably not possible... and here I am 'going' like a normal cat. No more messy pee pads and diapers for me. I’m a big boy now!
PHF incurred the expenses of all my medical bills, from when I was in Hawaii, through my procedures and surgeries at U.C. Davis, and my continuing care, which included a team of caregivers. 100% of your contribution will go towards telling my story through a book (efile or hard copy) I am self publishing.
When you become a higher level donor, I’ll send you my book which I am working on now.
Love and aloha,
Smokey- the Indomitable Kitty
Risks and challenges
The risk and challenges of self publishing Smokey's book are the lack of funds as proceeds contribute specifically to illustrations, digital conversions, graphic art design, and hard copy printing.
The completion of this book with enough financial backing will contribute to Smokey's story and our ability to tell his story from beginning to end. We are dedicating 100% of our time and efforts to portray this amazing, heart wrenching story.
After his story is finished and ready for the world to see, we will share this wonderful experience with as many people as we can. Those interested in animal survival stories and overcoming hardships will thoroughly enjoy this crazy, inspirational, and uplifting ride.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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