Otter is a special needs cat who was rejected by his mom. He and his sibling were found outside but their mother was nowhere to be seen. He and his sister, Bunny, were both missing much of their front arms due to a congenital defect. But as Otter’s rescuer would discover, he was missing more than that.
Small Kitten Rescue got the pair of cats when they were just 2 weeks old after the Good Samaritan who had found and rescued them could not provide the medical care they needed. Caroline, founder of Small Kitten Rescue, said they were both very sick. She would learn that Otter had a very rare condition – a hole in his skull that exposes his brain.
The condition is extremely dangerous and because of this Otter needed a way to protect his head. Thankfully, a follower of the rescue on social media said he would make Otter a helmet. Now Otter wears that helmet non-stop! According to Caroline, Otter is not in any pain or discomfort. He’s just the happiest little guy.
Bunny has adapted to her disability too and is able to hop and get around to play. The two siblings love each other and have such a love for life.
As Otter’s helmet is not the perfect situation, Caroline mentioned he will be getting surgery to try and fix it. Titanium mesh will cover the hole and protect his brain so he won’t need the helmet anymore.
A few weeks before Otter’s surgery, Caroline confessed to being nervous about it.
But the surgery went really well and Small Kitten Rescue shared on Instagram that he’s “doing SO well.” Caroline wrote that Otter post-surgery is “eating, playing, snuggling, and purring like nothing ever happened.”
“He still has to wear the helmet for another 1-2 weeks to protect his incision while it heals, but he’s allowed to have supervised time without it to let the incision air out,” she said.
“Surprisingly, he does not have to be on crate rest! His neurosurgeon said it’s fine for him to be on the couch and bed and anywhere in the home as long as he’s wearing his helmet,” Small Kitten Rescue added. “He’s on pain meds and anti-inflammatory meds for another few day and is on antibiotics for 10 days.”
“Thank you everyone who has been praying for Otter and sending him healing energy! Please continue to do so, as he still has a long road to recovery. But I’m SO happy the surgery went so smoothly and that he is recovering so well so far!”
Not only is Otter a “superhero” now, he will help other kittens that may have the same condition as he has in the future. UC Davis’ veterinary neurology department (who did the surgery) will be writing about Otter’s case and this “could help countless other kittens with encephaloceles in the future.” Way to go Otter and Small Kitten Rescue!
And so everyone knows, when Bunny and Otter are well enough the pair will be adopted out together.