From skinny stray to shining gem: how this deaf kitten became a much-loved ‘foster fail’

February 08, 2019

When RSPCA Foster Care Coordinator Nadia first saw Keller in May 2018, the tiny grey kitten’s eyes were so filled with discharge that they were sealed shut.

Weighing a mere 360 grams, the 3-week-old stray was in desperate need of love and warmth, requiring multiple round-the-clock bottle feeds each day. And that’s not all – vets would soon discover a shocking series of illnesses and ailments.

It wasn’t until Keller had her eyes thoroughly cleaned and was put on medication that Nadia could see the little gem’s sparkling blue eyes. Nadia was so captivated that she took Keller home to personally care for her – but little did she know that foster home would turn into a forever home.

Something wasn’t quite right: how vets discovered more about Keller

After a week of fostering, little Keller started to become more playful, but something still wasn’t quite right. The vet team at RSPCA South Australia soon discovered that the fluffy kitten was partially deaf. What’s more, her tail was broken in the middle.

It’s incredible Keller survived alone on the streets before her rescue. Although her eyes were no longer sealed shut, our team also found that Keller had chronic conjunctivitis and a blocked tear duct, requiring cleaning multiple times a day.

With a host of medical problems, the fluffy feline was in a truly sad state. She was going to need an adopted owner willing to put in some extra work.

‘Out of 170 foster kittens, I developed feelings I had never felt before’

Having been a foster carer since the end of 2015, Nadia has nursed dozens of kittens back to health, wanting to provide these kittens with a safe journey until they find their forever home.

But when her time with Keller was nearing an end, Nadia couldn’t bear to part ways. This special little one had completely captured her heart.

“Out of 170 foster kittens, I developed feelings I had never felt before,” Nadia says. “She was an amazing little kitten with a personality that shone so bright, I had no choice but to keep her.”

After all Keller had been through in two months of fostering, Nadia knew she simply had to offer her a loving home where she would be safe – ailments and all.

High spirits and plenty of love for deaf little Keller

A fighting soul, Keller hasn’t let her medical problems get in the way of living a charmed life with Nadia and her partner Andrew at their home in Seaview Downs.

“Since I brought her home, she has developed into a confident, outgoing, snuggly kitten who was given a chance that she deserved,” Nadia says.

Nadia says Keller uses her tail as a toy so often that they now call it her “radar”, because “it just swings above her when she holds the base of her tail up!”.

And although this vibrant feline has one of the loudest purrs Nadia has ever heard, apparently she has no meow – “it comes out as a garbled mess of a noise whenever she tries, but I love her little squeak!” Aww.

Squishy snuggles with fur-siblings

Since being officially adopted by Nadia in July, Keller has wasted no time bonding with fur-siblings Mort and Myrtle. But it’s Squishinout – an exotic shorthair also adopted from RSPCA South Australia – that has a particular fondness for Keller.

“He is so sweet with her and will clean her eyes every chance he gets,” Nadia says.

It seems that Keller is lucky enough to have all members of the family looking after her!

‘She was so special that she deserved a special name’

It’s no secret that Keller has a name more unique than most kitties. When Nadia first started fostering the beautiful kitten, she was a brave and determined soul despite all her impairments.

To Nadia, naming her precious one after the inspirational Hellen Keller – known for her achievements in light of being both deaf and visually impaired – just fit perfectly.

“She was so special that she deserved a special name.”

‘She’s completed our family … she won’t ever know hunger again’

Nadia could not be happier with her so-called “foster fail”, and neither could gorgeous Keller.

“It’s hard to pinpoint the best part of having Keller, because she’s a blessing in the form of a feline – she is absolutely perfection,” Nadia says.

“She has made everything feel like we were missing something, we just didn’t know yet. It’s like she was the final piece to the puzzle, and we didn’t know we were doing a puzzle.

“She’s completed our family and she won’t ever again know what it is to be hungry, or to have an untreated sickness, ever again.”

Nadia has never looked back since adopting Keller and says there’s no better feeling than saving a life – we couldn’t agree more!

If you’re considering opening your heart and home to a rescued animal, head over here to see all our animals currently available for adoption.


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