Julius (Rescue Orphan)

In late July of 2020, on a Sunday afternoon, a local rescue organization called me about a kitten who had been attacked by another animal, possibly a dog. They didn’t know the extent of the injuries, but it sounded serious. Although I foster and occasionally live trap or take in a feral, I’m not set up for a rescue. But my husband and I felt like we should at least check out the kitten, and, if worse came to worse, not let it die alone.

We drove about 30 minutes to a house in the country where the homeowner said the kitten was and found it lying in a garbage pile by the garage. The kitten’s injuries looked so severe we could not imagine it would survive much longer. There were numerous open wounds around his eyes and legs, and his spine was exposed where his tail had been either ripped off or bitten off.  Of course it was a Sunday, and there was no local vet open.

We brought Julius “for Orange Julius” home, bathed him, and dressed his wounds as best we could. Julius somehow survived the night. Southern Paws Animal Hospital took him in the first thing in the morning. They cleaned and debrided the tail wound as best they could, even pulling out live maggots. They put a honey plaster bandage on his tail section, which would require careful attention as well as numerous changes. Although Julius perked up considerably after some food and hydration, his prognosis was still pretty grim.

Over the next few days, it became apparent that Julius was having difficulty pooping. He strained so hard, in fact, that he would throw up. So, it was back again to Southern Paws, and after X-rays to see if he had a bowel blockage or bowel damage, the vet recommended that we take Julius uptown to CARE (Charlotte Animal Referral & Emergency) for immediate further treatment. CARE did a remarkable job surgically cleaning the wound and rearranging Julius’ backside anatomy, which has enabled him to live a normal life, but without tail, of course.

As personally expensive as fostering is, rescues are far more costly. Fortunately, kind folks who followed Julius’ story contributed over $3000, which was enough to cover his medical bills.

Julius is living out his “happily ever after” story with two of our former fosters from 2019, Rusty (now Vincent) and Daisy, two very bonded orphans who were adopted together. For Rusty (also a ginger tabby) and Julius, it was love at first sight. Daisy, however, needed a little time to warm up to Julius’ never-ending kitten nonsense.

On January 2, 2021, Julius was featured on The Dodo. His video has over 15,000,000 views on Instagram and Facebook.