When a tiny, 6-week-old kitten was brought to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) in July, he was missing half of his nose.
Whether his injury was due to an infection or physical trauma, it was clear that the abandoned, emaciated feline, found wandering by a dumpster and brought to the shelter by a Good Samaritan, was suffering.
“His nose and much of his face seemed discolored but that appeared to be a standard infection for which we started him on pain medicine and antibiotics. We were shocked to discover later just how seriously injured [he] was,” MSCPA adoption manager Alyssa Kreiger said in a statement.
The MSPCA staff, who decided to name the kitten Nigel, took him into their care, but it was a rough beginning. After a week at the shelter, all of the skin on and under Nigel’s nose had fallen off.
“It’s possible that this was an advanced infection that did not respond to antibiotics and the skin simply peeled off—or it could have been caused by blunt force trauma or by electrocution,” Kreiger says.
Nigel required reconstructive surgery to repurpose nearby tissues in order to give him a “normal” face, and the operation was performed on November 2 by Dr. Mike Pavletic at the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center.
Rob Halpin of the MSPCA tells PawCulture that the two-hour procedure went very well and Nigel is recovering wonderfully.
“He’ll stay in the hospital for the next couple of days so Dr. Pavletic and his team can monitor his progress,” Haplin says. “He’s on pain medication and appears very comfortable.”
As soon as Nigel is fully recovered and gets the go-ahead from Dr. Pavletic, this resilient and beautiful kitty will be up for adoption.
If his Instagram fans are any indication, it shouldn’t be hard for the big-hearted and playful Nigel to find a compassionate, loving forever home.
Images via MSPCA; @nonosenigel
Aly Semigran is a lifestyle writer for the world, and roommate of Ruby, the cutest dog in the world.