Meet Munchkin – the miniature moggie with one eye, no tail and a massive £1,200 price on his life.
The tiny tabby and white kitten needs urgent surgery to have a chance of a future. And only Citizen readers can give him that chance.
Munchkin, who is 11 weeks old, was one of a litter found abandoned in a field and taken to the RSPCA, whose volunteers immediately realised something was terribly wrong.
“He was a fraction of the size of his littermates and didn’t seem to be able to eat properly.
“Yet his spirit and his character was incredible – we all fell in love with him,” said MK branch spokesman Sue Taft.
Vets found a blood vessel was wrapped around the kitten’s oesophagus preventing food from going down. Now the city RSPCA branch is faced with a grim choice: pay £1,200 for surgery or have Munchkin put to sleep.
To add to the dilemma the operation to repair his food pipe will be one of the more complex and risky procedures Milton Keynes Veterinary Group has ever undertaken.
Said Sue: “For a branch reliant upon fundraising and donations, £1,200 is a huge amount to pay for one little kitten to have an operation it may not even survive.
“We have more than 150 other cats to care for in MK at the moment. We all know we can’t justify spending this amount on one kitten, yet we can’t give up on him.
“He’s just adorable, and he’s been a real fighter to survive this long. Even though he’s so ill and half the size he should be, he loves everybody and never stops purring. We feel we must give him this chance.”
Milton Keynes Veterinary Group, whose nurses currently have Munchkin on a liquid-only diet, has already reduced the price of the op, which would cost thousands elsewhere.
Veterinary surgeon, André Cilliers said: “Munchkin is suffering from a congenital abnormality of the blood vessels of the heart called Persistent right aortic arch. This is very rare in cats. Surgical removal of the persistent aortic arch is the only treatment.
“Although we have performed this procedure in a puppy before, this will be the first time we have done this operation on a kitten. This intricate surgery will be performed by our head surgeon, Rory Burke. The surgical team will consist of two veterinary surgeons and two veterinary nurses and the kitten will need intensive care for the first 24 to 48 hours after the surgery.
“Unfortunately, this is a very high risk procedure, mainly due to the small size of the patient and there is no guarantee of a successful outcome. But this surgery will be his only option if he is to survive.
“We feel Munchkin deserves a chance, he is a full of courage and character. We all love him and the practice team are committed to his survival,” said Andre.
Now the RSPCA branch, which rehomes more than 600 abandoned or neglected cats every year, is hoping Citizen readers will come to the rescue.
They are appealing for people to donate whatever they can towards Munchkin’s surgery through their fundraising page on www.rspcamiltonkeynes.co.uk, by post to RSPCA, PO Box 4586, Kiln Farm. MK12 6ZS, or to the Citizen offices. Donations can be marked ‘Munchkin’s Fund’.
> For a video of Munchkin visit our website www. miltonkeynes.co.uk.