Kittеn with ‘Funnеl Chеst’ is Hаlf the Sizе But Hаs Brаve Endeаring Personalitу

A kitten with a congenital condition is just half of weight he should be. But what he lacks in size, he makes up for in personality.

Tiny Tim the kitten was brought into the foster/adoption program at Sheets Pet Clinic (an animal hospital and spay-neuter clinic in North Carolina) because he had a chest bone deformity and needed specialized medical attention.

“He was one of the eight kittens born to a very young mom. The people who found his mom and siblings thought he was the runt and wasn’t growing,” Sarah Hodges at Sheets Pet Clinic shared.

Tiny Tim is eight weeks old weighing only 13 ounces, with the body of a 4-week-old kitten. He has been diagnosed with pectus excavatum (also called funnel chest), a condition in which the breastbone sinks into the chest.

“The congenital defect is often noticeable shortly after birth and typically worsens during the adolescent growth spurt. It may be associated with genetic or connective tissue diseases,” the clinic wrote.

In Tiny Tim’s case, his sternum is pressing dangerously close to his heart and leaving very little room for his organs. “He has to eat a quarter sized meal every two hours because that’s all he can take at a time, since he has such little space in his diaphragm and upper GI tract,” Sarah told.

Despite it all, the kitten is an absolute cuddle-bug and never lacks the ability to command attention.

“He is a lover and a fighter with a big will to live and be normal. He will try to play and wrestle and act as any curious, active, 8-week-old kitten would.”

Though Tiny Tim gets winded easily and needs more time to eat throughout the day, he is so brave and determined, and always in good spirits.

“He is supremely snuggly and literally cries if he sees you and you’re not holding him (he has a very big loud meow too for such a tiny guy),” Sarah shared.

“He always wants attention and someone to hold him, touch him, pet him, and play with him in some way.”

The veterinary team is on mission to give him the best chance at a pain-free, healthy life, which will allow him to eat to his heart’s content and play like any other kitten. They have consulted an orthopedic specialist for future surgical intervention.

“We are all a little bit nervous, but super hopeful that his condition can be corrected with a complex, but proven-successful, orthopedic surgery at Carolina Veterinary Specialists.”

Tiny Tim is currently working his hardest to gain weight and strength. “The ortho specialist says he’s too underdeveloped for corrective surgery at this time. So we’ll wait while he grows.”

The sweet kitten loves being catered to and doted on around the clock. He never hesitates to demand pets and cuddles from his people, soaking up all the love.

“He passed out in a big puddle of love in his foster mom, Jennifer McCollum’s, arms.”

“His will to live and carry on as a happy, healthy, spoiled rotten, ‘normal’ kitten is extraordinarily inspiring.”

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