Benedict Cumbercat is familiar with what it’s like to get a helpful hand in life.
He was a kitten when Ellen Carozza decided to take a chance on him. He was abandoned and had a long list of health problems.
She couldn’t resist taking him home because she is a veterinary technician and has saved many animals.
Carozza tells The Dodo, “The instant I saw his thin hot mess of a body, I wanted him. “Even with his runny nose and terrible eye illness, I fell in love. He was destined to be mine, I knew.”
Benny so succeeded in winning Carozza over in the ideal manner.
And as he matured, he continued to leave a space in his heart for others who were in need.
Benny became the ultimate foster dad. Whenever Carozza brings home a box full of kittens, he needs to be the first cat on the scene. So far, he’s fostered dozens of kittens.
“Benny is a natural with the babies,” Carozza says. “I don’t know if it was due to us being very hands-on with him and sharing the routines, but every box of kittens I brought home he had to see what was in it. It was like a treat.
“He actually gets very depressed when we don’t have kittens. I’d like to think he is returning the favor we gave him a few years ago.”
Then one day Carozza brought home a unique kitten that would require all of Benny’s sympathy.
Winifred would be that.
Winifred, or Winnie, was rejected by her mother when she was born and weighed just half as much as she should have. She lost her sibling, who was also born extremely small. She was the only person on earth.
Prior to Carozza bringing her home.
“[Kittens this tiny] don’t follow the same rules as regular kittens, so you cannot go by a chart to tell you what to expect,” Carozza explains. “They require a lot more care and attention to detail.”
It helps that Carozza has tube-fed many a hungry kitten. And that she has an incubator at home to adjust a kitten’s environment.
And that she has Benny.
According to Carozza, “Benny’s function is comfort and socialization. “Having another cat to cuddle with rather than a stuffed animal around the clock does wonders for their mental health.”
Benny took Winnie in his arms right away, giving the helpless kitten a sense of safety and warmth.
“When the kittens aren’t with Benny, they do get a snuggle cat mom with an artificial heartbeat for comfort,” Carozza notes. “But it doesn’t purr. It doesn’t clean you. It doesn’t help you to be a cat. He fills those gaps in.”
When she’s stronger – and filled up on her foster dad’s love – Winnie will move in with Carozza’s sister in New York.
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