Submitted by Joanne from Italy

It was a particularly cold winter. The kind of winter with strong winds and heavy rains, that turns umbrellas inside out, and makes you want to stay in bed under the warm blankets. This was the winter of Kuko, a winter of hardship, and a winter of hard knocks. It's funny how one small event can start a chain of events that ultimately lead to one, single destination. That destination was me. My neighbor worked the night shift. As he was driving home, his headlights caught a glimpse of a kitten on the road and fearing that he had hit it, he stopped. He grabbed the kitten and immediately headed to an all night veterinarian clinic. An x-ray and 90 euros later he found out that the kitten was okay. He then tried to leave the kitten at a shelter, but they were closed for the night. With no other avenue to follow, he brought the kitten home and then proceeded to do what still has me scratching my head today: he dropped the kitten in my courtyard, knowing that I had cats. None of this I knew, however, till much later for at 2:00 a.m. I was in a deep sleep. For as long as I can remember, we've always had pets. We had many cats and dogs, but also hamsters, mice, birds, and we came darn close to having a monkey. We never turned away a stray. It would be fair to say that I'm genetically wired to help the critters. Although I was deeply asleep, when I heard that pitiful mewing I woke up immediately, threw on my slippers and robe, and rushed outside to find this kitten. I had to do this twice before I finally found him. I rushed him inside and immediately set up a warm bed and mini-sandbox in a warm room for him. I had a container of powdered milk for cats so immediately went about getting some food into him, one eyedropper at a time. He was a sad looking thing. He was full of fleas, had a dull coat, and appeared to have a viral infection of the eyes. Once I put him down to sleep, I headed back to bed and set my alarm to get up early so I could take him to the vet's. The vet said the viral infection had resulted in blindness. If the kitten had been treated early, his eyesight could have easily been saved. Additionally, one eye simply never opened. So I took the kitten home and isolated him for a few days so I could get the fleas under control as well as slowly introduce the kitten to our other cats. We named him Kuko. Kuko grew up like any other kitten: He loved to run around the house, play with the other cats, wreak havoc when he could, and settle in for a nice long nap on my lap. He didn't learn the visual cues from other cats; rather, from me. I'm a great one to hug and kiss my cats so Kuko's interpretation of this was to head-butt me when he wanted affection. I assume this was the result of my nose hitting him every time I would swoop in for a kiss. When he wanted to be picked up, he would stand on his back paws and reach up for me with his two front paws. Our relationship grew and he flourished into this beautifully marked cat of sweet temperament. When I think of Kuko, It never crosses my mind how lucky he was to find me. I always think how lucky I was to have him come into my life. He makes me more acutely aware of all things around me and brings joy into my life every single day.

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Love how much love you gave to this little angel. Bless You. Maria from California

This is my favorite RAK story! Thank you for saving him! Cat Whisperer from Texas

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