Miracle Kitten Survives Being Buried Alive

Something didn’t quite sound right when a tearful bunch of neighborhood children asked Shawn Ratcliff for help digging up the body of their 6-week-old kitten who had passed away the day before. A heavy wooden broom handle was said to have fallen on the kitten’s head. The blow to the kitten’s head led to terrifying convulsions. When the convulsions stopped, the kitten was lifeless. The kitten’s mother sniffed her limp body and rejected her. The children buried their pet, assuming she had passed away, and returned the next day with a box in hopes of giving the kitten a proper burial.

Mr. Ratcliff had a nagging feeling that told him to proceed with caution when he went to help the children. He opted to carefully sweep the dirt away from the small grave. He heard a faint mewing. The kitten was cold, covered in dirt, not moving — but she was alive.

“I freaked out! I finished digging her out and rinsed her off. I yelled for the kids to bring me a towel, wrapped the kitten up, and immediately jumped into my truck and took off,” Ratcliff says. Their destination was Sun Dog Cat Moon Veterinary Clinic.

Our veterinarians wasted no time getting to work on the little kitten. “She was wet and covered in a towel, so we had to blow dry her right away. Even so, she was so hypothermic her temperature wouldn’t register,” practice manager Kathryn Higgs explained. The kitten was bleeding from her right ear, the result of an intracranial bleed from the head trauma she sustained. Dr. Horton treated her with steroids to try to bring down the swelling in the kitten’s brain.

Dr. Horton worked quickly to start the kitten on oxygen and took measures to raise the kitten’s body temperature. At the end of the day, the kitten was stabilized, but still scarcely moving. Kathryn brought the kitten home overnight to monitor her and keep her close throughout the night. “She was covered in flea dirt and still not moving, so I made her a little bed in my bathtub and hoped she’d make it through the night.”

The next morning, the kitten was slightly more alive than the previous day so Kathryn tried syringe feeding her. “We made a deal,” Higgs explains, “I told her, ‘If you make it, you can live with me!’”

Day by day, the kitten has made progress, working her way toward her jerky first steps around the clinic. Her drunken-like movements are the residual neurological symptoms from the head injury she sustained, although Dr. Horton is optimistic the dizzy motions will clear as she heals.

As for Kathryn Higgs, she was able to make good on her promise. The kitten’s original owner relinquished custody of the kitten so she could receive better long-term health care for her medical issues, enabling Kathryn to adopt the adorable 6-week-old long-haired miracle kitten.