BALTIMORE, Md. — When a group of new kittens arrived at BARCS Animal Shelter in July, veterinarians instantly noticed one of them was in grave condition. The tiny black and white kitty’s heart could be seen distinctly beating in his chest; it was clear to them that his chest cavity had not fully closed and his life was at risk. Even simple thing like playing with his siblings could cause fatal injury.
They called him, Joy, and struggled with the choice of whether he could survive with this condition, or whether it was more humane to euthanize him. He had to separated from his siblings which caused him distress; he was lonely and craved company. Shelter employee Lesley Loges Scheitlin couldn’t bear to hear his mews and decided that she was going to foster him. Having no idea how long this little guy would live she wanted him to feel whatever love he could, in the time that he had.
She brought the little man home, and her son insisted on a name change. He thought that Stark was a much better name. So, they renamed the little kitten after Tony Stark the character in iron man that has to wear his own chest protection to protect this own vulnerable heart.
Scheitlin took the name change a step further. She realized that perhaps there was a way to outfit Stark with a protective vest to keep his heart safer. After putting out a plea to other staff and volunteers, Cindy G. stepped up to the plate and created a semi-rigged vest that’s been fitted especially for Stark.
Stark is quite comfortable wearing it, almost as though he knows it’s a protective second skin. Though this isn’t a guarantee to save him, it is something that seems to be working, and this little guy is thriving. Though he faces further specialist treatment, and an uncertain future, there are plans in the works to have vests made for each life stage, growing with him as he grows.
This Kitty is a real life Iron Man, and we wish him only the best of health as he continues to fight to protect his heart.
Via You Tube | The Dodo | Love Meow