Earlier this month, Megan Sorbara was out with her dog Bitsy and her boyfriend to get ice cream when she got the call that would forever change the lives of three kittens.
Sorbara, the president of the Naples Cat Alliance in Naples, Fla.—a volunteer group that aids in trap, neuter, return (TNR) and rescue efforts of felines in need in a free-roam, no kill environment—received a message telling her that three kittens, born from a feral cat, were in a backyard.
"We have trapped numerous cats in this location in the past year, adopting out 15 of them and TNRing 12," Sorbara tells petMD. "Coconut's mother has become trap shy because of it and, unfortunately, extremely hard to catch. So she had another litter!"
Coconut, who was just two-weeks-old at the time, was found trembling between her two siblings, Praline and Pistachio (named by Sorbara after the flavors of ice cream she and her boyfriend had eaten before getting the fateful message). At the shelter, Coconut, Praline, and Pistachio received the tender care they needed, including being bottle fed, to ensure their health, but Sorbara was particularly concerned about Coconut.
"We knew something wasn't quite right with Coconut the minute we saw her. Upon closer inspection at the shelter, we knew it was definitely true," Sorbara said. "She had a very severe head tilt and could barely walk."
Sorbara feared Coconut had a neurological disorder like vestibular disease or cerebellar hypoplasia, so she made a video of the cat's movements to share with her veterinarian. While all three kittens came back with clean bills of health, Coconut still needed to fight a little harder. Despite her challenges, Sorbara says Coconut is improving every single day.
"She still has a head tilt, but she is able to hold her self up for longer periods of time," she tells petMD. "Depending on her special needs, [we] will determine when, and if, she will be available for adoption."
Sorbara says that if and when the day comes that Coconut can be adopted, she should belong to "someone very, very special."
Despite her disposition, Sorbara says that Coconut is a playful kitty with an adventerous spirit. "She is a little spitfire! She loves to wrestle with her brothers and she has lots of energy ... she is a special kitty, totally unaware of her disabilities; she is a little fighter."
Watch videos of Coconut and her siblings on the Naples Cat Alliance Facebook page or donate to the organization to assist with Coconut's needs (and the needs of other cats who have been rescued by the group).
Image via Megan Sorbara