Kitten faces new challenge

A GUTSY kitten which survived losing its eyes to infection after being cruelly dumped and left for dead in a field today faces an even tougher struggle for survival.

A GUTSY kitten which survived losing its eyes to infection after being cruelly dumped and left for dead in a field today faces an even tougher struggle for survival.

Forest, the 12-week-old cat which has captured the hearts of workers at Suffolk Animal Rescue, will now undergo a much more intensive operation than previously expected to clear her eye sockets and seal them.

Suffolk Animal Rescue had expected the black kitten to undergo the operation this week but a check-up by a vet revealed she will have to wait until she is 16 weeks old before she is strong enough to be operated on.

Angela Buffery, a volunteer worker with the organisation, said: "It's going to be a bigger operation than we thought. It involves the complete removal of everything that is in the sockets.

"They will have to strip back an area of the eyelid and stitch them.

"They don't even want to think about (doing) that until she is 16 weeks old.

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"Even the original operation was going to be quite a big operation. We were hoping it was just going to be a case of stitching the eyelids.

"We can now actually see properly what's going on in the sockets and because that's the case we now have a better idea of what needs to be done."

After surviving so much in her short life Forest now faces the test of surviving the much more intensive operation.

Ms Buffery said: "You have always got a risk with anesthesia. She is very small and very young – that does heighten the risk."

The operation is the latest in a string of hurdles little Forest has had to overcome.

Last month she was found dumped in a field off Mill Road in Mendlesham, suffering from an infection which had eaten away her eyes and a severe case of cat flu.

She was taken in by Suffolk Animal Rescue workers and reared back to strength.

An adoptive family has been chosen for her but it has not been decided whether she will move to her new home before or after her operation at 16 weeks.

In the meantime, Ms Buffery, who is looking after Forest at her home in Debenham, said the kitten was perfectly happy doing all the things normal cats do.

She said: "If you didn't know she was blind you wouldn't be able to tell.

"She chases flies and catches them. She goes up and down the stairs.

"She is absolutely wonderful. She has no other health problems. The cat flu symptoms have now cleared.

"She's an incredibly happy normal kitten apart from having no eyes."

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