A tiny kitten was brought into PetCo in a tissue box when the owner was too overwhelmed to care for him. PetCo is not equipped to deal with orphan kittens and contacted animal control immediately. They referred them to Hannah Shaw, a seasoned kitten rescuer best known as The Kitten Lady. Upon arrival, Shaw realized that the kitten was not even a week old.

Shaw has a large social media following. She posts rescue and rehabilitation videos that have helped the cat rescue community tremendously. She’s an avid cat lover and never shies away from a challenge. But upon arriving at PetCo and seeing the kitten, even Shaw was taken aback. The little one was so small, filthy and covered in fleas. At that size and at that age, the flea infestation was incredibly dangerous. Losing any blood could be catastrophic!

While Shaw was alarmed by the flea infestation, she was also concerned about the kitten’s state. The kitten had been in a tissue box without proper warmth. Kittens this size and at this age cannot regulate their body temperature. They need their mother to keep warm. Shaw had to act quickly.

Shaw Pictured With Hanky, Source: The Kitten Lady via Extreme Trends

Shaw knew her first step, once the kitten was home with her, wasn’t to feed her as most would assume. Feeding a kitten this young isn’t so simple. The formula could get trapped in the kitten’s lungs and cause pneumonia. Shaw’s first step was to warm the kitten up.

With a heating pad and Shaw’s gentle touch, she warmed the kitten until the baby was no longer at risk for hypothermia. Now it was time for the kitten’s first feeding. This would be tricky. At such a young age, a syringe works best. But Shaw still had to be careful not to overfeed even though the baby had a ferocious appetite.

As Shaw was feeding the kitten, she realized that the flea infestation was worse than she thought. This too wasn’t a simple fix. A kitten like this couldn’t just be submerged in a flea bath. She had to comb the fleas out, first, carefully. Then use a gentle flea soap in a shallow, lukewarm bath.

Shaw’s next discovery was quite the surprise as well. The kitten they assumed was a “he” and now named “Hank” (but called Hanky), was actually a “she”.

Even with Shaw’s experience, some things are just unavoidable. The kitten’s immune system was still underdeveloped and she sadly contracted panleukopenia or panleuk for short. This condition is caused by the parvovirus and could lead to death.

Amazingly, the kitten never gave up. The tiny warrior, with Shaw’s expertise, overcame the deadly virus. She was stronger than ever and ready to bond with Shaw’s other rescue kittens. Hanky became particularly close with a kitten named Kodiak.

Kodiak and Hanky, both in Shaw’s care, bonded like no other! They began to play together, sleep together, eat together. To say these two were best friends, is a vast understatement!

The best news came when a woman, named Fauna, met both Hanky and Kodiak and fell in love with them. She adopted the pair and the two kittens (now cats!) got the perfect home… together!

Hanky went from being an abandoned sickly orphan in a tissue box to this happy kitty!

You can follow the cat pair on Instagram by clicking here. For more videos by Hannah Shaw, check out her YouTube channel and don’t forget to support your local spay and neuter programs to prevent orphan babies like Hanky.

Feature image courtesy of Ctrice/YouTube