A sweet kitten who was found outside without a mom, has blossomed into a gorgeous young cat.

Ashley Kelley

Aela the kitten was found abandoned by the mom in a backyard when she was a day old. Although her eyes were still closed, she showed an incredible will to live.

Ashley Kelley, a foster volunteer of Wrenn Rescues (in Southern California), was contacted about the little orphan. Without a second thought, she offered to take her, as neonatal kittens are some of the most vulnerable rescues.

When Ashley took the pint-sized kitten out of the carrier, she was surprised by what she discovered. Aela was born with a facial defect and a nose shaped like a butterfly.

Ashley Kelley

Aela started to put on weight, and in just a few days, she officially joined the 100-gram club. “I brushed her with her little tooth brush (after feedings). She loved it.”

After every meal, the sweet kitten would crawl her way into Ashley’s hand, curl up in a ball, and fall right to sleep. She was so content with a loving human to keep her company, and all the little things (soft blankets, snuggle toys) in life.

Ashley Kelley

At 12 days old, Aela opened her eyes to see the world for the first time. She was curious and wanted to be loved at every given chance. She would wave her little paws in the air or furiously knead on her soft blankets, purring up a storm.

“I’ve never met a more content and angelic little neonate in my life,” Ashley said. “She was gaining weight like it was her job.”

Ashley Kelley

When her legs were strong enough, the brave kitty wandered through a big three-way tunnel all by herself. “She was pretty surprised to find me at the other end, after having left my lap to enter on the other side.”

She was upgraded to a big-girl room equipped with a spacious playpen, her very own litter box and more blankets to knead on.

Ashley Kelley

Aela officially reached the one-pound mark at five weeks old. She began to learn to eat and chew like a big kitty and spend more time exploring around, playing with toys. Her favorite pastime of all was sitting on laps and having her belly rubbed.

When her teeth started to germinate, they noticed she had a severe overbite. After being evaluated by a specialist, they determined that the kitten would need corrective surgery when she was older.

Ashley Kelley

“Aela’s skull did not fully form in the womb. She has been diagnosed with (a mild case of) hydrocephalus. She has a deformed (in multiple ways) mouth, which kind of pushed her nasal cavities up and apart,” Ashley wrote.

“She is the luckiest little kitten I’ve ever met, and has somehow managed to get the best case scenario in every diagnosis she has. I’m truly impressed and amazed.”

Ashley Kelley

Aela likes to stay busy, playing with things she finds all over the house, and cuddling with other feline friends. “She always knows that when we make our lunch, it’s her lunch time too. And she never lets us forget to feed her.”

Watch Aela’s journey in this cute video:

Aela the kitten


“She may be a big girl now but she still loves those full-body pets that she’s been enjoying since she was a day old,” Ashley shared.

Ashley Kelley

“Her hobbies are waking every family member up at some point during the night and screaming outside any or all closed doors.”

When Aela’s teeth had fully grown in, she was ready for the big day. Ashley brought her to the clinic for the surgery that would improve her quality of life.

Ashley Kelley

“She was super sweet while we waited for (the veterinary team) to come take her in, she wrapped her body around my hand in the carrier and made biscuits. I think she was trying to tell me not to worry about her,” Ashley shared.

Ashley Kelley

The brave kitty underwent an extensive surgery with eight extractions and repair for her palate. The amazing little fighter overcame every obstacle and bounced right back.

Since the surgery, Aela has been pain-free and doing much better. “She’s already eating much quicker and easier. No more sneezing.”

Ashley Kelley

While Aela was still recuperating, she insisted on spending time with other fosters, showering them with love.

Aela has blossomed into a healthy, playful and affectionate teenage cat. Her hydrocephalus has also improved, and she is almost ready for her next chapter in life.

Ashley Kelley

“Aela got her stitches taken out! She’s seven months old now. We are going to schedule her spay and then she will be ready for adoption,” Ashley said.

“Fostering is so rewarding, but even more so when it’s someone who needs extra care. And she is so loving in return.”

Ashley Kelley

Share this story with your friends. Follow Aela the kitten and her adventures on Instagram.

Related story: Woman Came to Shelter for 3 Kittens But Couldn’t Leave Tiny Orphan Behind

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