A kitten who came from a rough beginning, blossomed into a happy, cuddly, rambunctious young cat.

Newt the kitten was three weeks old when she was brought to the municipal shelter in Las Vegas. Her eyes were crusted shut, and her left eye was severely infected. She was very tiny, sick and frail, and was given a grim prognosis by the vet.

Despite all the odds against her, the kitten showed no sign of giving up. When a shelter employee tried to feed her, she gulped down the formula with all her might. They immediately reached out to Nikki Martinez, an experienced fosterer for Hearts Alive Village Las Vegas, and asked if she could help.

“I could tell immediately that she had an incredible will to live,” Nikki told Love Meow. “I didn’t know what her future would hold, but I was going to give her a fighting chance.”


Nikki Martinez @myfosterkittens

Newt came to her foster home blind in both eyes, weighing in at just 136 grams. Nikki treated her eyes with medication and kept them clean throughout the day. With round-the-clock feedings and supplemental care, things began to look up.

The little wonder kitty continued to put on weight and gain strength. At every subsequent vet visit, Newt surprised the staff with her incredible progress.


Nikki Martinez @myfosterkittens

“I had baby Newt next to the side of my bed so I could check on her throughout the night,” Nikki said. “It was after midnight and I heard the sound of her toys. I looked over and found her playing in her playpen.”

After weeks of dedication and painstaking care from Nikki, the kitten finally reached the 2-pound mark. Newt has regained her vision in her right eye. Her left eye, albeit blind, is clear of infections.


Nikki Martinez @myfosterkittens

“Although she is small for her age, what she lacks in size she makes up for in personality! She has tons of energy and is growing and thriving,” Nikki shared.

“My only requirement for her was that she went to a spectacular home.”


Nikki Martinez @myfosterkittens

Valerie Ridge from Southern California has been following Newt’s journey from the get-go. Two of her cats are proud graduates from Nikki’s foster home.

She offered to “kitty sit” Newt for a week, so Nikki could have a much-needed break after months of hard work. With three cats of her own, Valerie didn’t have any plan to adopt another one, or so she thought.

Her feline residents (Fisher, Sailor, and Wednesday) took to the kitten right away, and Newt was even more thrilled to see them. “They not only accepted her, but adored her,” Valerie told Love Meow.


Valerie Ridge

Despite being the smallest kitty, Newt is brave and strong and totally holds her own. “She tackles the other cats, hangs on them, wrestles with them, and cuddles them all day long,” Valerie said.

Watch Newt’s journey in this video:


Newt the kitten – journey to forever home

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“She came in and owned the place! You would never know she is blind in one eye. I’ve never seen four cats just get along so well within three days.”

Newt has brought so much joy to their household and grown very close to Valerie’s daughter, Hannah.


Valerie Ridge

The family recently said their goodbyes to their beloved 16-year-old cat Princess, whom Hannah grew up with since she was four. “Newt has totally healed her heart! Her favorite place to lay is Hannah’s bed,” Valerie added.

The kitten seemed to know that she was where she belonged. After months in foster care, Newt found the family of her dreams. “It was bittersweet, but I couldn’t be happier with where she landed,” Nikki said.


Valerie Ridge

“Over the last few months, she stayed by my side daily as she healed and has been a source of comfort and joy to me. I love all my fosters but sometimes, there is one that comes around that I become a little more attached to — one that is extra special,” Nikki shared.

“My job is to help them heal, help them gain confidence and let them fly. I miss her terribly, but look at how confident and happy she is. That’s my ‘paycheck’ for the work I did. There will be more like her who need me.”


Valerie Ridge

Newt is loving her new life and excited about her future with her perfect family.


Valerie Ridge

Share this story with your friends. Follow Newt and her adventures on Instagram. Follow Nikki’s rescues and fosters on Facebook and Instagram.

Related story: Stray Cat Wanders into Family’s Home to Have Kittens and It Turns Her Life Around


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