Kitten Who Wears Tiny Vest to Protect His Chest, Makes Great Strides and Finds Cat To Spend His Life with

A kitten who wore a vest to protect his chest, made great strides and found another cat to spend his life with.

kitten chest plate, kitten vest

An orphaned kitten found his way to Community Cat Club, an animal rescue in South Jersey, needing foster care. Upon his intake exam at the vet, they discovered that his chest was inverted, and that he had a hard time breathing.

The kitten was born with pectus excavatum, a malformation of the sternum and rib cage. Sara Sharp, the founder of Community Cat Club, took him in so he could be monitored closely, while they tried to find the best course of treatment for the deserving boy.

The kitten, named Leroy, was an instant ball of energy despite his condition. He refused to let anything slow him down, and ran around and played as if nothing happened. “You wouldn’t even know something was wrong with him,” Sara shared.

tabby kitten

Leroy was born with a chest deformity but he never let anything get him down

After meeting with a specialist, they concluded that the kitten was in great need of chest surgery.

Leroy was born with a chest deformity but he never let anything get him down

After meeting with a specialist, they concluded that the kitten was in great need of chest surgery.

“Many times this condition is not life threatening and does not always need surgery, but Leroy’s condition was so severe. It was affecting his breathing and his heart was being pinned to one side of his chest,” Sara said.

kitten wears vest

He had surgery to repair his chest and bounced back on his feet like a champ

At about five weeks old, weighing only one pound, Leroy went in for surgery to save his life. It was nothing short of miraculous when the pint-sized kitten made it through the intense operation and immediately started purring when he woke up.

He wore a chest plate and a custom-made vest over it. Sara turned colorful socks into cute kitten-sized vests, and Leroy wore each piece with such confidence.

kitten chest plate

Leroy began his healing process to allow his ribs to grow and expand in the right shape. He had weekly vet visits and many vests to keep his chest protected.

Around that time, another rescued kitten, named Poppy, was seeking a feline friend. Just like Leroy, she came into the rescue as a singleton.

kitten best friends

They immediately hit it off

The two immediately hit it off as if they had always been siblings. Poppy decided to keep Leroy company and shower him with play and snuggles.

“They were obsessed with each other. He never let anything get him down. He always loved to play with Poppy and just had fun and cuddled.”

“Leroy ended up having to go under anesthesia again to repair his chest and continue wearing the chest plate. He was totally unbothered by everything.”

He was no longer the tiny one-pounder as he blossomed into a playful, inquisitive, and happy young cat. Poppy was his partner in mischief and biggest cheerleader throughout this entire journey.

kitten sitting

“After two surgeries and 12 weeks with a chest plate on, Leroy finally got it off and looked like a whole new grown man,” Sara shared.

“His vet said he may not ever be 100% normal but his chest looks great. He’s a fighter and just all around amazing.”

happy tabby kitten

Leroy had his chest plate removed after 12 weeks of wearing it

A few weeks later, Leroy and Poppy packed their bags and went off to their forever home together.

“I woke up (the next) morning with Leroy curled up in a ball on my pillow, and my sister woke up to Poppy sleeping right next to her. I had to pinch myself to make sure this was all real,” the forever family shared.

best friend cats

Leroy and Poppy were adopted together into a wonderful home

The two best friends are thriving with their loving humans. They enjoy watching Bird TV by the window while basking in the sun. They insist on offering a helping paw at the office, keeping their people company every night and giving them the sweetest start of the day each morning.

handsome cat

“That’s what fostering is about. Getting them through that vulnerable time so they can go on and live amazing lives and make another family incredibly happy,” Sara shared.

best friend cats

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