In May of 2020, a Hawaii woman went to the beach for a snorkeling trip with her friends when she made a shocking discovery.
Before the woman made it to the water, she heard a strange noise coming from a nearby brush.
What she found in the bushes stopped her heart!
Hiding in the Bushes
Lacey Sovern and a few of her friends had planned an adventurous day snorkeling at Electric Beach in Hawaii.
Before getting in the water, Lacey decided to be safe and watch the waves and currents for a moment.
Suddenly, she heard a strange noise…
“I heard a really weird noise in the really high thin straw grass,” Lacey said. “I heard what I thought was a bird. So I started searching for the animal.”
The noise sounded like a very distressed cry.
It was clear whatever was making the noise needed help.
Lacey raced to the source of the noise and discovered a tiny kitten in critical condition.
Rushing to the Rescue
There was no time to waste.
Lacey dropped everything and rushed this 7 week old kitten to an emergency vet.
It was clear that the kitten used his last bit of energy to cry for help.
“His eyes were completely closed shut. There was mucus all over his eyes,” Lacey said. “He was emaciated. He actually didn’t even have enough strength to move.”
She took him to Wahiawa Animal Hospital where the vets were able to stabilize him.
Lacey had found this sweet little angel just in time!
Safe at Last
Lacey took the kitten home from the vet feeling optimistic.
Right when they got home, she gave him a bath. She could tell that he finally felt safe.
“You could tell he was just super thankful,” Lacey said. “He just wanted to be held. He was very loving towards my husband and I.”
Lacey named the kitten Kona and decided she’d foster him until he was healthy enough to be adopted out.
She was so happy fate had brought them together.
It broke her heart thinking about what would have happened if she had not heard Kona’s cries.
Just when Lacey thought Kona’s battle was over, she noticed something unusual…
Trouble in Paradise
Under Lacey’s diligent care, Kona began to gain weight and grow stronger with each passing day.
One day while Kona was napping on his back, Lacey noticed something that didn’t seem quite right.
“You could see he was struggling to breath,” Lacey said. “His body structure did not look like that of a normal cat.”
Lacey took Kona back to the vet hoping to get some answers.
The vets ran x-rays on Kona and discovered he had a very rare condition called Pectus Excavatum.
“It’s basically where your chest is caved in,” Lacey said. “It restricts the amount of oxygen you get into your lungs, and you could clearly see that when he was napping.”
This condition would be fatal without surgery.
However, the procedure was very expensive.
Lacey was heartbroken – she desperately wanted to save Kona’s life, but simply could not afford the costly surgery.
Refusing to give up, Lacey started doing some research.
Lacey searched online for rescuers who could offer resources to help sweet Kona.
When she requested help in a group called Catopia Hawaii, Lacey was overwhelmed by the kindness of the members.
Not only did they find a surgeon who could do the surgery, but they also helped her fundraise!
Thanks to Catopia Hawaii, Kona was able to undergo the procedure that saved his life.
Kona’s surgery was a success!
Now that he is back in good health, Lacey says Kona is a completely different cat.
“He’s bouncing off walls, breathing normal. He’s a really cool cat.” Lacey shared.
Throughout his rescue journey, Kona was grateful to be in good hands.
He would curl up in Lacey’s arms and purr up a storm as if he was saying “thank you” for saving his life.
Kona wasn’t the only one who had changed!
Kona’s experience had opened up Lacey’s eyes to the kindness of the cat community.
“It’s cool because I’ve always been a dog person,” Lacey said. “But it was amazing witness the cat community’s kindness and how hard they worked to help me.”
Lacey had originally planned on just fostering Kona.
After her journey with Kona and Catopia Hawaii, she realized she was ready to be a true cat mom!
Happily Ever After
Kona was no longer a foster kitten – he was officially a member of Lacey’s family.
Lacey, her husband, and her two dogs, Tucker and Teddy, were thrilled to have Kona join their family!
Now Kona will spend the rest of his life safe and warm in his new fur-ever home.
Kona will never have to worry about being sick or alone ever again!
His mom, dad, and dog brothers will always be there to love and protect him.
About Catopia Hawaii
Catopia Hawaii is a volunteer driven nonprofit devoted to rescuing cats and kittens from suffering, neglect, and abuse.
This small network of volunteers, fosters, and rescuers selflessly sacrifice their time and resources to rescue cats that would otherwise suffer on the streets.
Without Catopia Hawaii, Kona would have suffered a terrible fate. Instead, he is alive and healthy with a loving family!
However, Catopia Hawaii is entirely self-funded and rely on the donations of kind-hearted individuals for supplies and medical resources.
Please consider donating to Catopia Hawaii to help them continue their life saving missions.
Every cent of donations are spent on facilitating the rescue and medical rehabilitation of cats in critical condition, much like sweet Kona.