Nobody knows exactly what happened to Penelope, but they do know that the 6-month-old orange Persian kitten has an amazing will to live.

When Penelope was removed from her Stratford, Conn., breeder, she had a severe eye infection and she was barely able to breathe.

“We are fuzzy on the details,” said Joanne Galante, vice president of the Stratford Cat Project, the volunteer-run noprofit rescue group that is now caring for Penelope. “We don’t know exactly what happened to her. We understand that she sustained some kind of injury at the breeder’s facility to her eye. It looks like a bite from another animal or a scratch from another animal … But she also has a lot of fluid in her lungs that we think is related to theinjury.”

Penelope was taken to Stratford Animal Hospital about 10 days ago. A veterinarian there gave the kitten a 30 percent chance of survival because of the lung infection that left her struggling to breathe.

The tiny bundle or fur was transported to Shoreline Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center in Shelton, Conn., where staff inserted tubes into her chest to drain the fluid that had accumulated in her lungs and around her heart.

Between the chest tubes and thrice-daily antibiotic injections, Penelope’s infection seemed to be receding. But then on Monday, she started having trouble breathing again.

“You could see her entire body heaving,” Galante said. “She was fighting to take abreath.”

It turns out that Penelope may need to have the infected portions of her lungs surgically removed in order to make a full recovery. She has a consultation with a surgeon later today.

The sick kitten has had about $5,000 worth of medical treatment since she came under the Stratford Cat Project’s care, and Galante estimates Penelope will need another $5,000 to $7,000 worth of veterinary care in order to make a full recovery.

The rescue group is seeking donations to help pay for Penelope’s medical care. Donations can be made online at the group’s website or mailed to the Stratford Cat Project (their contact information is also available at their website). Any checks earmarked for Penelope’s care should include the cat’s name on the memo line.

“[Penelope] is a sweetheart,” Galante said. “She’s a gritty little fighter and she has everyone wrapped around her littlepaw.”

[Source: Connecticut Post]