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Gremlin's incredible transformation

31 October 2020
Gremlin's incredible transformation

Here at SPCA, we have dozens of animals come through our doors every day. Our ‘transformation’ stories share the tales of those who come into our care, in pain and often fighting for their lives, and then go on to make a miraculous recovery. This is Gremlin’s story.

Gremlin’s start to life wasn’t an easy one. He first came into SPCA’s care when he was found in a box on the steps of SPCA’s Wellington Centre. He had no food, no water, and was left to fend for himself.

Upon examination, Gremlin didn’t look like your average kitten. Sadly, he was covered in severe ringworm lesions that had caused his hair to fall out, and his skin was itchy and raw.

It quickly became clear to our team that Gremlin’s condition had been untreated for some time, and they immediately initiated a treatment plan.

Gremlin was seen by vets, who gave him pain relief and a special medicated bath to ease the soreness of his skin. When animals have ringworm, it's important to prevent the spread of further infection so Gremlin was placed in SPCA’s Isolation to recover safely, ensuring his safety and the animals around him.

Gremlin's condition on arrival to SPCA in June.
Gremlin's condition on arrival to SPCA in June.

Recovering in a foster environment

Research shows that there are beneficial outcomes for animal welfare when animals can recover in a home environment, as a shelter environment can be a stressful place for them.

Because of this, once he no longer needed intensive monitoring, Gremlin continued his recovery with one of our dedicated volunteer and ringworm foster parents Margaret.

“I collected Gremlin after I had finished my morning volunteer shift. I could see immediately that he was sick, but he didn’t seem to have let this effect his spirit. He was sitting up brightly in the carry cage, looking all around him with an air of "Good - I'm out and about - now what?"

“I thought he was adorable, with his huge ears and his tiny white moustache! I could see that he had an extreme case of ringworm but he was such a cheerful and confident boy that I knew he would fight it off. Of course, being black and white, he was all set to become the dapper gentleman he is today.”

Fostering animals with ringworm involves a lot of work and includes regular medicated baths and stringent hygiene protocols – which is why SPCA is very fortunate to have a number of experienced foster parents who can help with animals suffering from the condition.

It’s no easy feat, but for Margaret this is what she finds most rewarding about fostering.

“It is rewarding to see every single one of my fosters going to a forever home because I know the struggle each one has had,” Margaret says.

Gremlin at one of his regular vet check ups, while out in foster care.
Gremlin at one of his regular vet check ups, while out in foster care.

Finding a second chance at happiness

Second chances at a happy life happen every day and Gremlin’s journey was no different. After months of rehabilitation in our isolation unit and foster care with Margaret, Gremlin transformed into a completely different kitten!

His fur grew back, his skin healed, and he was full of confidence. He loved to play with his fellow foster kittens, and cuddle up to Margaret.

When Gremlin was given a clean bill of health by SPCA’s vet team, he was made available for adoption. It didn’t take long before his charming nature captured the eye of his new parents Catherine and Craig.

They officially adopted Gremlin into their family shortly after first meeting him, and he is now called Van. It is short for the word Vanir – the Norse word for magician. And we have to agree, Van is certainly one magical cat after the transformation he’s gone through!

Van has now settled in well to his forever home, and Catherine and Craig say they feel super lucky to have him as part of their family.

“Van thunders through the house, and up and down the stairs, at a great rate of knots,” they laugh.

“He loves to be patted and will come and sit on you when he feels like it. He will always seek you out and is very interested in what you are doing.”

A fantastic outcome for kitten who truly survived the odds.

Gremlin, now called Van, thriving in his forever home.
Gremlin, now called Van, thriving in his forever home.
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