On a rainy day in November 2015, Kathryn Van Beek came across a newborn kitten crawling around in the downpour. Initially, she had thought that it was a mouse or rat. The tiny, frail critter was trying to crawl down a footpath in Auckland, New Zealand, its umbilical cord still attached to its body. That's when Kathryn knew that she had to do something, or else this innocent newborn could lose its life.
First, Kathryn asked around the neighborhood to see if the kitten belonged to any of the surrounding residents' cats. When nobody claimed this abandoned newborn, Kathryn made a decision to take him home and name him Bruce.
Bruce the cat was only hours old when he was noticed by Kathryn on that rainy November day.
Not only was he soaking wet, but his umbilical cord was still attached to his tiny body.
Thankfully, Kathryn decided to adopt him. She took him home with her and warmed him up immediately.
She was determined to nurture and care for this tiny kitty so that he can grow into a healthy, happy cat.
How could any mother cat not want this adorable kitten?
For the first couple of weeks, he couldn't really open his eyes yet.
He had appeared so scraggly when Kathryn first found him in the footpath, but he was looking more and more beautiful each day.
Because Bruce was still so small, Kathryn had to feed him with a dropper. She used a kitten formula that is specially developed for abandoned babies, who need an abundance of nutrients.
Day 12 of living in his new home - Bruce only weighed 0.22 pounds at this time.
One day, Bruce finally opened his eyes. They were such mesmerizing blue eyes.
With the love and care of his new family, the kitty got stronger and healthier every day. Soon after, he learned to eat on his own.
As Bruce grew, so did his curiosity and playfulness. Luckily, he had a loving older sister - Jager the cat.
And then, something astonishing happened - Bruce's gorgeous gray coat and piercing blue eyes changed colors. While it is typical for kittens' eye colors to change as they develop, the change in fur color was not commonplace. Even Bruce's vet was perplexed by this and could not explain his shiny new coat of black fur.
One hypothesis is that Bruce's condition was the result of "fever coat." This occurs when the mother sustains an infection or stress during her pregnancy, or if she is put on medication during that time. The kittens are then born with "fever coat," which typically fades between 6 to 8 months.
Whatever the case may be, Bruce is just as beautiful no matter what color his fur or eyes are. This charming feline is so well-loved by the community that he has his own Facebook page, Pinterest page, YouTube channel, and a blog that all document his adventures with his amazing family.
The Van Beek family also uses these social media avenues to promote the adoption of rescue cats and to educate the public about how to properly care for them.
Bruce has grown into a healthy, happy cat who is loved unconditionally by his family - and that's what truly matters.
It's incredible to think about the progress that Bruce has made, starting from his very first steps:
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