On March 10th 2012, a small kitten was found abandoned and taken in by an unsuspecting couple. The kitten was so tiny that he was no larger than a smart phone - it was easily assumed that he must have been the runt of the litter. Without a second thought, the couple took the itty bitty kitten into their home and he became apart of the family overnight. A handful of names were tossed in the air, and the couple settled on calling him "Sox" - his little paws looked as if they had socks on.
After a few days in his new home, Sox began to appear fatigue with a runny nose; typical signs of kennel cough. The couple decided it would be best to take the kitten in for a check up sooner than they had planned. The veterinary visit proved that Sox was a bit under the weather with the probability of an upper respiratory infection - he was prescribed antibiotics and scheduled to follow up within a few days.
Before they could make the next appointment, Sox was found laying on his side and not responding to physical stimuli - he was colder than cold. The couple resisted the urge to panic and quickly rushed the kitten to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital. Upon entering the front doors of the hospital, Sox and the couple were immediately taken to a room to await the veterinarian. One look and Sox was instantly written off as a loss by the veterinarian. The couple broke down into each others arms as they were told that the little kitten they had rescued would more than likely not make it throughout the night. Even though the fate was set by the doctor's words, it wasn't the final call on Sox's life.
The Veterinarian informed the couple that Sox might survive if he were to have surgery done on his lungs - a surgery he was unable to perform himself. The couple were informed that the surgery would be costly and that it would be best to simply put Sox down.
Sox the kitten kicking back in his new home.
Sox the kitten relaxing
Original campaign flyer for Sox the kitten
Sox the kitten at Animal Medical Care, Hesperia, CA.
Sox the kitten at Animal Medical Care, Hesperia, CA.
Sox the Kitten
Paw prints of Sox
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This didn't sit well with the couple. They didn't like the idea of ending the life of an animal, they especially didn't like the idea of being cornered into that decision because of money. Sox being alive through his current condition was labeled as a " miracle," it was a sign of him wanting to live. Seeing that the tiny kitten was not only fighting for his life, but wanting to live it was enough to spark the drive in the couple's heart's to fight alongside the kitten.
It was originally estimated that the cost of surgery was between $6,000 - 8,000 with the possibility of reaching even higher. This news added more hardship to the couple than they already had. With the cost in mind, the couple brainstormed on ways to set up fund raising - they put together their creative minds and began campaigning with posters and fliers all over every square inch of social media as well as the Internet. Within 24 hours, they raised close to $1,000.
The campaign for Sox, "Breath of Air" was running strong, pulling in donations from Australia to Sweden. During this, the couple found hope for the kitten through The City of Angels Pet Hospital in Culver City, Los Angeles, Cali. The medical and surgical staff there assessed Sox and, gave peace of mind to the couple with the news that his surgery would be done, and that his current condition could warrant him to live comfortably for an additional week or so until he gained more weight as well as the couple having more time to earn additional funds for the anticipated surgery. Sox was admitted over night and was scheduled to go home with the couple the following day under high at home medical care and watch.
After a full night of sleep and rest since it had all started, the couple got a call from the assigned surgeon at City of Angels. Dr. Lo was happy to explain how Sox was ready to go home and await his surgery. In addition to this news, Dr. Lo delivered more exciting news; she explained how the City of Angels Foundation had heard of the couple's story and efforts they had put forward in order to save Sox - this was inspiring for them as well and were willing to donate up to $1000 towards his surgery. The doctor also added that the price went down to $4,500 and that a few of the medical staff members wanted to donate to Sox as well. The optimistic feeling dropped quickly when Dr. Lo had to rush off the line for an emergency - the emergency ended up being for Sox.
Without hesitation, the couple quickly packed up and began the journey back toward City of Angels. While in route, the couple received another call from the hospital. It was Dr. Lo's medial assistant informing them that Sox was currently in cardiac arrest. He was unresponsive and not breathing - Lo was performing advanced emergency life resuscitation measures on the tiny kitten. A few minutes had passed yet it felt like an eternity for the already torn apart couple, there was no change or improvement in his condition - the couple were left to make the most heartbreaking decision. At 3:04pm, March 22nd 2012 Sox was pronounced deceased after the call to stop resuscitation was made. The dreadful silence and background noise of the medical staff was
broken as the couple broke down into tears. Their little Sox had lost the battle before it could get going - he was gone and the couple was still miles away from him.
The couple reached the hospital and were greeted with condolences by the staff. They were taken to a private room and were given the chance to say good bye to their Sox. He was delivered by a staff member fighting back tears wrapped in a towel. The couple held him while trying not to disturb the tiny kitten who looked as if he was merely sleeping and would awaken at any moment. There was a knock at the door, Dr. Lo entered the room carrying a look of sorrow for the couple's loss as if it were a loss for her also. Everyone that came in contact with or that had heard his story had fallen in love with Sox, "the kitten that had the whole world smitten." Dr. Lo sat crossed-legged on a rug in front of the two and explained everything that had transpired just moments ago - she held back her tears while the couple let theirs pour out.
Kind words were shared and hugs were accepted. The couple each said their good byes to the tiny kitten and each sealed their final words with a kiss atop Sox's head. He was passed off to the staff and was taken away. The couple held each other and continued to pour into one another. So much had happened over the past 72 hours - it was a lot to absorb and take in for the two. The whole situation was not only a surprise to the couple and medical staff, but to everyone that donated and tried their best in saving Sox's life. He wasn't just the couples kitten, he became everyone's kitty. This wasn't the end of the couples journey - neither was it the end of Sox's story.
Though the remarkable and generous efforts contributed from everyone that fell in love with Sox, the couple felt it would be best to donate whatever was left of the funds from trying to resuscitate Sox and donate it to another feline or family in need just as they were. With this idea and passion, SOXrescue was created and a fund was established in the kitten's name as well as more. SOXrescue assists in rescuing kittens and cats that need sheltering or care. They rehabilitate the cats and campaign to get them adopted into a new forever home. The organization takes donations and uses them toward felines in medical need or for their rescued felines in getting them vaccinated, spayed or neutered, nourished and then adopted.
This is Sox's story, a story shared in hopes of preventing others like it from happening again.
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SOXrescue is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit organization that is dedicated to rehabilitating & housing homeless cats, and provides adoption, spay/neuter and emergency support.
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