When Alexis Sardella and her husband bunkered down to prepare for Hurricane Isaias in August, they were worried about keeping their pets safe and how long their electricity would be out.
But when the couple woke up the next morning, they were met with an entirely new dilemma on their doorstep.
Surprise After the Storm
Alexis clearly remembers the day her doorbell rang.
“My husband and I walked to the door…and it was a couple of the neighbor girls under the age of five with a kitten in their hands,” she recalled.
The girls asked if the kitten was theirs and said that it had been trapped in the bushes in front of their house.
The small grey kitten didn’t belong to Alexis or her husband, but as soon as they saw the kitten’s condition, they knew they had to do something.
Determined to Help
“He was in pretty rough shape. I actually didn’t think he was alive at first,” Alexis said.
They immediately contacted their vet who was able to squeeze them in for an emergency appointment.
The kitten was severely malnourished and dehydrated.
They learned he was eight weeks old, despite weighing less than one pound.
“He weighed less than nothing, I wouldn’t be surprised if he got blown into the bushes and got stuck,” Alexis said. “He was so skinny, to the point that lifting him was like picking up a feather.”
Being underweight was one of the many problems the poor kitten had.
His ears had cuts, fur was missing, and his frail little body was infested with fleas, ear mites, and other parasites.
He had a long road to recovery ahead, but the couple was determined to help.
Love at First Sight
When Alexis and her husband brought the kitten back from the vet, he was exhausted.
Between his meals and medicine, he slept.
The couple was determined to provide him with diligent care during his recovery journey.
Most importantly, they made him feel safe and loved.
No one knows where he came from, but one thing was certain: he wasn’t going anywhere.
The decision had been clear all along. Alexa and her husband were going to keep this little miracle!
“I was in love from the start and I wanted him, there was no doubt in my mind,” Alexis said.
Their existing cat, Olaf, and golden retriever, Layla, were just as thrilled about the new addition to their family.
“They just meshed perfectly,” Alexis said.
A Fresh Start
Alexis’s family officially welcomed the kitten into their family!
They named him Sven after a character in the Disney movie, Frozen.
Months have passed since settling in perfectly with his forever family.
Now Sven is getting ready to experience his first Christmas!
Sven struggles with food guarding, but he’s slowly improving.
His food guarding tendency is very likely from starving in the past.
It’ll take a while for Sven to learn that his belly will always be full thanks to mom and dad!
“He’s the classic little brother right now, the baby brother. When he’s not sleeping, he’s bothering everybody else,” Alexis said.
This rambunctious kitten is full of surprises!
There’s never a dull moment with Sven around.
“Quite hyper, I don’t remember seeing any other cat like this. He’s just genuinely happy. He’s safe and finally building trust,” Alexis explained.
Sven’s First Christmas
Sven’s favorite activities are watching people shower, pouncing on hair ties, and climbing in slippers.
Now that Sven is experiencing his first Christmas, he’s discovered a new passion: destroying the Christmas tree.
Alexis recalls putting up the Christmas tree and said, “Within a minute he had already chewed off two limbs.”
He also loved climbing up the tree and sleeping on the limbs. “He’s a pro,” Alexis joked. “It’s a non-stop battle.”
Worried about electrocution and other health hazards, the couple did their best to keep Sven away from the tree.
But they eventually had to admit defeat and take the tree down.
Removing the Christmas tree was a small sacrifice to keep their little one out of harm’s way.
Sven didn’t understand this, of course.
He thought the Christmas tree was a giant toy!
Despite his initial disappointment, Sven quickly recovered and went back to playing with smaller (and safer) toys.
Happily Ever After
“He’s come a long way! I’m very grateful,” said Alexis.
Alexis isn’t the only one who is grateful.
Sven would have suffered a terrible fate had it not been for Alexis and her husband.
They’re so happy the neighbor girls brought him to their doorstep on that fateful day.
He went from fighting for his life to being showered with love and attention in a home he can finally call his own.
Now Sven can focus on playing, pouncing, and enjoying his first Christmas with his forever family!