Sip & Purr Cat Café’s founder Katy McHugh and her 12-year-old son Cole recently stumbled upon Nala during a trip to Cairo, and the celebrity Egyptian kitten now awaits a forever home in Milwaukee.
While exploring Cairo on February 21, Katy’s son Cole happened to spot a kitten living alone in a cage of a Cairo pet store. No other cats were in sight, no mother or siblings.
“Saving Nala was 100% unplanned. The kitten was in rough shape, clearly malnourished and sickly,” said McHugh. “My rescue radar kicked in, and I knew I had to do something to save this kitten.”
McHugh purchased Nala for $5, the only option other than leaving her to meet an uncertain fate. After bringing her back to the hotel, which involved discreetly hiding Nala in McHugh’s jacket, she realized Nala had no idea how to eat solid food. The kitten was most likely still nursing when taken from her mother to be sold.
McHugh contacted a Cairo veterinarian and her kitten rescue team in Milwaukee. Lexa Hodkiewicz, whose parents own Lake Geneva Animal Hospital, was on the phone with McHugh despite the nine-hour time difference, and helped her through the steps to save Nala. Sip & Purr on Milwaukee’s Eastside specializes in rescuing cats, but the usually over the age of one.
“Syringe feeding a kitten, in Cairo, in a hotel, with very limed supplies was new to me,” McHugh said.
After a few days of syringe feeding, a vet exam, medical treatment, and issuance of an international health certificate required for flight, Nala safely made the 15-hour journey from Cairo to Chicago O’Hare. Nala is currently fostered at the McHugh’s home.
“She has a long way to go in terms of gaining weight and strength, receiving additional medical care, and adjusting to life in America,” added McHugh.
After fostering, Nala will make the move to Sip & Purr where she will socialize with other cats and humans, waiting to find the perfect family for adoption.