A kitten is going viral after Massachusetts veterinarians sewed plastic buttons onto his face following a life-saving surgery.
The 7-month-old kitten, named Juicebox, was rushed to the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston on January 20 after he was attacked by his owner’s dog during playtime, CNN first reported. The orange tabby suffered from a broken jaw and “serious facial lacerations,” the outlet said.
After the Angell vets successfully operated on the kitten, they sewed four buttons — two on his face and two under his chin — to hold the sutures in place and stabilize his jaw, CNN said.
“The buttons are attached to wires on both sides of his cheeks. And the buttons hold the sutures in place. But they also hold the jaw in place, so it tracks while he heals,” Rob Halpin, spokesman for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, shared with CNN.
“It’s a fairly novel procedure, and it works really well. And then you end up with a cat that looks adorable while he’s healing,” he added.
On February 19, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced on Facebook that Juicebox had his buttons removed and was “healing well.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Juicebox Suffered From Head Trauma, Multiple Jaw Fractures, Lacerations & Damage to the Palate in the Roof of His Mouth, According to MSPCA
Following the canine attack, Juicebox was in critical condition, according to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The 7-month-old kitten suffered from head trauma, multiple jaw fractures, lacerations and damage to the palate in the roof of his mouth, MSPCA announced in a February 9 press release.
“Angell’s emergency veterinarians treated the adorable orange cat for pain and head trauma, and diagnosed serious facial injuries: multiple jaw fractures, lacerations and damage to the palate in the roof of his mouth,” The Society said in the online statement.
Victoria Odynsky, a manager at the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center, explained in the release that Juicebox “adapted quickly to the sutures.”
“He has obviously been through and survived a serious trauma, but he has adapted quickly to the sutures that limit the use of his jaw and, through it all, he’s remained an outgoing, playful and really friendly cat,” she said. “We are relieved that we are able to provide urgent medical care for him, and we’re glad to see him recovering so well.”
More Than 150 Families Have Lined up to Adopt Juicebox
According to People Magazine, Juicebox’s owners “made the difficult choice” to put him up for adoption so that he could be placed in a dog-free home. More than 150 families had applied to adopt the orange tabby as of February 14, CNN said.
Juicebox is currently under the care of a foster family experienced in caring for pets with medical needs, People said. In the Facebook post announcing the removal of Juicebox’s buttons, the MSPCA said the kitty would be back to the vet in “several weeks” for X-rays, and they hoped to place him in his forever home around that time.
Halpin told CNN that Juicebox is already showing his “playful side” to his foster parents.
“He’s very social. He’s very confident. And you know, he acts no worse for wear,” he said to CNN. “Younger animals tend to heal a little bit quicker, just like younger humans do.”
For those interested in adopting Juicebox, an application can be submitted here.