When Milk arrived at the Dumb Friends League San Luis Valley Animal Center after being found in a local storage unit, the tiny, 2-month-old kitten was in desperate need of care and nourishment. Suffering from a severe upper respiratory infection (URI), Milk was emaciated, blind, and unable to breathe with ease. Our San Luis Valley team responded quickly, starting with carefully cleaning his sticky face and soiled white coat as he leaned and purred into their gentle hands. Much to our relief, Milk soon began to show clear signs of improvement, including opening his eyes nearly halfway and beginning to eat.

Shortly after this crucial first step in his transformation, Milk was transferred to the League’s Leslie A. Malone Center in Denver to receive more extensive medical treatment and dedicated foster care. When he arrived, our Shelter Veterinary Services team determined that the URI virus had attacked Milk’s corneas, causing him significant discomfort and vision loss. Relieving his pain and infection through bilateral enucleation (or the surgical removal of both eyes) would be the most humane treatment option, and Milk was scheduled for surgery just days later.

In the meantime, Milk made himself at home with his loving foster family, which included a member of the League’s veterinary team and two friendly canine roommates! There, he settled in like a champ as his charming, resilient personality began to shine through. Milk was closely monitored and treated for pain and infection in the days that followed, returning to the League for frequent physical exams to assess his progress. In particular, weight gain was an essential prerequisite for his surgery and continued healing.

As expected, the procedure proved to be a pivotal turning point in Milk’s recovery and remarkable journey. With the source of his pain gone, the lovable kitten was able to direct more of his energy toward building physical strength, navigating the world without sight, and connecting with his trustworthy caregivers. According to his former foster parent, Milk (or “Buttermilk Biscuits” as he was affectionately known then) was the perfect mix of sweetness and sass, with a dash of daredevil that helped him befriend the dogs in the home.

Not long after Milk was cleared for adoption and his foster family bid him a fond farewell, he captured the heart of cat enthusiast Abby, who happened to be visiting the League in search of a new feline friend. As Abby neared the end of the row of single cat kennels, she couldn’t believe her eyes. There was Milk, the tiniest, most curious kitten, seemingly waiting just for her. Abby felt immediately drawn to his alertness and wonder and was particularly impressed with how well he compensated for his lack of vision. She knew that Milk was “the one” when he melted into her lap during their adoption consultation. From that moment forward, life as they both knew it was transformed forever.

Today, Milk (who now goes by Casper) is thriving in his new home and living the life he has always deserved. With medication and Abby’s loving care, his breathing has also improved by leaps and bounds. “He is a ball of energy and loves cuddles,” Abby recently shared. “He follows me around my apartment wherever I go … he’s an amazing cat!”

Transform what’s possible for animals like Milk – and their families – by donating to the Dumb Friends League today. Through December 31, gifts will be matched up to $200,000, meaning you can make twice the impact this holiday season.