a kitten missing all his whiskers
After a near-miss with a paver, a construction vehicle that lays asphalt, Torch was left with singed whiskers, but thankfully no permanent damage. Photo by Malcolm Bramwell/Humane Society of Silicon Valley

Torch was brought to Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) in a small box. A road worker named Bill heard an odd sound and looked in one of the wheel wells of his paver. The last thing he expected to find were two teeny blue eyes peering back at him. The fact that he heard anything at all over the huge machine’s noise was a miracle.

How this little kitten wound up in such a predicament we will never know, but there he was, perched in the wheel well, pudgy and well-fed but with his fur and whiskers scorched. Had Bill not heard the little squeak, Torch would have perished. As it was, the tabby kitten needed immediate help.

Our staff veterinarians rushed Torch back to our medical area to be examined. The tiny kitten was singed and had a funny smell to him, and he had bits of tar stuck to his fur and skin. His whiskers were completely gone.

All of us were smitten with him from the moment he arrived. Other than his outward appearance, this little guy was healthy and strong, his wide eyes looking curiously around at new people he met.

I work in our foster department, and when animals come in who need some extra love, I sometimes foster them myself. Torch was only a few weeks old but could eat wet food, so I took him home to care for him while he recovered.

For five weeks, I brought him home each night and back to my office at the shelter each day, where he was a staff favorite. He was somewhat shy and awkward at first, but before long he became more outgoing, playing with me and my other pets. His fur and whiskers came back, and he grew healthier and happier.

When Torch was ready for his forever home, the first person waiting to adopt him was Bill—the caring man who had saved him from the paver. Torch is now living happily ever after with Bill and his wife.

- Melissa Lopez,
Foster care associate,
Humane Society Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley, California

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