A kitten was found alone in a backyard. She was born with a cleft nose and an amazing will to live.

Ashley Kelley @bruceandfoxfosters

Ashley Kelley, a foster volunteer of Wrenn Rescues (in Los Angeles), came across a Facebook post last Saturday night about a tiny kitten in need of rescue.

“Someone had found a solo kitten. It still had closed eyes and was meowing a lot, and obviously hungry,” Ashley told Love Meow. “Something told me that I needed to go get it immediately. I got in touch with the finder, grabbed a mask and gloves, and hopped in my car. It was already 9PM.”

The resident who discovered the kitten, heard her cries and followed the sound to the backyard. “The nice lady put her in a warm place, and kept an eye out for the mama, but no mama ever showed up.”

Ashley Kelley @bruceandfoxfosters

It is likely that the kitten was left behind by the cat mom. “Unfortunately that is how nature works sometimes. Mamas leave their weak, incompatible-with-life babies and focus on their healthy ones.”

Ashley had no idea anything was different about this tiny feline and neither did the resident who found her. When she got home, she made a bottle and prepared to feed and evaluate the little one.

“I found to my great surprise — the kitten had a cleft nose,” Ashley told Love Meow.

Ashley Kelley @bruceandfoxfosters

“She has a teeny tiny hole in her palate along with the cleft nose, so it’s not safe to bottle feed her. She needs to be tube-fed.”

After getting a full belly, the kitten settled down in her cozy, warm bed and went right to sleep.

(Scroll down for video)

Ashley Kelley @bruceandfoxfosters

When it came to naming the kitten, they knew she needed a strong name. They decided to call her Aela to exemplify her warrior spirit.

“She’s named after a video game character I always loved, who is a strong and fierce warrior, and is unique from most people,” Ashley shared with Love Meow.

Ashley Kelley @bruceandfoxfosters

Aela may be tiny, but she has a set of strong lungs and is never shy of voicing her opinions. Once she’s fed, she’s content and ready for some purrito cuddles with her foster mom.

“It’s almost as though she understands that I am helping her.”

Ashley Kelley @bruceandfoxfosters

In just a few days, the tiny panther kitty has made it into the 100-gram club. She will meow at every meal time until her belly is full and round.

Watch little Aela in this video:

Little warrior kitten, Aela


“Other than needing to be tube-fed, she is a remarkably normal kitten so far. She recognizes my scent and cuddles up to my hands,” Ashley said.

Ashley Kelley @bruceandfoxfosters

The kitten loves to be groomed with a small tooth brush. She will crawl her way into Ashley’s hand, curl up and fall asleep while being stroked.

“It reminds her of her mom grooming her. She also loves her super soft baby blanket, and heating pad.”

Ashley Kelley @bruceandfoxfosters

Little Aela is making strides every day, showing everyone that she’s a warrior to be reckoned with, and that she is worthy of life and love.

“She seems so grateful to be alive, and strongly determined to survive.”

Ashley Kelley @bruceandfoxfosters

Share this story with your friends. If you would like to support their rescue efforts, click here to see how you can help. Follow updates on little Aela and Ashley’s fosters on Instagram.

Related story: Kitten Who Showed Up in a Backyard, Comes Back to Family for Help