In the middle of a severe winter, an animal control officer responded to a phone call about a kitten found outside. When she arrived, she found five-month old Zappa emaciated and suffering from a traumatic oral injury. It was determined Zappa had likely suffered from an electrical shock, perhaps from chewing on wires. She had a large hole in her palate, several missing teeth, oral and nasal lesions and an injured tongue.

The attending veterinarian cleaned her wounds and recommended surgery. The Connecticut Humane Society (TCHS) agreed to cover the cost of her care.  Staff at TCHS performed a palate graft to try to cover the hole. Afterward, Zappa went into a foster home with the animal control officer who initially rescued her.

At Zappa’s six week checkup, TCHS learned the surgery was only fifty percent successful. Zappa would need to be seen by a specialist. The Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) stepped in to help TCHS with Zappa’s second surgery. A veterinary specialist performed the second palate graft, using a combination of grafting and special surgical mesh. Unfortunately, this too was not a complete success. After her fourth palate repair surgery did not take one hundred percent, it was determined Zappa would not make a full recovery. With her condition greatly improved, she was put up for adoption. The animal control officer decided to give Zappa a forever home.  

Despite Zappa’s extensive injuries, she is a normal kitten in every aspect. She is playful, curious and extremely lovable. Zappa’s adoptive family is fully prepared to provide Zappa with a lifetime of love, support, and special care.

TCHS wrote ISF to say: “I was extremely impressed by Zappa’s will to survive and to be a happy kitten, despite her atrocious injuries and continued attempts at surgery. Her lively spirit will remain with me for a long time!”


ISF depends on your support to provide programs like our Medical Emergency Care Grant for Animals. Please consider donating today.