Kitten who lost her tongue to horrific abuse learns to eat again: ‘Chaos’

A kitten who was so horribly abused that it lost its tongue has learned to eat again, albeit with a little mess.

Foster owner u/MerryHeretic and his wife foster cats and while they’ve seen many injuries, they’ve never encountered a creature missing a tongue before.

He shared a snap of the kitten, which they named Jnco after the ’90s denim brand, on Reddit, asking for advice on how to groom it.

They have been adopting Jnco for about a month and she is about 12 weeks old.

Photos of Jnco the kitten.
Photos of Jnco the kitten. The 12-week-old was abused which resulted in her losing her tongue. Now she’s learning to eat.

Anyone who owns a cat knows that they clean themselves by licking their body, which can result in the dreaded hairballs being thrown up.

While owners can groom their pets themselves, pet food website Purina said cats using their tongues for the job have other benefits.

Their website explains that in addition to improving circulation and muscle tone: “Glands at the base of the coat are stimulated to make the coat waterproof.

“Sebum is evenly distributed, which helps waterproof and protect the coat and skin.

“In hot weather, the saliva you spread while grooming helps keep your cat cool.”

Cats’ tongues are well-equipped for this task, as the muscle is covered in tiny bristles that act like a hairbrush.

Older cats, in particular, may need grooming help, and Purina advises owners to use a fine-toothed metal brush once a week to remove knots or tangles and a natural or rubber bristle brush to remove loose hair.

“Gently brush or comb your cat’s hair, stroking in the direction her hair is growing,” the website advised.

Photos of Jnco the kitten.
Photos of Jnco the kitten. The kitten manages to eat despite being a bit messy.

u/MerryHeretic recalled the moment they discovered the extent of Jnco’s injuries news week: “She was brought to the shelter by an animal welfare officer who found her. The officer also found that her tongue was attached to a bungee cord, and it definitely appeared to be intentional.

“We have fostered many cats with medical needs including missing limbs, neurological disorders and extensive skin injuries, but never one with a missing tongue.”

The couple were shocked by the condition of Jnco, who was originally named Ivory.

“I was incredulous when my wife told me about it and showed me the picture of the tongue on the bungee cord. [Jnco] was on a feeding tube before coming to our house.

“She couldn’t live on a feeding tube forever, so she had to learn how to feed on her own. And she liked doing that alone, although it was very messy,” he said.

The couple showered love on Jnco, although the Redditor admitted: “My wife does all the hard work, I just play with the kittens. She has fostered around 1,000 cats over the last ten years, 979 of those cats have been adopted.”

Confirming in his Reddit post that she lost her tongue to “abuse,” he added that her secondary goal is to “fear her of humans.”

Photos of Jnco the kitten.
Photos by Jnco, left behind the white cat, the kitten. The foster parents admitted that they have never cared for a cat without a tongue.

Her future is uncertain, but she manages to partake in other comforts enjoyed by healthy cats.

u/MerryHeretic tells news week: “Jnco is still a bit nervous, but when she feels safe, she comes out of hiding and begs for attention. She loves to be petted and scratched. As far as we can tell, her missing tongue only affects her eating and drinking.

“She can do both on her own, but it’s still very messy. We think she’ll get better at it as she gets older. Her purrs and meows are like a normal kitten’s. She likes to sit by the window and get some sun.

“We’ve tried wrapping a tissue around her neck while she eats but she still manages to get messy so we just rely on regular bathing now. She no longer opens up at all during the bath and when she is towel dried she purrs incessantly. She really likes being scrubbed with a toothbrush.”

Jnco is available for adoption through the Pima Animal Care Center in southern Arizona when she’s “stable and less messy,” he joked.

The Reddit post, shared on the Cats forum earlier this month, garnered more than 21,000 likes as people shared their love for Jnco.

RAH2458 said: “I’ve heard some bad abuse stories but this one wins the grand prize. Thank you for being who you are and caring for this little one – the world needs more people like you. And whoever did this, I hope you’re ready for hot weather.”

MissRooney wrote: “Poor baby. I hope whoever did this never finds peace and happiness. I am so angry!”

“What a sweet girl. I wish her a long life full of love and joy,” commented 1984vintage. Kitten who lost her tongue to horrific abuse learns to eat again: ‘Chaos’

Rick Schindler

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