This Preemie Kitten Was the Size of a Syringe and Nearly Froze to Death. Look at Him Now!

Kitten advocate and educator Hannah Shaw, better known as Kitten Lady, rescued this black and white tuxedo kitten from a freezing cold night in Washington D.C. This tiny kitten has grown up to be quite a charmer and it’s remarkable when you consider his story. Just look at him! Wait until you see him now. 

16. A Frozen Kitten

Kitten Lady’s mission is to rescue orphaned kittens and nurse them back to health. She travels America to educate about the epidemic of kittens being euthanized. Under her leadership, thousands of people have been trained to foster kittens.

Things didn’t look good for the tiny, frozen cat. His sister perished from being left in the cold, and this hours-old kitten looked to be facing the same fate. But Kitten Lady did not give up on the little guy.

15. Baby Badger

She named him Badger, because he looked like a little bear. Badger was obviously a preemie, being only four hours old when he was found outside without a mother. He was stiff, and Kitten Lady had to warm him up and get his blood moving again.

14. Long Odds

Kitten Lady knew that Badger faced long odds, but she has dedicated her life to educating people about kittens and she would do everything she could to give him a chance. She has appeared as an expert on tv shows like My Cat From Hell, and has been profiled in Cosmopolitan and People Magazine. Badger was lucky to have her on his side!

Just like human preemies, Badger had a lot of developmental problems. He spent his first two weeks living in an incubator, while Kitten Lady fed and mothered him around the clock. His tail was so frozen it looked as if the tip might fall off.

13. A Fighting Spirit

After two weeks, Badger started to feel a lot healthier. He learned how to drink from a bottle and he finally started gaining weight. Pretty soon, Badger was a little chunk – a good sign for a kitten!

12. Cuddly Bear

At first, Badger was an orphan. He cuddled with blankets and stuffed toys for company. Then one day, Kitten Lady took in a new group of fosters: Mama Mia and Her Meatball Kittens. Badger was a little older than the new kittens, but developmentally, he was behind. He didn’t know how to socialize or play.

11. A New Medical Condition

Badger had lots of problems he had to overcome, with the help of Kitten Lady and great veterinarians. One problem was that he had megaesophagus, which is an enlargement of the esophagus, the muscular tube connecting the throat to the stomach. This meant that as Badger learned to eat from a bowl, he was in danger of choking or not digesting his food.

Badger frequently had an upset tummy, leading to diarrhea and daily baths. If Badger could just eat on an angle, he could safely digest food.Once again, Kitten Lady and her community of feline activists came through with a plan.

10. 3D Printed Feeder

An engineer used a 3-D printer to create a custom feeding station that would let Badger eat at a safe angle. After visits to the UVA lab to craft the right fit, he had a perfect solution to his megaesophagus.

9. Playful Boy

As Badger was struggling to grow up, he was gaining a huge internet following. Videos and photographs of him gained thousands of views and likes.

8. Making Strides

Meanwhile, Badger was learning new things every day – like how to play! Once he got the hang of it, he became a feisty and personable little dude.

Badger’s internet fandom was not the only one to notice Badger’s dapper charms. Mama Mia’s Meatball Kittens started to become friends with the little man.

7. Mama Mia and the Meatballs

Soon he was cuddling and playing around other kittens near his own age. And Mama Mia loved him too.

6. Friends Forever

One special kitten was especially smitten with Badger: Tortileeni. This torti became Badger’s BFF, always grooming and cuddling with her little bear friend.

4. Good News!

Soon, Badger was thriving. When he went for a vet checkup, everyone was shocked: the megaesophagus condition had cleared up!

X-rays showed that the esophagus had shrank considerably. Badger was able to eat alongside his Meatball friends

3. BFFs

Leeni loved Badger just the way he was. The two love birds would cuddle, play and groom each other. That was how Kitten Lady knew they were meant to be together forever.

2. Badger and Leeni Forever

When the time was right, Leeni and Badger got spayed and neutered. Preventing the birth of new kittens is key to stopping the epidemic of kittens dying in shelters. A lovely couple stepped forward to adopt Leeni and Badger. Not only had Badger beat the odds, he was going to his new home with his best friend.

Badger and his big innocent eyes, and Leeni with her tortitude, now have a sweet new home – and a popular instagram account! You can follow their daily life on instagram, @badgeandleeni.

1. Supporting Kitten Advocacy

Supporting Kitten Lady’s project and advocacy efforts will help give the tiniest kittens a chance at life. You can find her at or on YouTube.