BURNING up with fever and unable to breathe, Sophie would have died if not for a heartwarming case of community goodwill last week.
Tamika Kirby said she noticed a few weeks ago the stray cat her children occasionally chased out of the house had collapsed under an outside window and was giving birth.
She brought the feline inside - her children naming the stray 'Sophie' - and had begun making inquiries about adopting out the four new kittens when everything went wrong.
"(Sophie) just collapsed in front of the fridge. She was gasping for air and she was very weak," Ms Kirby said.
"No one knew what was wrong."
The Toogoolawah mum contacted a nearby wildlife carer, Charlie Lewis, who immediately posted a summary of the increasingly dire situation on Facebook along with a cry for help.
Within minutes, Ms Kirby said her phone lit up with messages from helpful community members and enough money was raised so the stray could visit a veterinarian within the hour.
There, it was discovered the stray had contracted milk fever - a deadly disease rarely found in cats - but with a fast diagnosis, Sophie was quickly medicated and survived the night.
"I was so overwhelmed," Ms Kirby said.
"It's not often you see anyone wanting to help a stray cat, let alone a whole community, and just before Christmas too.
"I know we're struggling getting this close to Christmas, so to see that was absolutely amazing."
Ms Lewis said it was "magical" to watch people pull together for the little creature and it was rare to see such a show of solidarity.
"It helps keep a little faith in humanity," she said.
"This was something right under people's noses, just an innocent animal desperate for help and we put her out there at just the right time for hearts to open up."
Ms Lewis said the story was a timely reminder for people seeking to buy a pet to consider adopting a rescued animal and to desex their pets.
The four kittens will be rehomed once all medical checks are complete. Email email@example.com for adoption details.
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