My wife and I own three cats, with only ten legs between them.
For those who are bad at math, that means two of our cats are missing a leg. I suppose it could have also been one cat missing two legs. Or like… one cat with no legs and one cat with six, like some kind of…. cat insect hybrid… which is just absurd. These days we only have insect-human hybrids.
Anywho, what I’m doing a bad job getting at is that Tee and I focus specifically on handicapped felines. It started after we got our first cat, Weebles, who has a condition called cerebellar hypoplasia. To avoid proving that I know nothing of the science of this, I’ll simply say this means she has trouble with motor functions. Essentially, she wobbles. She walks like Shaggy from Scooby Doo, and her head bounces when she’s focused on something like food, food or food (she likes food). We actually rescued Weebles from an event here in Gainesville where a group had raided a place that was hoarding cats (somewhere upwards of 250 cats in a small property). Many of the cats had health issues and some had to be put down.
We went WANTING Weebles. Tee had discovered CH cats a month or so before and we had decided we wanted one, mainly due to the fact that many people think they’re unadoptable. When we went to this event, we had called earlier and learned about Weebles, who was the only cat of the whole raid who had CH. We were lead through three warehouse ares FULL of cats, many looked like just normal cats, some had obvious injuries or health problems. I wish we could have adopted them all, which would have then made us hoarders, and then we would get raided and the whole thing would be repeated, so probably a good thing we didn’t. At the end of the whole thing, the woman leading the “tour” told our group to feel free to look around and grab someone if we found a cat we wanted. While she was wrapping up this part of the tour, I turned to my right and BOOM – Weebles was right there. We ended AT Weebles. It was like fate. We took the little wobbly turd home and haven’t looked back since then.
Couple years later Tee began working with Gainesville Pet Rescue, and her attention was grabbed by an adorable little three legged brown Tabby. This kitten was attacked by a dog and found by the side of the road. They had to amputate her back leg because it was so mutilated in the attack. Tee did the reasonable thing and came home so we could discuss and think about the decision for a few weeks. Nah, jus’ playin’. We adopted that three-legged fluffbutt like… that day. We named her Trinity, of course. We kick ass at names.
Finally, a year or so after that, another three legged cat came through GPR: a chunky little black cat missing her front leg. This time the leg was removed due to a birth defect. Tee was determined to be more thoughtful and responsible about this adoption, taking time to think it over. Then she took me into GPR to meet the kitty and we were fostering her within a week. I…. I really like black cats. Eventually we went from fostering to owning her and we named her Ash, after the main character from Evil Dead.
So, yeah, I have my very own Xavier’s School of Gifted Cats.
It’s important to rescue animals. There are so many animals out there already in need of good homes that breeders are mostly unnecessary. So many animals in need of love, in need of a family. If you’re looking for a pet, for a companion, consider adopting. At least check it out, hit a rescue center and see if you fall in love. If not, then fine. You tried. But I think it’s important to at least entertain the thought of rescuing over other means of acquiring your pet.
I would love if everyone who read this also sat down and seriously thought about adopting a handicapped/special needs animal. It’s a lot of work, for sure. The two three legged cats aren’t as much, but Weebles has her moments. She sometimes can’t make it into the litter box. She has trouble with hairballs where they cause her to gag to much and thus make her vomit. It can be taxing, but I love her. I know if Tee and I hadn’t taken her, it would have lowered her chances of adoption and thus survival considerably. CH cats all over the place are euthanized because people view them as unadoptable. They think that this stumbly, wobbly cat must obviously have some sort of detrimental problem, that it must be in pain. CH cats are not in pain and they typically live as long as any other cat. They are wonderfully adoptable for people patient enough to show them the love they deserve.
Please, if you are thinking of adopting, sit down and think if you’d like a handicapped animal. They need love just like any other pet, and they need special owners to seek them out and care for them.