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The "Special Needs" Cat That We Brought Home

Updated on March 11, 2017

Love At First Sight

We weren't looking to adopt when we met Batcat, but he threw himself against the door to his habitat as soon as my husband and I walked into the room. He kept throwing himself against the door until the technician let him out to meet us and play with me. He was about ten months old at the time, and he and I fell in love right away.

Of course, I noticed his pronounced limp.

The technician explained that he'd had a terrible accident at his first shelter, when he'd been a kitten. His little foot had been caught in the bars of his cage on the first day he'd been available for adoption, and he'd torn a ligament in his knee. No vet wanted to operate on such a young cat, but he would need surgery eventually.

That didn't stop me, of course. Batcat already had a permanent place in my heart, and he was going to come home with me. I had a vet that I trusted, and I made plans to bring the new little guy up to meet her.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
Batcat found an old pacifier clip we thought we'd lost under a couch.
Batcat found an old pacifier clip we thought we'd lost under a couch.
Batcat found an old pacifier clip we thought we'd lost under a couch. | Source

Time Was On Our Side

It took a little while before we could get in to see our vet. At first, Batcat's limp was pronounced. He didn't seem to be able to jump very high, but he wasn't in pain. He was a fun-loving, affectionate little guy who loved to follow our elderly cat around and imitate him, he got along with the dog, and everyone settled into a normal routine.

What we didn't expect was for Batcat's limp to slowly disappear. Over the next month or so, his leg strengthened and he was able to jump and climb as much as his little heart desired.

When I brought him to the vet, she pronounced his leg to be healed. "He might have some problems later on in life, as he gets older, but I'd rather not put him through a surgery if we don't know that's going to be a problem. He's not showing any symptoms and he's healthy as a horse."

He'd had opportunities to play while he was being boarded. He just didn't have the chance to run and jump as much as he wanted. In his forever home, Batcat has the space to run as wild and as free as he pleases. That's helped him to strengthen his leg and overcome his injury.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Batcat, from my lap
Batcat, from my lap
Batcat, from my lap | Source

Happy Cat

Batcat is a very happy cat these days. He gets plenty of play time, and he has "his" spots in the house where he can curl up for a nap. He has a feline "sister" who came from the same facility he did, and they play chase all day long. He loves to feed the other pets, tossing food to them from the cat food shelf.

His best friend, though, is a rescue beagle who joined us about a year ago. He's about the only one who can get the beagle to play, and they conspire to get into trouble in such an adorable way that no one has the heart to get mad at them.

I know, because the rescue worker told me, that a lot of adopters were put off from adopting Batcat because of his leg. Vet bills can be expensive, and the possibility of surgery can be daunting. Having this amazingly gentle ball of fur hop up on my lap and push my laptop out of the way when he's decided I've had enough is worth it.


Have you adopted a pet with special needs? (No judgement in the answers, just curious.)

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© 2017 J V Speyer


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