The story of a Special Kitty
Welcome to the life of Takeo, or as he renamed himself "Mew-Mew", our special needs kitty. We wanted to share his story and pictures with you so you can see that, as long as an animal is happy and not in pain, there is no reason to euthanize. They can have wonderful full lives alongside the rest of the fuzzies. It just takes a little bit of creativity and a few adjustments. :)
Mew-Mew was brought to his foster (and now permanent) home when a feral colony caretaker found him at her colony peeking over the edge of a flipped over box. She didn't think anything other than the fact that someone must have dumped him there and scooped him into a carrier. Once he was let out of the carrier and onto the floor to run and play, everyone soon realized there was something terribly wrong with his back legs. They would just lay there behind him and he was dragging himself around with his front legs. Two vet exams and some x-rays later, the consensus was that the nerves in his spine were severed and he would never walk. Of course, since he had no feeling below his waist, he was also incontinent with both his bladder and his bowels. Both of the vets' opinions were that he would not have a good quality of life and should be euthanized. They did say he wasn't in any pain but that his dragging himself and lack of control over his bodily functions would cause sores on his legs as well as urine burns which would result in painful ulcers. The future didn't look good for this little guy but his foster mom decided that, as long as he wasn't in pain, she would try and figure out a way to give him a good life. She wasn't ready to give up quite yet. You see. "Takeo" means "warrior" in japanese. She named him that because he had such a strong will to live and he was just so happy to be alive so, as long as he was willing to be here and without pain, she was going to give him that chance.
The next step was to take Takeo (aka Mew-Mew) to a third vet who does acupuncture treatments on animals. A visit there was positive and treatments were started and would last for several months. Mew-Mew was the perfect patient. He would just lay there for the 20 minutes sessions and would fall asleep on his foster mom's arm on the exam table. After a few months, it was determined that the treatments had done everything they could. Mew-Mew had regained some of his sensations in his lower regions and his tail. He could also lift his back legs about halfway up to his ear in an attempt to scratch. Not quite good enough to walk again but still some good improvement.
In the meantime, his foster mom had been hard at work trying to figure out how to keep him dry and free of sores. She made him a little fleece pouch that she put his legs and tail in and attached around his waist. This took care of the rubbing issue so he could slide and "run" around the hard wood floors without chaffing his legs. Next was the incontinence issue. Well, you have to understand that a 5 week old kitten is way too small for diapers, even xxsmall doggies ones so she cut a tube sock and a hole into a feminine hygiene pad and turned that into a diaper until he would be big enough to wear a regular pet diaper. As you can see on the pictures, he was styling his new look. :)
Update: Mew-Mew is now about 11 months old. He will be a year old right on Thanksgiving. He weighs around 8 pounds and is as happy as any kitten can be. He wears big boy diapers now and he has even been neutered. :) He is also the Dale Earnheart of the family. You should see him drift at full speed around the corners chasing the other kittens. You would think he is auditioning for the movie "Fast and Furious". lol He doesn't know he is different and he doesn't care. Neither do they. They play, roll and pounce together. And if you think that only having 2 working legs stops him from climbing, think again. His human mom regularly finds him on the bed or the couch. She has even found him in one of the cat beds in a cat tree 6ft up. She still needs to express his bladder and change his diaper twice a day and he is not a big fan of the water spray but he is here. He is happy. He loves backrubs and face scratches and he makes his family smile and laugh every time they see him coming around the corner at supersonic speed.
Update: Mew-Mew has just celebrated his 3rd birthday. He is happy as ever and enjoys every day chasing the other cats and pouncing on them every chance he gets. His human mom finds him waiting for her on one of the dining room chairs every morning when she gets up. He is always the first one there to greet her. She has even been talking to a researcher about an implant they are developing to help animals with incontinence. Maybe he'll be the first kitty to receive one and he'll become famous for it. Knowing him, he'll enjoy all the perks of stardom but, in the meantime, he's just happy to hang out and show all the other kitties he's the one in charge. :)
Mew-Mew is the perfect example of the unbreakable spirit of a little kitten who wanted to live no matter what the obstacles were or who thought he shouldn't be allowed to live under the circumstances. Look at the pictures below and ask yourself if he looks sad or unhappy or even just in pain. He doesn't. He is here. He is not going anywhere and he enjoys his life every minute of every day. I hear there are even talks of building him a little cart with wheels now that he is getting bigger so watch out Dale Jr. Keep an eye on your rear view mirror. You might just see a little cat with a fuzzy fleece pouch pass you at full speed if you're not careful. :)
Mew-Mew the day he was brought to his foster home Mew-Mew in his custom made box :)
Mew_Mew playing peek-a-boo Styling my new diaper
Life is good... Playtime with Lil'Boy's tail
Naptime in the laundry basket Isn't my new pouch cool?
Getting kisses :) I won!
Naptime with Lil'Boy My Froggy
Check me out! Big boy pants! :)
With my friend Einstein Don't I have the prettiest blue eyes?
All grown-up :)