Cat of the Meowment: Cassidy, the Bipawd Miracle Kitten

Saturday, October 10, 2015

I love cats and I spend far too much time watching cute videos, liking their pages and pictures on Facebook, and watching the Tinykittens live cams. While all cats are special, I have a soft spot for rescues and those who overcome great challenges. I figured, why not share my non-beauty-related obsession with you all? Enter Cassidy, my feline bipawd hero:

© Shelly Roche, Tinykittens

Cassidy was found at 9 weeks old with his brother, Topper, on a private property in Langley, British Columbia, which is also home to over 200 feral cats. The property owner has been working with Shelly of Tinykittens and a team of amazing volunteers (People For Happier Cats) in their feral TNR (trap-neuter-return) program. He immediately notified Shelly about the kittens, and that there was something very different about Cassidy.

Cassidy's back paws were missing and his legs misshapen stumps. He was very emaciated with his stomach full of "non-food matter," and it's a wonder he survived for so long. It's hypothesized his brother, Topper, kept his spirits up, but Cassidy himself is a fighter. Upon vet examinations, it's thought that at birth, his umbilical cord became wrapped around his hind legs and his mother accidentally chewed through them trying to remove the cord. Adding to these issues, Cass's stumps had become badly infected with E. coli. On one of his first days with Shelly, he was taken to an emergency vet with the real fear he would not make the night.

© Shelly Roche, Tinykittens

But Cassidy defied the odds. Not only did he make it, his infected stumps started to heal with consistent antibiotics and cleanings from Shelly. Now was time to find a way to help him walk, because even though he only has two fully-formed legs, he still has the scampiness and energy of a kitten. Shelly put out a call for help, and three very generous groups donated tiny wheelchairs for Cassidy:; two teenagers from a high school in Langley who used their school's 3D printer to make the wheelchair; and a Tinykittens fan.

You may have already heard of Cassidy and seen this video as it blew up on the internet, being featured on various sites from the Huffington Post to Animal Planet. I'm so happy at the recognition Cassidy, Shelly, and everyone who has helped out are getting for their hard work! There is still a long journey ahead and currently little Cass is undergoing physiotherapy from Shelly to restore functionality in his knees so he can eventually use his stumps to walk with the wheelchair, and hopefully he will eventually be able to use prosthetic limbs. Cassidy has been a trouper through these PT sessions and Shelly is a true angel caring for him.

Cassidy's brother, Topper, has been neutered and is now living in his forever home (follow his Facebook page!) It was decided he would not stay with Cass as he is currently too feisty and his brother cannot keep up with him, but luckily he has cats to play with in his new home. Cass has Shelly's own adult cats (who were from a previous litter she fostered) to keep him company, and teach him manners like, "You don't make friends by biting them!" You can see some videos of his interactions with the Teens here. Pretty adorable!

Cassidy after his neuter. ©Shelly Roche, Tinykittens

The future looks bright for this little warrior. From a tiny, scared feral to a romping, scampy young lap cat, he has shown being disabled does not mean he's weak! This miracle boy and his foster mom Shelly can teach us so much in determination and compassion.

You can watch Cassidy 24/7 on his Livestream channel. Shelly is also currently fostering a mixed group of 12 (!) kittens and their mom (bio and adoptive) which you can watch here. There's no end to the cuteness!

Want to help?

Fostering kittens, especially those with special needs, costs money. To help Shelly cover expenses (vet, food, medication, etc.), please consider making a donation! Shelly has also made a great list of other ways to help too. A quick and easy way is to follow Tinykittens on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and sharing Shelly's posts. Be sure to also check out People For Happier Cats, the TNR group Shelly is part of!

I hope you enjoyed learning about Cassidy and stay tuned for the next Cat of the Meowment! If you have or know of a remarkable feline, please let me know and I may feature him or her in a future post! Thank mew! 

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