Helping an animal with special needs is a highly complicated process that is unfortunately often oversimplified. For many pets with health issues, there are only two options: follow the prescribed treatment or be put down. However, those who truly love and care for their animal family members tend to dig a little deeper, seeking out solutions that may not occur to doctors at first. When such respect, time, and effort is devoted to helping an animal live a healthy life, it is simply remarkable what they are able to do.
Such was the case for the three kittens of Florence, a malnourished cat who lived in a home with far too many animals. Although she suffered because her home was overcrowded, it was not until she gave birth to three children with special needs that her family decided to send Florence and her kittens to a rescue. The kittens, Fleur Bunny, Michonne, and Phyllis, were delivered along with their mother to Pussies Galore Cat Rescue. This rescue partnered with Cat Cuddle Café Brisbane to provide assistance to cats.
It was at the rescue that the kittens finally received the medical attention they desperately needed. After being examined, it was found that they suffered from a condition known as radial hypoplasia. Essentially, this condition causes abnormalities in the development of the forelegs. This can range from bones which are slightly underdeveloped to completely absent. As the kittens grow larger and heavier, this can cause the legs to break or develop ulcers.
Fleur Bunny turned out to be the lucky one of the bunch. As she received proper nutrition and care, her bones began to straighten out on their own. Her sisters, unfortunately, were not so lucky. The doctor who examined them believed that their symptoms would be so severe that they would have to amputate the legs and possibly even put them down. Katina Balson, the owner of the rescue, knew that the kittens deserved more than the most obvious solution. She and the rest of the staff set out to look for different ways to treat the kittens.
Eventually, they decided to put the affected legs into adorable little casts. While this solution may seem obvious for humans, it is quite unorthodox for cats. It requires changing the casts every two weeks or anytime they become wet. Further, it is so expensive that Balson set up a GoFundMe page to help manage the cost.
Far from being a hindrance, the casts allowed Michonne and Phyllis to run and play just like any other cat. As an added bonus, they have never looked cuter. More important, however, is the effects that the casts are having. Michonne in particular is responding well to the treatment, so well in fact that the doctor believes her legs will heal perfectly with the treatment. Phyllis has not responded as well and may require a more drastic treatment in the future. Regardless, for the time being, the two are as happy and playful as kittens can be.
Although supporting animals with special needs can be a frustrating, expensive, and time consuming ordeal, it is always worth the effort. The resilience and courage of cats like Fleur Bunny, Michonne, and Phyllis is evidence of the fact that a little extra effort will go a long way. Once facing the prospect of being put down, these three kittens are now on the road to living a healthy and happy life.