The odds were stacked against him. He was born without back feet and abandoned on someone’s doorstep in a box along with his littermates. The thermometer read close to 90 degrees in the shade and the kittens were so weak and malnourished they could barely move or make a sound. We rushed them into our ICU and began getting fluids and nutrition into them. It was then that we noticed one specific kitten struggling mightily, unable to move. Looking closer we realized he had no paws on his hind legs; his front legs were atrophied and he was half the size he should have been. This baby kitten wouldn’t have lasted much longer without intensive care as he wasn’t even able to sit up or eat on his own.
We worked around the clock for over a week just to get him stable.
At first shelter workers called him Wobbles and then Nubs, but we knew this kitten was much more special than that and did not want his name to highlight his disability. His heart was too big and his will to live too strong to be distinguished by the absence of feet. Luckily for our little waif, he was born with tiny pads, where his feet should have been, creating the cushion he needed to be able to walk.
After two weeks of constant care we scheduled a deep tissue massage which seemed to jumpstart his recovery because within two hours of that massage he sat up for the first time. Later that evening he was trying to crawl out of his basket. The next morning he stood up and walked. Our baby kitten was mobile!!!
It was a moment soon heard throughout the circles of our foster network. “He sat up! He meowed! He is going to make it!” His appetite was so ravenous he quickly become the roundest kitten at the shelter and prone to rolling around instead of walking on his absent hind legs. Thus the name Short Round made its debut.
Through daily deep tissue massage, nutritious food, and lots of love he learned to walk and play. Over the course of the next four weeks he grew stronger and learned how to be a kitten. He climbed. He ran. He did everything a “normal” kitten would do! Gazing at the precious little soul with nubs for feet as he ferociously assaults the impudent feather you have to smile and realize life is good.
Short Round was adopted and flew first class to his new forever home where he is now living in the lap of luxury and loving life in Washington D.C.