The considerations

When Zoey came into my life, I read a lot about handicapped pets. I watched videos. I learned that approximately 95% of all handicapped pets are euthanized due solely to their handicap. I was stunned and saddened.

Making the decision to adopt a special needs pet was not an easy decision to make. When I first met Zoey, I simply knew that I had to ensure that she wasn’t in pain…and find out if she could be “fixed” (for lack of a better word at the moment.) She was this tiny little kitten, about five weeks old, with the biggest fleas I’d ever seen. She was in shock, thin, and hungry. Then, as minutes turned into hours and I checked on her (I had her in a cage in our shelter’s spay/neuter clinic), I discovered that she also had diarrhea. So, she was a pitiful little thing to say the least. However, she was silent. She didn’t cry, she purred a bit, ate and drank her food and silently watched me with intense interest and bewilderment. I am pretty sure she was a semi-feral kitten, living on the streets of Fort Myers, Florida.

I think it was two days later, after consulting a local veterinarian and reviewing x-rays, that I got her up to an integrative veterinary practice (veterinarians practicing both western and eastern medicine – “holistic”) where we began a regimen of chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, and a variety of herbal remedies. Zoey instantly loved acupuncture – it quite amazed me actually – this little gray kitten with 20+ needles sticking out of her little body. I wish now that I had taken photographs of these days…but I was so caught up in living the moments, considering all of the possibilities. Wondering if I could do this? Wondering if I could be the mom of a paraplegic kitten…cat?

It was after her first visit to the integrative vet, before the final determination by the veterinary neurologist (permanent rear leg paralysis), that I decided that she would be mine. This little kitten was not going to be a statistic.  I loved her from the moment I met her and, together, I knew we’d face the world and learn together what being a paraplegic cat is all about.

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2 thoughts on “The considerations

  1. I am so happy to hear your story. About 5 months ago, my dachshund had a spinal cord injury that left her rear legs paralyzed. I have been enjoying my life with immensely and she has inspired me in ways nothing else has.

    • Thank you so much for your comment! My goal for this blog is to tell our story and inspire (hopefully!) others to consider handicap or special needs pets…you know, as I know, that they need love just like any other animal. And, they really are awesome creatures to have by your side…like you said – they inspire us! Zoey inspires me to be a better person and laugh at myself every single day.

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