I could play the hero and say rescue is a hard, lonely, thankless job…but that’s simply not true. I have selfless volunteers that give up their time to come to my home and play with the kittens while I work. There are countless donations of food, toys, bedding and medicine. Friends and family take on the daunting tasks of advertising and fundraising. The many encouraging comments and suggestions on my rescue website make each captured moment much more precious and beautiful.
Rescuing special needs kittens is a large task. Each kittens requires several caretakers to make it through the first fragile weeks. Occasionally, there’s a kitten that is so special, it needs a team. Peter is one of those kittens.
Born with severe Manx syndrome, Peter does not have major nerve function from his sciatic to the end of his short, rabbit-like tail. Manx cats are bred to have short tails causing them to potentially lose spinal cord that normally extends down the length of the tail. Peter cannot feel his urinary bladder causing it to fill up but not empty. Stagnant urine can quickly lead to infection, a potentially life threatening complication. Peter needs his bladder manually expressed at least three times a day.
One would think that a kitten with this condition would be uncomfortable and unhappy, but don’t tell Peter! Peter purrs and runs and hops with all the energy and excitement of a normal kitten. His back legs are permanently bent like a rabbit’s due to the lack of hind legs nerves yet he runs up and down stairs faster than his normal kitty counterparts. On a warm day, Peter is in the backyard digging in the dirt and chasing moths. Almost a normal life, except for his bladder expressions.
Peter’s adopters both have full time jobs, hardly ideal for a kitten that needs care several times daily. It’s hard to resist the adorableness that is Peter, though, and they adopted him anyways. Their solution to his special needs? Midday visits are often taken care of by a rotating list of helpers that come by and empty Peter’s bladder. After a short game of Peter style hide and seek, Peter hops out for his midday squeeze. Peter turned one today and he is all set for a long happy life thanks to his creative adopters and Team Peter.
Rescue is a hard job. It is also the doorway to a gracious, giving community. From the volunteers that bring love to the website fans that provide brilliant comments to the forever homes that create just the right team, together we are saving kitten lives.