Disclosure: This story is sponsored by CUDDLY.
Have you ever wondered about your cat’s backstory from before you adopted them? If you have a rescue cat, I’m sure you have. Maybe the rescue you adopted from only knew bits and pieces about where your kitty came from, and you’ve had to fill in the rest of the story yourself. We are excited to be working with CUDDLY, sharing Raddy’s unspoken story and encouraging you to share your cat’s unspoken story…
Raddy is Rescued
“We’ve got a cat who is disabled. He can’t walk properly. Would you be interested in fostering or adopting him?” The text from a foster volunteer with our favorite local rescue was accompanied by a picture of an adorable, orange tabby boy.
At the time, my husband and I already had six cats. Could we take in another? We didn’t have to think on it long. We hopped in the car and headed to PetSmart to meet our newest furry family member.
When we arrived, we were given a bit more information about the cat and his background. He was already about two years old and, for unknown reasons, was surrendered by his owner to our county’s animal welfare. No indication of a disability was given at the time of surrender, but he was put on death-row because of one. Circle of Friends Animal Society stepped in and pulled him before it was too late.
We brought him home to “foster” him, but we all knew what that really meant. He was here to stay.
We named him Radagast the Orange, after The Hobbit character Radagast the Brown. In The Hobbit, Radagast is an eccentric wizard who cares for the animals of Middle Earth. He has a family of birds that lives on his head underneath his hat, he communes with and cares for hedgehogs, and his mode of transportation is a sled pulled by rabbits. He is a sweet, gentle soul. When I met our orange boy, I knew he was my Radagast (Raddy).
After spending some time with Raddy, we were able to get a better sense for how he manages his disability. We realized his back legs are stuck in a bent position. Due to injury or birth defect, he is not able to stretch them out the way a cat normally can. The best way I can describe it is to picture a person crouching down and walking. He’s not in any pain though, and he gets around well. He just does a lot of climbing instead of jumping.
It also became clear that Raddy must have come from a less-than-ideal situation. He was extremely skittish. He would run and hide if there was a loud noise or raised voice of any kind. He was particularly fearful of men and didn’t want much to do with my husband at all. In fact, he would run from Bobby and spent a lot of his time hiding under our bed.
I didn’t understand why Raddy was so fearful at first. But after getting to know him and observing his personality and behaviors, I was able to create his story… his unspoken story. I will let him tell it.
Raddy’s Unspoken Story
I had another family before I joined the KCC Gang. I lived with a man and a woman. I was found outside when I was just a scared, wee little kitten. The woman fell in love with me and brought me home. The man agreed to it, but I could tell he wasn’t very happy about me being there.
As I starting growing, the man and woman realized something I’d known all along. My back legs weren’t working right. No matter how much I tried to stretch them out or stand up tall, I just couldn’t do it. I was ashamed at first. I wanted to be a big kitty who could run and jump and play.
It didn’t help that the man always got frustrated and impatient with me. He would yell and scream at me. “Why can’t you walk right, you stupid cat!” he’d say. “Why can’t you just be normal?” He would sometimes kick me or throw things at me too. No matter how good of a boy I was or how well I figured out how to do things and get around on my own, it was never good enough for him.
I was so scared of the man. I finally found a hiding place where he couldn’t get me. Under the bed. Whenever I was there, he’d leave me alone. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
The woman was nice to me. She would pet me and feed me and tell me everything was going to be okay. But she couldn’t stop the mean man from yelling or kicking or throwing things. I eventually stopped coming out from under the bed to even let her love on me because I was just too scared that the man would see me.
Then one day, the woman got down on the floor by the bed and tried to get me to come out. I didn’t want to come out at first. I was just too scared. But she had treats, and I was pretty hungry. I scooted out from under the bed, ate a couple treats, and then the next thing I know I was in a cage and being taken out to the car. I was so scared!
She took me to this place full of other cages and animals and left me there. She didn’t tell the people there my name or anything about me. She just brought me inside, quickly whispered to me that everything was going to be okay, and then left me.
It was a scary place, but at least the mean man wasn’t there. I didn’t stay there long though. Soon another woman came for me. She put me in another cage and told me that everything was going to be okay. That I was getting a new family.
My new family is the best! I’ve been living with them for three years now, and I am the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been! I’m still shy and scared of loud noises. I don’t think that will ever go away completely, but I’ve gotten a lot better.
I love belly rubs. All I have to do is roll over on my back, and my mom and dad will give me all the belly rubs. I LOVE to snuggle too, with both my mom and my dad. I was scared of my new dad at first. I thought he was going to be like my other one. But I eventually realized that my new dad loves me and would never yell at me or hurt me.
I still like to hang out under the bed sometimes, but not as much as I used to. It’s so fun to come out and play with all my brothers and sisters. We also have this awesome thing called a catio that is the coolest place ever to hang out.
My back legs haven’t gotten any better, but I have accepted that now. My family loves me no matter what. They actually get super excited and happy whenever I do things like climb to the top of the cat tree or get up on the Cat Wall. They tell me what a good boy I am and give me lots of pets and kisses. I have the best life ever now.
Help for Shelters – CUDDLY to the Rescue!
Raddy’s story is just one of many unspoken stories. There are millions of animals who have stories to tell; who need help; who need and deserve a chance at not just surviving but thriving. These animals often begin their journey towards happiness at an animal shelter and rescue.
Those rescues and shelters survive on donations and fundraisers to be able to care for cats like Raddy. It can be difficult to raise those funds, so any assistance is a big help. Thankfully rescues and shelters have access to platforms like CUDDLY. On CUDDLY, rescues and shelters can create fundraisers and wish lists to support the animals in their care. CUDDLY believes it is their obligation to support those who do not have a voice. That support is provided in the form of fundraising and marketing assistance at ZERO cost to shelters. Donors are able to transparently purchase products or give monetarily to the rescue or even specific animal of their choice, knowing that 100% of their donation is going to the rescue.
When looking through the various fundraisers on the CUDDLY site, one in particularly caught my eye. An orange tabby boy named Hopper. He was found with several injuries, including a broken back leg. He had to have the leg amputated and has a long road ahead of him, but he is expected to make a full recovery. He reminds me of my Raddy – an orange tabby with a hind-leg disability who just needs the right environment to heal, grow, and thrive in. Thanks to CUDDLY’s platform, the rescue caring for Hopper is able to raise some much-needed funds to cover the cost of Hopper’s vet care. Then they will be able to find him a forever home, where I’m sure he will blossom and grow into an awesome cat.
Hopper’s story isn’t finished yet, but I’m sure if he could talk, he would say how grateful he is for the woman who found him, for the rescue who is getting him the care he needs, and for CUDDLY who is helping to fundraise for his care. He is getting the chance he deserves.
Share Your Pet’s Story
What is your pet’s story? Are there aspects to their background that you’ve pieced together on your own? Share their story on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #MyUnspokenPet.