So let’s get to it! Introducing…
Age: About one year old I think
A nice lady heard me crying and found me hiding under a bush in her yard. She was pretty shocked when she saw that I was missing my feet so she scooped me up and took me to a local animal rescue and then they took me straight to a vet. I was only a month or two old and had sores on my legs where I lost my feet and a horrible infection. I was also covered in fleas and in really rough shape overall. They gave me medicine and I went to stay at a foster home. The medicine helped a lot but as I started to feel better they noticed something else about me – I’m feral. I was so scared of people that being in my first foster home wasn’t working out, the animal rescue moved me to a different foster home to see if it would be possible to acclimate me to living in a home with people. This new home was pretty quiet and there was a nice lady that would lay on the floor next to me while I hid under the dresser and she would feed me by hand every day. There are two other cats here too, so I kinda felt safer coming out of hiding when they were around. It took a really long time but I’m mostly pretty sure I don’t mind being here, and this lady isn’t so bad. I guess that’s a good thing cause she says I’m staying here now, like forever.
And that’s a cause for celebration for sure! Can you tell us more about your special feature and how it affects your everyday life?
Everyone is always amazed at how well I get around. I may be a little wobbly but I can run pretty fast when I want to. Of course some things are harder for me. Without my back feet I can’t jump very well, and since my back legs aren’t the same length, I don’t have the best balance either. Sometimes I fall over…oops.
People always ask what happened to my feet. Truth is I’m not really sure. I had them when I was born, then at some point I lost them. Guess I blocked out what happened to me, must have been pretty awful. So now I have one back leg that goes down to about my ankle, and the other back leg only goes just below my knee. I only use my front two legs and the one longer back leg to get around.
Video of Oreo above. Click here to view if having trouble viewing it above
Since I can’t get up on the furniture very well, there’s a nice cat bed and lots of toys on the floor for me. Over the winter there was even a heating pad on the floor for me, but my brothers kept stealing it.
Are there any other ways that you need extra assistance?
Well it’s kinda TMI, but I have a hard time pooping. Guess cause I don’t have very good balance and have a hard time squatting in the litter box. So Mom gives me a little medicine in my food to help make it easier for me to go #2. Sorry Sophie, but you asked.
Mom says that I’m a great mountain climber. Since I can’t jump very well, I just climb when I want to get up on a chair or better yet on Mom’s bed. I use my front claws to pull myself up inch by inch. Mom says she’s gonna have to start a fund just for the bedding and upholstery that I tear. She tried putting out a ramp for me to use but that just isn’t as much fun as using my climbing claws.
MOL! I’m with you there, Oreo! Ramps just aren’t nearly as fun as the challenge of climbing up on something yourself. Now onto a more serious question… do you seem to know that you are “different,” or are you ever emotionally affected by your condition?
The thing that affects me emotionally is being feral. Mom’s always saying “It’s ok”, but sometimes things just don’t feel ok, they feel scary. Sometimes I see my brothers cuddling with Mom and I kinda want to do that cause it looks like fun, but then I get scared and can’t do it. Mom tries to keep the house pretty quiet so that I don’t get too scared, and she lets me have my hiding places. Sometimes I just don’t want her to touch me, so she tries to give me my space. She knows that picking me up is off limits so she doesn’t push me.
Well besides being a bit of a scaredy cat, I can also be a goof ball. I will do just about anything to get my brothers’ attention. I will roll around on my back in front of them asking them to play with me or sometimes I hide under the furniture and wait for them to go by so that I can swat at them, lol.
I love that game too! Now a question for your mom: My mom says that I have been a huge blessing in her life, and I’m sure you feel the same way about Oreo. Can you share with us about the impact that Oreo has had on your life?
When I first got Oreo last October, I had doubts that he would ever live a happy life as an indoor cat. There were honestly a few times that I almost gave up on him, but any time I started to doubt him, it’s like he would know that he had to prove to me that he was still trying. Then over time, we started to have moments of victory. Like the first time I got to pet him or the first time he let me clip just one nail. After several months I realized that I had never seen Oreo sleep. If I was around him he was too scared to sleep, so he would find a hiding place to nap out of sight. It was after about 8 months of living with me that he finally climbed up on my bed and dozed off next to me. My heart melted. With Oreo around it’s pretty hard to feel down or bad about things in your life. He is a survivor and he doesn’t give up.
We can all learn a lot from Oreo. What words of wisdom would you pass on to anyone who is considering adopting a special needs pet?
Having a special needs pet isn’t easy. It can be emotionally and financially draining. It’s important to have a good support system for yourself as well as your pet. I’m lucky to have some amazing friends with background in veterinary care and animal training. They have been a huge help. Watching any animal struggle is heartbreaking, but watching them succeed can make it all worthwhile.
Truer words have never been spoken. Anything else that you would like to add?
I would like to encourage everyone to do the following things…
-Spay and neuter your pets.
-Support TNR (Trap Neuter Release) programs for cats and encourage these programs in your area.
-Get out and volunteer. It’s through my volunteer work with the Good Karma Club that I was exposed to animal rescue and eventually ended up with Oreo in my life.
And furiends, I know that you will be wanting to see and hear more from my furiend Oreo too, so be sure to look him up on Instagram @oreo2footcat!
Raising awareness for animals with special needs of all varieties is one of our biggest passions, and we would love to do that by showcasing your pet. If you have a special needs animal or know of one that we should feature, please contact us.