Photo Comments Age: 4 Years Sex: Male Weight: 10 lbs.
Leave a treat for Lieutenant Dan
Catster stats for Lieutenant Dan
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|-pound cat||-disabled ||-cat rescue|
October 1st 2012
June 15th 2012
Black and White
Playing with his doggy brother,
Nothing. He loves everyone and everything.
Anything can be a toy!
Favorite Nap Spot:
He's a garbage disposal, he'll eat anything.
He can climb up and over the back of the couch with ease.
Just like with his big sister, I came across LT while working at an animal shelter, but this was an entirely different one. He came in with two other siblings, having been found in a box at a nearby playground. The good Samaritan who found the three kittens mentioned that she believed that one of the kittens had been injured, because it appeared that his legs had been broken. I assured her that our vet staff would examine the kittens thoroughly and that she needn't worry.
I took the three kittens in the back to get them settled in a cage; the first two kittens were perfectly normal, but there was definitely something strange about the third. His back legs were deformed to the point that I could see why the woman had thought they were broken: facing the wrong way, and the one was bent at such an odd angle that it practically curled underneath him.
Could he even walk?
I put the kitten down and immediately he took off, impressing me with his ability to get around, despite being unable to use his two back legs. Instead he kind of moved around like a seal, pulling them behind him as he scurried around on his knees. Upon closer examination we surmised that the deformity was not due to trauma, but instead a birth defect. I knew what his fate would be if he were left in the shelter, so I took him home that night, determined to foster him and hopefully find a family willing to take on a special case.
No one told LT that he was handicapped, because he impressed me by getting in and out of the litter box with ease, climbing on and off the couch and chasing my dog around as if his deformity didn't bother him at all. I fostered him for a little while until we had the shelter vet take a look at him, and the news I received was not good. I was advised to euthanize my sweet little boy, that it would be kinder on him and me, and that I was in for many years of work and heartache if I kept him. He even told me that he was suffering! Suffering? I asked if LT was in any pain, and he told me no, but that he would never be able to function like a normal cat...
That clinched it for me. If he wasn't in pain, then I would do my best to try and make his life easy, to give him a chance. If at any moment I felt he was suffering, or that his quality of life was diminishing, then I would make the choice to euthanize him, not a moment sooner.
So I adopted him obviously, knowing that it was either me or the needle.
The first private vet I took him too recommended surgery, and basically echoed the first vet that had seen LT: his life was going to require a lot of effort on my part. They clearly didn't know me if they were worried about an animal inconveniencing me! I also didn't agree with the surgery option: how could amputating part of his leg help him in the slightest? Sure he didn't use them to walk, but they still had feeling and mobility, and he used them to propel himself.
So I found a new vet.
LT and I love our new vet dearly, and he is very helpful and supportive of my decision to keep LT. He even echoed my belief that cats with his handicap often prove to be the happiest and sweetest cats and are no different than their abled companions. He also didn't believe that surgery was necessary and gave a name to LT's condition, although it was a bunch of words that I simply cannot remember. The important thing was that the topic of euthanasia never crossed his mind, and I knew that I had made the right decision.
Because of his deformity I waited until LT was 6 months to get him neutered. Turns out he was a double cryptorchid and they had to go in through his abdomen to find his testicles. They found them and removed them easily enough, but like his sister he had a reaction to his sutures and required some warm compresses for awhile.
9 of 9
Never give up!
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I've Been On Catster Since:
|January 24th 2013
||More than 4 years!
Rosette, Star and Special Gift History