Photo Comments Age: 1 Year Sex: Male Weight: 9 lbs.
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Leave a treat for bug
Catster stats for bug
bugaboo and bugga
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|-three legger||-extra toe(s) ||-disabled |
May 23rd 2012
March 3rd 2012
being held when he doesn't want to be held
Favorite Nap Spot:
using my feet for a pillow
bugs! and Greenies.
his whole life is a special skill since he was born with radial hypoplasia
i used to volunteer at Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society in western MA for many years and was of course a fan of theirs on Facebook. one day they posted a photo of Bug and a video and i fell instantly in love and ran down there that very night to meet him. he had so many visitors (but no adopters) that day that he was exhausted and fell asleep in his now characteristic spread-eagled upside down position on my lap. i have worked extensively over a decade as a volunteer with special needs kitties and so i knew that Bug could be capable of almost anything, and i was prepared to make my home handi-cat accessible if he needed it. so the next night i brought Bug home at 10 wks of age. both of his front legs were at complete right angles from Radial Hypoplasia so that he walked on his elbows. he also has big 'paddy feet' common to twisty cats. the only alteration i had to make in my home was a pillow on the floor below the couch so he could land gently when jumping off the couch, but eventually he chose to just go for the floor as he grew up. (i have all wooden floors). i tried to keep him in his own room the first night, but Bug just wasn't having it! if you watch his Dakin video under his baby picture you will hear just how loud a meow he has. so i brought him to bed and was so careful not to roll over and crush him, he was so little. i figured i would be carrying him upstairs to bed every night.
but no! bug had other plans!
to my astonishment, bug climbed the flight of stairs on his own and even came down it on his own - right from day 2 in my home! as he got more sure of himself (bug is a very confident kitty) he sped up to a headlong run up and down the stairs. if i shake the Greenies back he flies upstairs and leaps on the bed. when a baby, he would first climb onto the blanket chest then jump up on my bed from there. he was not about to let me lift him up, he was getting up himself. as he got stronger he began to simply leap to the mattress all by himself, which is 3 feet off the ground! he was and is a little marvel. so much for handi-cat accessible. bug didn't need anything.
he was the first twisty cat my vet had ever seen. by the time i got bug, he was 10 wks old and too old to splint to straighten his legs. i don't think he would have tolerated that either. i got him some Leggings for Life, thinking that he would get sores from walking on his elbows, but he tore them off. he was having none of it. and he never did get a sore or callous.
over time, one of bug's legs began to straighten simply because he insisted on attempting to use his paw instead of his elbow. the transformation was amazing! i knew that he could have surgery to straighten his legs, but having seen just how competent bug was just AS he was, i was not about to do that. i was also not willing to subject him to that kind of pain and the possibility of things going wrong in surgery or recovery. bug's motto has been "don't try to fix me, i'm not broken". so bug stayed as he was and amazingly transformed himself into the tripod twisty he is today. his one leg gained so much muscle strength he is able to use it very well, despite the missing radius bone. he gets anywhere he wants to be and rough-houses with the other cats.
i even got him an orange vest to use a leash on him to bring him outside. he also wore it to parties where he stole the show (his main pic is from a birthday party where all the guests surrounded bug for a photo op). he loves the outdoors and enjoys chewing on grass, running around and catching bugs.
in fact, catching bugs turned out to be his favorite thing to do. who knew? he is hilarious, darting around the living room and pogo-ing up to catch the random fly or moth that gets in. then chomp, chomp, chomp - he eats them. so bug is truly living up to his name!
bug has outgrown his orange vest and at a year and a half he weighs a strapping 9 lbs but still looks so kittenish. he has great eyes that are so reminiscent of those of a cougar. bug passed his orange vest and leash on to Finnegan, the kitten belonging to a friend of mine in the midwest. one night she texted me that one of her foster kittens born on St. Patrick's day might be a twisty. she sent a pic and i confirmed it. she fell so in love with Finn that she kept him and he now proudly struts the orange vest outside on his leash alongside her.
i made Bug a Facebook page last year and to my astonishment he got more and more fans. how they found him, i do not know. but now he is up to over 640 fans. i try to post several times a week to show all kinds of bug antics. i also share other twisty cats up for adoption on his page whenever i see them. i like to educate people about the things twisties are capable of. unlike people, they do not and cannot complain or feel sorry for themselves. they just adapt and move on. all of the special cats i have known have done so (cerebellar hypoplasia cats, severely deformed cats, cats with paralyzed or unusable hind legs, blind cats, you name it. when i first went to Kitty Motel at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and saw what they could do, it inspired me. i thought about how they meet every challenge and prevail in their own way.
in 2009 i got cancer and the first thing i did when i finished chemo was revisit the special cats of Kitty Motel. i've had many a special needs cat myself or cats with dire illness, so i felt totally prepared for whatever bug would need. but bug only needs LOVE. he is
living proof that these kitties do not need pity, they should instead be admired for all the amazing things they can do despite their differences.
if you want to be a Bug fan and participate in all the bugness, his FB page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/bugthehan dicat.
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i'm a handicapable twisty cat!
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Rosette, Star and Special Gift History
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