Liverpool is a city in the north of England that’s primarily known for being the birthplace of the Beatles and hosting a comically underperforming soccer team that’s managed by a guy possessing a demonic-looking set of teeth.
It’s also home to a white-and-ginger cat named Taco who has prospered through life despite having only three legs.
Taco lives with a roommate cat called Button, who was adopted by a human named Phil from the Freshfields Animal Rescue in 2010. When Phil’s girlfriend later moved in with him, she persuaded him that they should add another cat to the mix.
“I had become a crazy cat man,” says Phil, “and that’s when we adopted Taco from the Rescue Me Animal Sanctuary after seeing him on Facebook looking for a home.”
How did Taco end up at the shelter?
Well, it turns out that when he was just a spritely young kitten, he found himself living on the hardscrabble streets with a severely damaged leg.
“The vet believes he was hit by a vehicle,” says Phil, adding that the leg had to be amputated, unfortunately, “as it was too damaged to be repaired.”
Despite Taco’s three-legged status, Phil says they didn’t have any reservations about adding him to the homestead.
“We had done our research before adopting him to make sure we were ready for a three-legged cat,” he explains. “Our only concern was how he would cope coming down things — as he is missing a front leg this is where he is most likely to struggle.”
After moving into his forever home, it quickly became apparent that Taco’s missing leg wasn’t going to stop him going about his essential daily cat business. Phil describes him as a “crazy ginger ninja” and says “there is nothing he can’t do that any other cat can.”
He adds, “Sometimes Taco will try to use his missing leg and you can see his shoulder moving — but then he will just use his other leg instead.”
Part of Taco’s routine involves scaling the eight-foot cat tree he shares with Button. Phil says that when they first went to visit Taco in the rescue, he was “sleeping curled up in a nest in a cat tree so we decided to get one with a nest to make him comfortable.”
You’ll be reassured to know that Taco tackles treks up to the top of the cat tree “with ease,” although he does favor a more cautious approach when descending the structure. (You can also check out one of his early “mini falls” in this YouTube video.)
After bring Taco into his home, Phil says he’s convinced that “three-legged cats are just as willing and able as four-legged cats.” If you’re considering adopting one, he adds that they might need a little help at first as they acclimatize to their new environment, but very quickly their resourceful nature kicks in.
“If a cat is missing a front leg, they may struggle more when jumping down, while cats missing a back leg may struggle more jumping up. But there are even cats with two legs who still live a normal kitty life!”