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Manx Syndrome Can’t Stop Piper, the Cat Who Bunny-Hops

This gorgeous gray cat from Kansas whose back legs don't move separately is looking for a home.

Phillip Mlynar  |  Nov 14th 2016


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Sometimes, there’s nothing better than a cat who truly believes she might be another animal. By that, I mean those felines who through their mannerisms or physical quirks end up resembling a different species.

As a prime example, you might remember the case of Roux, a grey and white Siamese cat who was born with a congenital abnormality that resulted in her having only her two back legs. Naturally, as she learned to move around in the fashion of a kangaroo, she quickly charmed her growing army of social media fans. Let us also doff our collective hat to Lobstah, a plucky chap who inherited a front paw that makes him resemble that most tasty of crustaceans.

Now we’d like to introduce you to Piper, the latest cat who’s embracing a cross-species mentality by learning to hop around like a bunny while she relaxes at the Wichita Animal Action League and waits to find her forever home.

You see, from a medical stand point, Piper is a nearly three-year-old cat who was born with Manx syndrome. In some instances, this just means that the cat in question will have to sashay through life with a shorter than usual tail. But in more severe cases, like Piper’s, it can have far more serious developmental effects.

Manx syndrome often shortens a cat’s spine, and for Piper this has resulted in the curious condition of her back legs being fused together.

As the Wichita Animal Action League’s Facebook page for Piper explains it: “Her spine is shortened, causing the familiar loss of tail, but it has also fused her vertebrae, which locks her back legs into place and prevents her from extending them separately.”

So what’s a cat to do when faced with this movement dilemma?

Learn to hop around in the fashion of a rabbit, obviously.

The Wichita Animal Action League posted video footage that captures Piper’s movement perfectly. Here it is:

Piper has come up with a unique way of hopping along that also manages to make her look refined and dignified as she gets around.

Along with Piper’s mobility quirks, her Manx Syndrome means that she also suffers from some malfunctioning nerves that have unfortunately partly paralyzed her bladder. So when she drifts off into an idyllic snooze session, she has the habit of leaking out a little urine. (The folks at the Wichita Animal Action League point out that when she’s wide awake, Piper has no problems using her litter box without dribbling.)

To that end, Piper’s perfect forever home would involve someone who works out of their house some of the time (so that she can be given her twice-daily medicine). Also, a sun room or some sort of tiled area where she can hang out and make the occasional liquid mess to her heart’s content would be a bonus.

As a plea on Piper’s Facebook page puts it, “All she knows is how great life is, how happy she is sleeping in a sunny window, how much she loves chasing toys and strings, and how thoroughly she enjoys being petted and told how pretty she is.

“Piper doesn’t understand why someone might not love her.”

Head to the Wichita Animal Action League’s website or Piper’s Facebook page for more information.