It was an ordinary Monday in 2012. After a long, tiring day, I walked into my local PetSmart dressed in my banker garb. I needed to pick up a few things for my cats, so I wandered over to the food aisle. “Maybe I’ll just peek at the cats up for adoption,” I thought to myself as I mingled over to the glass windows where cats were waiting for their forever families. And then I saw him. Curled up against the glass, there he was. “Cheetoh – 2 year old neutered male. Has been in foster care for a year after a good Samaritan picked up up off the street when he was being chased by a large dog. Shy at first but once he warms up, he loves to get cuddles and he likes to show you exactly where he wants to be petted.” As I stared longingly at this gorgeous, orange tabby, I noticed something different. His paws. His paws were…deformed. He had the sweetest face but he had a disability. My heart broke. I immediately thought to myself, “No one wants him because he’s different. If he’s still here in a week, I’m going to adopt him.” Cheetoh, now Joey, turns six in June 🙂
Every Adult and Disabled Cat Deserves a Chance!
Joey was two years old. To a lot of people, two years old for an animal is ancient. I know – it sounds crazy, but so many refuse to get animals unless they are under a year old. But let me tell you, although Joey is about to be six years old, he still acts like a crazy kitten!
Adult cats deserve a chance. They are just as fun loving as kittens. They have personality. My adult cats bring SO many happiness to my life every single day. They are constantly making me laugh.
Considering the fact that cats can live 20+ years, two years old is actually super young. I adopted my Edison when he was eight weeks old, Sadie when she was six months old and Joey when he was two years old. Although Edison was super cute when he was eight weeks old, he was a huge pain in the butt. He wouldn’t let me sleep and I couldn’t get anything done without him being in my face or trying to scratch me. Edison is no longer with me and I’d give anything to have those days back, but kittens can be really obnoxious!
The Benefits of Adopting an Adult Cat
- They are most likely litter box trained already.
- They’ve grown into their personalities so you know what you’re getting when you adopt an adult cat.
- They are independent – they don’t need as much attention as kittens.
- They’ve probably already been spayed or neutered.
- They are probably up to date on shots, so you only have to take them in for yearly exams, unless of course they become sick or injured in the meantime. (Most likely if you’re adopting a cat from any rescue, they will have their latest shots and be fixed, no matter the cat’s age).
- Many people don’t want to adopt adult cats, so you are truly saving a life when you do so.
Cats with Radial Hypoplasia
Joey has a disability called radial hypoplasia. Although no one that comes to my house ever sees him because he’s scared of people, he’s the most loving cat that I’ve ever met. He’s definitely a people cat – well, a “mom and dad” cat 😉 Joey’s favorite activity is cuddling with Matt and I.
Radial hypoplasia is a birth defect. To put it simply, Joey was born missing bones in his front legs. Many cats with this disability typically only have one leg affected, but both of Joey’s front legs are missing bones. His left paw is in pretty good shape but his right paw is clubbed. I really worry about his ability to get around when he gets older but in the meantime I have him on joint supplements. Matt and I try to be proactive about it.
Although Joey is “disabled,” he really isn’t different from any other “normal” cat. He can run, jump and play likes others. Recently, however, he’s been wanting me to take him down the stairs. I don’t know if he’s hurting or if he’s just manipulating me with his cuteness. Either way, our new home is one story, which was a ‘must-have’ on our list because we have a cat with special needs.
Joey’s radial hypoplasia is what makes him so special. He’s so funny. His personality is so big, and his crazy paws make it that much more fun. Joey is unlike any cat I’ve ever known and I may never come across another cat like him!
I can’t believe no one wanted to give Joey a chance for the year that he was in foster care. I really think it’s because people looked the other way after seeing how he looks. It’s heartbreaking but those people missed out! Joey is incredible and any family would have been lucky to have him. But he’s mine now, so HA!
Every adult cat deserves a chance. Every disabled cat deserves a chance, and remember to adopt, don’t shop!
Would you save a life and consider adopting an adult and/or disabled cat? Have you ever adopted an adult cat? If you are considering adopting, please check out Saving One Life cat sanctuary where Joey came from!