He was born unable to walk or stand, yet with a Joy that is Infectious…
There’s an orange tabby who was trying to grab people for attention through the bars of his kennel without any care about his malformed legs. His name is Stockings. He had a rough start at life, thankfully through the generosity of many people, his story has a happy ending.
The ginger kitty was born with a severe defect that left him unable to stand or walk. He was brought in to Chicago’s Tree House Humane Society when he was just a few weeks old from a suspected hoarding situation.
Stockings was underweight and suffering from the beginnings of an upper respiratory infection. He was slow to gain weight and remained in the clinic to be monitored and soon his health began to stabilize.
Stockings’ hind legs were hyper-extended backwards and formed a “W” shape. He had to drag his behind across the floor whenever he wants to go and move. He had trouble with the most basic kitten activities- playing, jumping and chasing toys, not to mention using the litter box. He also had sores on his legs from dragging them around. However, as is so common in cats who are born with disabilities, his deformity had not deterred him.
He is an incredibly attentive kitten and lights up when someone approaches. He leans his whole body forward as if yearning to be noticed with an undemanding, yet earnest look of anticipation.
Tree House spokesperson Jenny Schlueter and her team knew it was going to be very difficult for Stockings to live this way.
“He had so much pent up energy! He wanted to run around like other kittens and play,” Schlueter said. “He’d jump up and fall on his face. He really wanted to do what he couldn’t do.”
Stockings the ginger kitty was born with backwards hind legs that formed a ”W”
Tree House worked with Dr. Steve Neilhaus an orthopedic veterinarian to help the special kitten give a second chance.
“If we did nothing, this cat would most likely have been euthanized,” Neihaus said.
The team knows that it was risky and there were no guarantees it will work but the team went forward and performed the surgery.
“We went forward with surgery knowing we could never make him normal. Our goal was to make his feet functional so he could live a happy, pain-free life,” Neihaus said.
After three procedures and six weeks later, it worked. Stockings’ feet now point forward and can walk and play like a kitten should without pain.
He’s thriving and recovering physically and found a forever home with one of the vets at Neihaus’ clinic, Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center. Priscilla Cherry originally signed on to foster the kitten after his surgeries but she fell in love. Cherry said it was love at first grab.
“I saw him trying to grab people through the bars of his kennel without a care about his malformed legs, and I knew he was for me,” Cherry said.
His severe birth defect left him unable to do the things like normal other kittens do at Tree House Humane Society in Chicago.
There were no guarantees the surgery would work, but Tree House said the organization felt it was in the best interest of the cat, how was having sores on his legs and unable to use his litter box.
”We could never make him normal,” Dr. Neihaus said. ”Our goal was to make his feet functional so he could live a happy, pain-free life.”
Three procedures and six weeks later, Stockings feet point forward.
Taking his first steps…
Stockings can now run, walk and play like a kitten.
He’s getting better using his hind legs during play time.
And, the best part of the happy tale- Stockings found a forever home with the vet technician who fostered him during his surgeries.
Here’s Stockings looking happy and healthy with his mommy, Priscilla Cherry.
Watch video: Stockings the kitten born with backwards legs who found love and home