Folks in the neighborhood know that I am a sucker for an animal in need, and this week, due to my friend/petsitter/enabler, I ended up taking care of a tiny black kitten. It was found sitting in the middle of the road, covered with mud and cold from the nights rain. It was covered with pests, and was very weak. The petsitter cleaned her up and named her Mazey, and started to look for a foster to take her in. None was found, so she came to our house for a few days. I’m allergic to cats, so I reluctantly agreed. Mazey came over, got settled and the next day we ventured to the friends vet for an exam.
As I sat there, unemployed, and now with a kitten, a woman walked into the clinic. She was holding a small kitten away from her body as if she was scared of it. I overheard her tell the receptionist that it was found in the road near the clinic, and had been hit by a car. Both of its back legs were twisted.
The clinic advised her that they are not allowed to take drop offs. They provided the number to animal control, and the woman asked “Should I just put it back outside in the rain?”. She laid the kitten down on the ground as I called another vet to see if they had advise. The cat crawled past me, fairly quickly, and that’s when I realized the legs were not broken, they were misshapen, but didn’t hinder the cat’s mobility.
Of course I offered to deal with the kitten. Now I found myself unemployed and with two sick kittens to handle.
Little Mazey, the black stray that was found in the road, unfortunately didn’t make it. She was so weak and scrawny. Despite glucose, fluids and antibiotics she didn’t make it. Her little body had been through too much before we got to her. She loved curling up in an old winter hat (see pic below). After feeding her, she sat with me and purred, then shortly after she passed.
Little Murphy, (see the headline photo) though dehydrated, has been doing well. He is eating well, is very mouthy and is very loving. He scoots around the house and is very curious. Most websites refer to his condition as twisted leg syndrome or Flexural Tendon Contracture. At this state, it really doesn’t seem to affect him. He has always been this way, so I guess he does not realize he is different. He “walks” on the knee area of his leg, and amazingly has learned to balance his weight on his front legs. It’s amazing to me that he can do this at 3ish weeks old. He starts by walking, speeds up, then his rear end will rise up over as he walks on his front legs. Its adorable.
There are many animals that get this syndrome. They can live very happy lives, but there are treatments such as exercises and splints that can help correct the position of the legs. For now, the little guy has gone to live with a friend in the neighborhood that fosters cats. He is retired and instantly fell in love with Murphy.
I wont lie – I grew attached to Murphy, but as is sit here with puffy eyes and an odd rash on my side, I am thankful that he has found someone who can help him get the care he needs.
If you would like to know more about twisted leg syndrome, this article published by the Animal Medical Center of Southern California.