Never say never. Just when things begin to look impossible in life, there is always someone who proves that theory to be wrong. Recently, I found a story about a paralyzed cat with a strong will to live. His story will inspire anyone who has ever faced a challenge that seemed it couldn’t be conquered.
It is said that when it rains, it pours. Chance, a sweet tan and white tabby, knows all about that. This past March (2015) he was dropped off at a high-kill shelter in Metro Detroit. Why would want to give up such a handsome and friendly kitty? No one really knows. There was no record of why he had been relinquished. What is known is that as a part of routine care, Chance was neutered and vaccinated while at the shelter.
Once his routine care was complete, a volunteer at the shelter decided to help Chance escape his nearly certain death sentence. She got him out of the shelter to give him a better chance at finding a forever home. It wasn’t long after rescuing Chance that something unimaginable happened. The volunteer began noticing some lameness in Chance’s legs. Within 3 days, Chance’s hind legs were completely paralyzed. The legs would lay straight out from Chance’s hips and were very stiff. Poor Chance had been saved from the high-kill shelter, but was now a paralyzed cat.
The shelter volunteer put out a desperate call for help over the internet. On March 30th, the call was answered by 4 Paws 1 Heart, a charitable organization that helps provide funds for medical care to homeless cats and dogs (click here to see more stories about cats and 4 Paws 1 Heart). A cat lover that regularly helps nurse abandoned kittens, Denise, took Chance in as a foster and his treatment began. The emergency vet did x-rays and was unable to determine the cause of Chance’s injury. Initial steroid treatments proved to be ineffective.
Rehabilitation for a Paralyzed Cat
The next step in Chance’s treatment was to enlist the help of Dr. Tari Kern at Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation and Therapy for Pets. Dr. Kern, who hast treated other cats from 4 Paws 1 Heart, was cautiously optimistic that Chance wouldn’t be a paralyzed cat forever. She began performing massage, acupuncture, and laser treatments on Chance’s hind legs.
Chance is not the kind of kitty to give up in the face of adversity! It wasn’t long before glimmers of hope began to shine in on Chance. On April 7th, he actually sat up. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but for a paralyzed cat, it is a huge step in the right direction. By April 9th, Chance made and effort to use the litter box by pulling his front half into the box. With a little help from Denise, the rear end made it in too and Chance used the litter box! In the same day, he began swinging his tail and kicking his back legs in response to having his tummy tickled!
Dr. Kern was very happy about Chance’s new movements. She started him on some exercises to help improve his strength and to begin retraining those muscles to walk again. Chance works on standing on a specials cushion (with assistance), walking while having his hind quarters suspended with a harness, and on stretches. He also has a routine of exercises that he has to complete daily at home. Denise takes her fostering very seriously and makes sure that each exercise is dutifully preformed before the day is out. Chance’s muscle tone and movements continue to improve every day!
Friends & Donations Needed
Hopefully some day soon Chance will be walking! There will certainly be an update post coming that day. For now he has to continue with his therapy and treatments. This little guy’s will to survive and walk again is amazing. He is a true inspiration to everyone.
There are a couple of things that you could do that would really help Chance. First of all, 4 Paws 1 Heart is an organization that exists on donations alone. If you would like to make a donation toward Chance’s care, visit 4Paws1Heart.org/donationsand use the PayPal link or checks can be mailed to 4 Paws 1 Heart at P.O. Box 84, St. Clair Shores, MI 48080. Even small donations of a few dollars are helpful.
You can also help Chance without spending any money at all. Try one of these options:
- Like Chance’s new Facebook page. There you can see more photos, videos, and watch his continued progress. He’s hoping to hit 500 likes and he’s almost there!
- Download the WoofTrax Walk a Dog app for free on your smart phone. Walk for 4 Paws 1 Heart of St. Clair Shores, MI. The app will donate money to 4 Paws 1 Heart as you walk!
- Share Chance’s story. He is looking to find a forever home one day!