FDR is a mixed cat that was found by 9 Lives Cat Rescue in Oxford, Ms in early fall 2014. On their facebook page they posted that if a loving family was unable to adopt or foster him, then unfortunatley he would have to be put down. Why put down a healthy kitten? His back legs appeared to be paralyzed. There were no physical defects seen in X-Rays and no known additional problems. Cat people know how important those legs are to a cat: jumping, running, climbing, bathroom needs, etc. Without a willing, loving, and caring family this kitty would not have much of a life.
(He was so tiny when we first got him.)
My partner and I stepped in to help host him for 9 Lives Cat Rescue. On a daily basis, Philip and I fed, bathed, and helped FDR pass his bowels (liquid and solid). Early on a decision had to be made concerning the treatment for his legs/tail: either amputation or physical therapy. Amputation would require surgery then, and later on when he reached adulthood a $300-500 cat wheel chair. We opted for physical therapy because it was believed his condition to be neuological in nature only. On a monthly basis, this meant taking him twice a month for acupuncture treatments at the local pet hospital. Treatments FDR loved. Since receiving the treatments FDR has gained control of some of his bowel movements and he no longer needs our assistance beyond us picking up after him (remember he cannot use his back legs so he cannot squat or enter a litter box). We still physically pee him two to three times a day. Most importantly, he is slowly gaining control of his legs.
(Cat Wheelchair he might have to get when he becomes a full adult.)
Since the acupuncture treatments started he has slowly gained some movement in his legs, something that has excited us and FDR’s doctors. Right now, most of this movement is involuntary or reflexive. This is a great step though considering when he first came to us all he could do is drag them lifeslessly behind him. Sometimes when he runs and plays his lower feet move back and forth behind him as if they recognize they shoud be moving. During baths sometimes both the legs kick like crazy. Most recently, his tail has started twitching and curling up against his body when touched. Once or twice when stretching, we have caught him putting his weight on those back legs. All of these results are helping him get where he potentially needs to be to have at least one working hind leg.
His biggest problem not having full control of his legs? He is the definition of a scaredy cat. He cannot protect himself and he is very aware of this. His only source of attack is retreat. He plays with our other cats just fine, but he lies on his back to nip or to scratch with his front paws. Taking him outside is out of the question, we do allow him on our porch though with supervision. Loud noises cause him to run and he is not as curious and playful as a kitten his age should be. Most of his day is spent sleeping in the dark somewhere, where he knows he is safe because no one can find him. 😦
(FDR hiding in a pillow fort.)
So why are we asking to help fund him? 9 Lives Cat Rescue officially closed December 1, 2015 , and are no longer able to pay for FDR’s treatments. Upon their closing, we officially adopted FDR but are unable to financially support the kind of commitment his treatments require. The 9 Lives Cat Rescue facebook group is still working since the former head is still looking for people to adopt cats despite no longer being part a working non-profit organization.
(FDR playing with Bunny, while Zia watches. )
In the past he has been treated at the Bottletree Animal Hospital in Oxford, MS. Each treatment costs $180. He would be getting 2 treatments a month so totaling around $360 before taxes. To continue to be treated for the next year (12 months), starting in February 2016 and ending in Febraury 2017 would be $4,320 + taxes. We are asking for people to help offset these costs so FDR can slowly become a normal cat. — Update (9/4/16): P and I moved to NYC in summer 2016. We are currently looking into Vet Training Hospitals for his treatments, but so far have been unsuccessful. Acupuncture here is around $300 a session. 1 year of treatment would equal around $3,600 assuming just one treatment a month.
(Bottletree Animal Hospital.)
My partner is currently getting his Master’s degree while working two part-time jobs and preparing for graduate school. I too am in graduate school, while working part-time. Our combined incomes do not allow us to assist this cat in the long-term. As soon as we have enough money for one treatment we will take him to it. Hopefully we will have enough for a treatment the beginning and middle of the month starting February 1, 2016.
(He is great with bathtime.)
Helping FDR now, when he is young and his body and mind have plasticity, is the best time for him to seek treatment that will help him the remainder of his cat lives. Update (9/6/16): He is able to move his tail, and his hind limbs. We are unsure if he realizes he is moving them though! We catch him every now and then stretching and standing on his hind legs for short moments. 🙂 !!
I am thankful for everyone who donates, whether it be $1 or more. Everything counts. We want FDR to have the life he deserves, not the life he was originally given. All animal lovers know that there is a special bond that comes from having pets. They are not just an amusement, they are part of the family. Please help my family.
As a thank you for your donation, we will send you updates about how FDR is doing. This will include pictures and videos.