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The story of this little cat with the "W" legs has touched people worldwide! Cats like Stockings are the reason we do what we do...and give us hope.
100% of the proceeds from the sale of these shirts goes to Tree House to support our efforts to save cats like Stockings!
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See his new video of him running and jumping below!
Born Unable to Walk or Stand, Yet with a Joy that is Infectious...
We Have Hope for Stockings -- Can You Give a Little to Help?
|The story of Stockings is one of hope for a kitten born with a severe birth defect which could have cost him his life. Born unable to walk or even stand, Little Stockings was found at only a few weeks old, living in a suspected hoarding situation. Thankfully, a kind person brought him to Tree House. When he first arrived, we were taken a back by what we saw. Stockings’ hind legs were excessively extended backwards. The hyperextension was so severe that it was as if his feet had been put on backwards. Additionally, his legs were fully turned inward and fixed in a ‘W’ position. This little kitten was unable to stand or even extend his hind legs. However, as is so common in cats who are born with disabilities, his deformity had not deterred him. Stockings had a will and found a way, and we watched as this little cat scooted around on his hind hocks (or ankles).||
See Stockings prior to his procedures
A Lost Cause?
|We were immediately drawn in by Stockings’ incredible personality and gentle nature. He has a way of looking up at you, with intense blue eyes, that is infectious. 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. While Stockings’ legs were certainly a concern, first and foremost was his overall health. When he arrived, Stockings was underweight and suffering from the beginnings of an upper respiratory infection. Remarkably, however, there were no sores or calluses on his hocks. Given the way he scooted on his hind legs, it would not have taken long before wounds would have developed on his hocks. Untreated, it is likely his wounds would have quickly become infected. Stockings was slow to gain weight and remained in our clinic to be monitored. We treated him for his oncoming cold and soon his health began to stabilize. We then turned our attention to his malformed legs. Given the severity of his deformity, and the uncertainty of treatment outcomes, a traditional shelter would most likely have viewed Stockings as a lost cause and simply euthanized him. We, however, believe that Stockings truly deserves to have a chance at a long and happy life.||
See Stockings remarkable progress after his procedures - walking, running, and jumping!
We Have an Idea
|Stockings’ deformity presented a unique challenge, and it was uncertain what could be done for him. Tree House Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Lynda Ewald, consulted with Dr. Steve Neihaus, Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon at Chicago Veterinary & Emergency Specialty Center and, after consideration, he had an idea. Using a surgical procedure, Stockings’ tendons would be cut. This would then allow his legs to be extended, i.e. straightened, and his hocks to be placed in the proper, flexed position. A splint would then be placed in the hopes that his legs would heal in an extended and straightened position. Additionally, Stockings’ feet would be fused in proper alignment. It was unclear if Stockings would be able to walk or even stand, but we wanted to try. Stockings went in for his first surgery in early October. Initially, he suffered from some post-operative swelling and soreness. Stockings’ cast was also causing him pain and was replaced to help reduce his discomfort as he continued his recovery. Soon after, Stockings underwent his second surgery to help repair his other leg. Fortunately for Stockings, we were able to place him in foster care with a foster mom who is a veterinary technician to enable him to recover in the comfort of a home setting and with round-the-clock expert care.|
Hope For the Future
We are pleased to share that Stockings’ progress has been truly remarkable. His left leg responded well, and it is unbelievable to watch him wriggle and work to stand. He can now fully extend his left leg. Initially, Stockings’ right leg did not respond as well, and he underwent two additional surgeries. Stockings has blossomed into a rambunctious, lively, and energetic kitten. While he shares his foster home with two dogs, he has quickly learned how to take charge of the household. He wobbles and topples as he works to navigate but is quickly learning how to adjust to his new legs. Seemingly, he has no fear as he leaps toward a sparkle toy and tosses about tirelessly. While Stockings will not have the same range of motion or mobility as other cats, he is an unbelievably resilient and determined little kitten and has gained incredible dexterity in his front legs which helps compensate for the limitations he has in his hind quarters. Stockings can now stand on his hind legs and pulls himself up onto the couch with ease. He eagerly races across the room, not wanting to let the dogs get too far ahead. It is incredible to see him take a few, tentative steps as he learns to navigate on his new legs.
We are also pleased to share that Stockings was recently adopted (his foster mom fell in love), and Stockings will be home for the holidays. We are thrilled that this little cat has a bright future!
We Can Because of You - Please Give
|Stockings is one of those kittens that some individuals would look at and question, “Can anything be done? Is it worth it?” At Tree House, we believe he is worth it. This year alone, we have rescued more than one thousand cats, and three hundred cats who have suffered from serious illnesses, severe injuries, chronic health issues, or deformities. One could argue that with so many homeless cats, it doesn’t make sense to work so hard for those who need so much extra help. On the other hand, if we didn’t do it, who would? Please give to help the many cats like Stockings who need us the most. Thanks in advance for your generosity.|
Yes, I Want to Help!