Picture a cat with a posture similar to a squirrel or a kangaroo. That's what the folks at a Kansas City no-kill shelter have on their hands. They've named the sweet stray kitten Stiles.
"This is very rare," said Wayside Waifs veterinarian Alison Liu. "None of the vets here at Wayside Waifs have ever seen this condition. I've also consulted with a special surgeon who sees a lot of orthopedic cases and she's been in practice for about 10 years and she's never seen one."
Stiles has only a stump for one of his two forearm bones, the radial bone, and only a stump for one of his two wrist bones. Some call cats like him "twisty cats," because of how their front paws twist inward. Others call them "squittens," because of how their standing posture resembles a squirrel.
"It's a congenital abnormality, meaning he was born like that," Liu said.
Stiles is also polydactyl, a more common condition of having extra toes. Stiles has six toes and pads on his hind legs, making them look a little like a duck's feet.
It's undeniably cute to watch him stand like a kangaroo, but when he walks, he uses his wrists and has trouble with gaining traction. It's a situation that can cause pain and ulcerations.
As a result, Wayside Waifs has turned to a volunteer group called Leggings for Life. Participants crochet leggings for dogs and cats with leg problems. The group says the leggings are often more comfortable and more practical than the usual solution of medical tape. They are easier to put on, they breathe and provide traction.
Liu said the staff will be monitoring Stiles closely after the leggings arrive to see if he tries to eat them, which could cause more harm than good.
"Some cats like to eat yarn," Liu said. "The yarn can cause lots of stomach problems."
Stiles stands out not just for his condition but for his demeanor.
Once he recovers from an upper respiratory infection, he can be adopted.
"Stiles is actually one of the most affectionate cats that we have here and is a staff and volunteer favorite," she said. "So he's going to continue to give a family lots and lots of love."
To ensure a good quality of life for him, his adoptive family will likely have to make some minor accommodations in the home, such as carpeting for traction. Regular veterinary check ups will also be especially important since he is prone to arthritis and back strain. For now, however, he seems to have no discomfort and loves being held.
To read more about Leggings for Life and help use your skills with yarn to help animals in need, click here.
Leggings for Life is looking for those willing to crochet in other countries. All the group's work is done via the internet.
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:09 AM EDT2013-05-18 14:09:50 GMT
A train derailment was reported near the Bridgeport and Fairfield city lines Friday night. Few details have been released on the derailment, but the incident was reported around 6:30 p.m. in the area ofMore >
Dozens of passengers and employees were among those injured when two Metro-North trains collided near a station in Fairfield Friday night.More >
By H. Gilbert Welch, Special to CNN updated 8:12 AM EDT, Fri May 17, 2013Editor's note: H. Gilbert Welch is a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical PracticeMore >
I first saw the headline early Tuesday on Real Clear Politics, a political news site where I generally start my morning. It's not where I expect to see a story on breast cancer.
Wednesday, May 15 2013 2:57 PM EDT2013-05-15 18:57:11 GMT
The old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Perhaps, this applies to Kitchen Nightmares, as well. An Arizona bakery was featured on Friday's episode of the Gordon RamseyMore >
The old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Perhaps, this applies to Kitchen Nightmares, as well.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:58 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:58:37 GMT
Happy Saturday, Rain is on its way – as expected – but it will not hamper the entire weekend. Early this morning, there will be low clouds, fog and drizzle in many parts of Connecticut. This will haveMore >
Thursday, May 16 2013 3:45 PM EDT2013-05-16 19:45:11 GMT
Police arrested a Toronto woman, who was trying to get into the charity polo match in Greenwich where Prince Harry was playing.According to police, Wen Qi, 36, was trying to enter the Conyers Farms PoloMore >
Police arrested a Toronto woman, who was trying to get into the charity polo match in Greenwich where Prince Harry was playing.More >
South Korea says North Korea has fired three short-range guided missiles into its eastern waters. Pyongyang routinely test-launches such missiles.More >
North Korea fired three short-range guided missiles into its eastern waters on Saturday, a South Korean official said. It routinely tests such missiles, but the latest launches came during a period of tentative diplomacy...More >
Friday, May 17 2013 5:19 PM EDT2013-05-17 21:19:20 GMT
CSP arrive in Trumbull after a body was found Friday morning
A body was discovered along a road on the Bridgeport and Trumbull town lines Friday morning, according to police.No other information was released.Refresh this page and watch Eyewitness News for updatesMore >
State police said they are investigating the discovery of human remains in a wooded area near the Bridgeport/Trumbull town lines Friday morning.More >