Welcome to week five of The Specials, a new series focusing on special needs pet adoption. Senior pets, those with chronic medical issues, behavioral or temperament concerns as well as overlooked or misunderstood breeds like Pit Bulls and black cats. If not for the kindness, courage, and compassion of their adopters, many of these animals would have been euthanized in shelters or died alone and hungry on the streets. Please check out past special needs adoption posts here.
Some of you may already know sweet Evan, but what you might not know (and I didn't know until recently) is that he is partially paralyzed. His hind legs were paralyzed when he was roughly six weeks old in a coyote attack that killed his mother and litter mates. He was then abandoned on the doorstep of the veterinary clinic where his mom, Lorianne, used to work with a note describing what had happened.
Evan underwent physical therapy, but unfortunately, it was determined that he would not regain mobility or function in his hind legs. He was up for adoption through the clinic, but when no one expressed interest in him, Lorianne brought him home. There were some adjustment issues early on, but Evan quickly learned to navigate his new surroundings.
Lorianne credits Evan's curiosity, determination, and inner strength with his success in mastering his environment in spite of his limitations. Strategically placed stools help him climb on the couch and bed as well as into the windows for sunbathing and birdwatching. His front legs and shoulders are very strong and he pulls himself around with Olympic speed. There are no stairs in the house, but Lorianne is confident that he would master them if there were. In terms of the litter box, Evan has his own low-sided box, made from the bottom half of a cat carrier. Early on, Lorianne determined that litter as well as sand were difficult for him to maneuver. She now leaves towels in his box, which makes for lots of laundry, but suits his special needs.
Evan shares his home with Astrid, a rescue dog, and three other cats, Toby, Thimble, and Eddy, another special needs cat with head tilt and facial paralysis. Aside from normal sibling rivalry, they all get along quite well. However, while Evan enjoys the company of his furry family members, his preference is always his mom. Lorianne says he is very attached to her and loves to help with any and all household projects from laundry to cooking to cleaning. He is also quite talkative and the most affectionate of all the household members.
While living with Evan requires careful monitoring and some extra work, Lorraine feels honored to care for him as he has more spirit and spunk than many able-bodied cats and humans. Long term, she knows that he may be prone to early onset arthritis as well as other medical issues, but she is confident that they will work it out together. Until then, she will continue to learn what he needs by observing him interacting within his home environment. And when he masters a new challenge, they celebrate his success together and his love and gratitude are immense.
Had Lorianne not adopted Evan, his chances of finding a home as a paralyzed cat would have surely been slim. But after surviving a coyote attack in which the rest of his family perished, she knew he deserved a chance. Evan is beautifully imperfect in his own unique way and for that, Lorianne is eternally grateful. You can follow Evan on his blog here.
Please consider adopting or fostering a special needs cat because second chances are amazing whether you are on the giving or receiving side. If you enjoyed this post, please check out my posts on adopting a survivor of abuse and adopting a deaf dog.
We can't all do great things, but we can do small things with great love. Mother Theresa