By Mollie Tracey
It’s the real life – this adorable cat born with twisted front legs is no longer in pain thanks to its plastic boots.
The adorable kitten, called Watson, was born with radial hypoplasia – a congenital disease that causes deformities of the limbs – resulting in his front legs twisting inwards.
Due to the strain on his joints, Watson, two, was left unable to walk and severely disfigured as his paws continued to twist.
Thankfully Watson was rescued and adopted by Melanie Lusnak, 28, who refused to let him suffer any longer.
Melanie was repeatedly told there was no hope for Watson but, refusing to give up on him, she found an animal prosthetist who was willing to help.
Watson has now been fitted with boot-like prosthetics that allow him to play and run around with the other animals.
Melanie, from Michigan, USA, said: “The minute I saw Watson it was love at first sight, his paws were so badly twisted that I knew I needed to help him.
“I took him to an orthopaedic surgeon who told me there was nothing anyone could do for him, we were told just to keep him as comfortable as possible as he might not have a long life.
“But I refused to listen, I knew there was so much out there that there had to be someone who could help him.
“Thankfully we found Animal Ortho Care who provided us with a pair of prosthetics.
“Watson was amazing, he got used to them really quickly and I could tell he was comfortable, he could fall asleep wearing them and so I knew they didn’t bother him.
“Thanks to his boot-like prosthetics Watson is able to play around so much more freely now because he is no longer in pain and he runs around so fast you wouldn’t believe it.
“The rescue shelter told me there are breeders who make ‘twisty cats’, they breed from animals with slight deformities because the kittens are supposed to look cute.
“It’s really awful, we don’t know for certain whether this was the case with Watson but it certainly could have been.”
Many cats like Watson would never survive in the wild and many shelters would deem his condition untreatable.
But luckily Watson was brought to Almost Home Animal Rescue League, their policy is to give every animal a chance no matter what condition they are in.
She added: “I was looking to adopt a kitten and found Watson on Pet Finder, in particular I was looking for a cat with special needs as I had previously looked after a cat with a missing leg.
“Watson was so small when we got him, a lot of people wanted to adopt him but what they didn’t realise was how much attention and care he needed.
“I kept getting told that because he was a cat he would refuse to wear cushions or prosthetics, and because he was so small it would be hard to get anything to fit him.
“But I finally came across Derrick at Animal Ortho Care and as soon as we spoke he reassured me that together we could make Watson’s life easier and more comfortable.
“I sent him pictures and videos of Watson and he sent me the kit for the prosthetics, I took Watson to my vet and they were extremely helpful and helped me with the casting process.”
With the help of Derrick, Melanie gradually built up the amount of padding on Watson’s joints to elevate him up as he had always been used to leaning downwards, and he soon became used to his new paws.
Melanie said: “I now take him to see an animal chiropractor, at first it was once or twice a week but now it’s just every two weeks to monitor his progress.
“Despite everything he has been through Watson is a really affectionate and happy cat, he cuddles with me and sleeps with me at night.
“It’s so important for people to know that there are options out there for all animals and I’ve even started a blog, handi-cat.com, to re-assure others that there is hope.”