The Allergic Rescuers KL team has their hands full. Between fostering stray cats and their own adopted ones, they constantly receive messages from people wanting to surrender their cats.
10-week-old Captain Scoots was the subject of one such message, said the founder of the independent animal rescue team, Rosy Kim.
“Based on the video, he clearly had no use of his back legs but no matter what, he was scooting towards the camera as fast as he could, eager for some pets,” Rosy told FMT.
The Allergic Rescuers team thought long and hard about accepting this case.
Rosy said they knew a cat like this wouldn’t be able to survive outdoors, but care would be very costly and time-consuming. Plus, the chances of him getting adopted are quite slim.
“We couldn’t get him out of our heads. So after a few days of mulling, we agreed to take him in and the feeder brought him to our vet.”
According to Rosy, what they suspected was indeed true. Captain Scoots’ situation was dire; he was unable to expel his urine completely on his own, and he was unaware of needing when “to go”.
“The remaining urine inside his bladder had given him an infection, and the urine which had dribbled out caused scalding on his bottom.”
Thankfully, due to the efforts of their vet, Dr Teoh of Cyberlynx Animal Hospital, Captain Scoot’s gangrenous wounds and dead tissues were removed.
He was then hospitalised and underwent physiotherapy daily. The vet had also performed a surgical procedure that would enable Captain Scoots to expel his urine completely.
Despite such a tough week, Rosy said Captain Scoots was still in very high spirits.
Once Captain Scoots was ready to be discharged, they were taught how to help him do simple physiotherapy at home. They were also told to keep the wound and the surrounding area dry, and taught how to clean and gently express Captain Scoot’s bladder and bowels to make sure he didn’t develop any further internal infections.
“At that point, he was just too small to fit any diaper and all the ones we were making him just weren’t secure enough. At night, we would put him to bed nappy-less in a shower stall with food, water and picnic foam mats which would get hosed in the morning.”
Rosy and her team explored ways to help Captain Scoots recover. They had sent him for X-rays, extensive physiotherapy, laser treatments, treadmill exercises, heated hydrotherapy and even acupuncture.
“We even got him a little wheelchair, which he hated because he was so much faster and freer scooting around!” laughed Rosy.
Then, Rosy and the Allergic Rescuers team came to a huge realisation.
“There’s nothing to ‘fix’ about Captain Scoots. He’s perfect the way he is, and we’ve decided to stay focused on making sure he has the best quality of life!”
Now that Captain Scoots is bigger, he only needs to express his urine every four to five hours. He also wears human infant diapers that fit him perfectly, minimising the risks of any accidents.
“He sleeps in the cat room with our cats, that we call The Aunties, with his diaper on. He prefers this much more than sleeping in the bathroom by himself.”
Rosy says that Captain Scoots doesn’t feel sorry for himself and does the best he can with what he’s got.
“Sometimes, he scoots so fast, we joke that his diaper might catch on fire! He even taught himself how to drift when turning tight corners!”
According to Rosy, every animal, despite their disabilities or limitations, deserves a good life and taking care of them is not as difficult as people imagine it to be.
She’s happy that she’s able to provide him with a good life, because most paralysed animals suffer so much before dying a slow and painful death, unless they’re rescued.
“He has become somewhat of a minor celebrity, and it makes people appreciate paralysed animals or cats and dogs with disabilities. I’m proud of him for being a positive example of differently-abled animals living their best lives.”
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PET: FMT Lifestyle readers are invited to send in pictures (landscape format) and a short video (if any) of their furry, scaly or feathery friends to [email protected]. Don’t forget to include details like your pet’s name, age, breed and a short story about them.