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.
Thursday, May 23 2013 4:38 PM EDT2013-05-23 20:38:55 GMT
For 12 years Denise Glasford's sister fought in the Army, but died last year on Memorial Day. "Thinking about her and wishing she was still here with us," Glasford said. "It's been a tough year for the family." GlasfordMore >>
Glasford and her niece and nephew are three of dozens of family members paying tribute to soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Here at Fort Gordon's Warrior Remembrance Memorial Day Ceremony, they're honoring those killed, and remembering those they left behind. Soldiers say the national holiday is much more than a day off from work to barbeque and celebrate.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 3:16 PM EDT2013-05-23 19:16:52 GMT
Ryan David Jones/Source: RCSO
Friends and neighbors now say the Jones Family, Edna, Roosevelt, and Russell, are the victims of a suspected triple homicide in South Augusta.The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has been investigatingMore >>
The Richmond County Sheriff Office has charged Ryan David Jones with 3 counts of Murder and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 8:10 AM EDT2013-05-23 12:10:07 GMT
The images we're seeing in Oklahoma having a heavy impact on viewers around the country and here in the CSRA. Lindsay Findley says she was heartbroken when she found out about it. "It's just so sad toMore >>
Thirty disaster relief volunteers and vehicles have been sent to Oklahoma; three of them from the Palmetto region. And at any moment, volunteers with the Aiken chapter could be deployed.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:34 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:34:56 GMT
Susan Swanson owns the Augusta Care Pregnancy Center on Broad Street. There is a two hour limited parking sign in front of her company but she says no one enforces it. The parking limit downtown has beenMore >>
Susan Swanson owns the Augusta Care Pregnancy Center on Broad Street. There is a two hour limited parking sign in front of her company but she says no one enforces it.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:20 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:20:40 GMT
A vigil for the family members killed in a suspected triple homicide was held at the Augusta Deliverance Evangelical Church Wednesday night. The vigil for Roosevelt Jones, Edna Jones and their son Russell JonesMore >>
A vigil for the family members killed in a suspected triple homicide was held at the Augusta Deliverance Evangelical Church Wednesday night.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:42 PM EDT2013-05-23 00:42:44 GMT
It's been two days since a tornado ripped through Moore, Ok nearly destroying the town along with two schools; now one local school is re-evaluating their safety plans. Even though it's the last weekMore >>
It's been two days since a tornado ripped through Moore, Ok nearly destroying the town along with two schools; now one local school is re-evaluating their safety plans. More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-23 00:39:09 GMT
Mobility, the company that runs Augusta's Public Transit, is now suing the city after the Richmond County Commission voted to terminate their five year contract. Mobility's attorney Robert Mullins toldMore >>
Mobility, the company that runs Augusta's Public Transit, is now suing the city after the Richmond County Commission voted to terminate their five year contract.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:53 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:53:51 GMT
Family, friends and fellow officers said goodbye to Deputy Alton Creech Tuesday morning. A funeral was held at First Baptist Church on Walton Way. Deputy Creech crashed his motorcycle on I-20, lastMore >>
Hundreds attend the funeral of Deputy Allen Creech.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:51 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:51:46 GMT
Carole Timmerman lives on Ferree Place in Graniteville and after a severe storm rolled through Aiken County Tuesday, she had to watch where she stepped. "It's horrible, it's so dangerous," said TimmermanMore >>
Aiken County Emergency Management officials say there were wind gusts up to 80 miles per hour. The strong winds uprooted trees, caused power lines to fall and tore into homes. More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:30 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:30:22 GMT
Patrons may lose a popular shopping area in Aiken. The Aiken Mall has been foreclosed after the owner stopped making payments on the interest of the property in April.The Aiken County clerk of courts sayMore >>
Patrons may lose a popular shopping area in Aiken. The Aiken Mall has been foreclosed after the owner stopped making payments on the interest of the property in April.More >>