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.
Saturday, May 25 2013 2:12 PM EDT2013-05-25 18:12:27 GMT
ROCKVIEW, MO (CNN/AP) - Federal investigators are trying to determine how two freight trains collided in southeast Missouri early Saturday morning, injuring seven people. Authorities say the two trainsMore >
Two trains collided in Missouri Saturday morning, causing an overpass to collapse and injuring seven. More >
Friday, May 24 2013 9:01 PM EDT2013-05-25 01:01:17 GMT
Strong feelings are funning high one day after the Boy Scouts of America reversed its policy on gay scouts. The decision upset one Kansas City man so much that he decided to make a very personal protest.More >
Strong feelings are running high one day after the Boy Scouts of America reversed its policy on gay scouts. The decision upset one Kansas City man so much that he decided to make a very personal protest.More >
Saturday, May 25 2013 1:59 PM EDT2013-05-25 17:59:50 GMT
A multiple vehicle collision has closed lanes of eastbound Interstate 70 Saturday afternoon. The wreck happened on the interstate, just past Brooklyn Avenue. Two left lanes are closed. There's no wordMore >
A multiple vehicle crash has closed lanes of eastbound Interstate 70 Saturday afternoon.More >
A New Jersey company that operates 13 TGI Fridays restaurants accused of secretly replacing premium liquor with low-quality booze says it's shocked at the allegations.More >
At one bar, a mixture that included rubbing alcohol and caramel coloring was sold as scotch. In another, premium liquor bottles were refilled with water - and apparently not even clean water at that.More >
Dan Sligh and his wife were in their pickup truck on Interstate 5 heading to a camping trip when a bridge before them disappeared in a "big puff of dust."More >
The trucker was hauling drilling equipment when his load bumped against the steel framework over an Interstate 5 bridge. He looked in his rearview mirror and watched in horror as the span collapsed into the water behind him....More >
Friday, May 24 2013 7:31 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:31:26 GMT
A nurse who serves on the Kauffman Stadium K-crew was able to revive a 14-year-old girl who collapsed during Thursday night's game.The girl was dancing in the upper-deck stands when she suddenly collapsed.More >
A nurse who serves on the Kauffman Stadium K-crew was able to revive a 14-year-old girl who collapsed during Thursday night's game.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 10:08 PM EDT2013-05-24 02:08:55 GMT
A military father came home to Las Vegas after spending a year overseas, and surprised his children with an early return. Major Scott Powell spent almost a year in Afghanistan flying planes in the UnitedMore >
A military father came home to Las Vegas after spending a year overseas, and surprised his children with an early return.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 7:38 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:38:20 GMT
The federal government warned recently that nearly three out of five tested positive for the bacteria found in feces. With Memorial Day weekend marking the official start of pool season, the Centers forMore >
The federal government warned recently that nearly three out of five tested positive for the bacteria found in feces. There are steps you can take to enjoy a summer day at the pool. More >
Friday, May 24 2013 5:23 PM EDT2013-05-24 21:23:39 GMT
Police are investigating whether a person being shot in the chest is connected to a home invasion robbery.Two men attempted to burst into a home in the 106 block of Greenwood Road when shots were fired.More >
A woman fired shots at three men attempting to break into her home, and one of the suspects was shot in the chest, police said. Her husband described the harrowing ordeal. More >