When one of Katie Beth Miedaner’s Instagram followers told her about Cappy, formerly Bubba, an adorable ginger Persian cat with incontinence who was in need of a home, she wanted to learn more about the handsome special needs kitty who had been rescued from the streets of Dubai in early 2017. “A flight attendant for Emirates actually found him on the streets,” explains Katie Beth. “She reached out to a cat rescue superstar in the community, who took him into her clinic.”
At the time Cappy was rescued, not only was he incontinent, he was barely able to walk, but one of the clinic’s regular patients, Kirsten, agreed to foster the adorable special needs cat. “She gave him daily massages,” says Katie Beth, “and spent as much time as possible with him working on getting him walking again.” Incredibly, the regular physical therapy worked, and Cappy regained the ability to walk, although no one has ever been able to figure out if the paralysis was caused by some sort of trauma or infection or if he was simply born with mobility issues.
However, Cappy — who remained incontinent after recovering the ability to walk — never regained control of his tail, and due to chronic problems, he had surgery to remove it. By July 2017, Cappy had recovered from the amputation, and he was transported to the United States to live with Athina and Mark, a New Jersey couple that fosters international cats until they’re able to find permanent homes.
For months, Athina and Mark searched for the perfect family for Cappy — who was born around January 1, 2016 — when they were contacted by Katie Beth in October 2017. “My first rescue [cat], Leopold, is completely blind,” explains Katie Beth. “By working with Leopold, I learned patience and empathy. I think this made me more receptive to the idea of bringing Cappy into my home.”
While Katie Beth was very interested in adopting Cappy, she made sure she understood as much as possible about his special needs before she made the decision to make him a permanent part of her family. “I definitely prayed on it for a week,” says Katie Beth. “I also asked over 1,000 questions to the foster parents to make sure I had complete transparency on the situation.” Katie Beth even consulted her vet, and after careful consideration, she and Cappy’s foster parents agreed that she would be able to provide a great home for the handsome Persian cat.
On November 3, 2017, Cappy arrived at Katie Beth’s Nashville home, and it didn’t take long for him to win over his new mom and his adoptive brother Leopold. “He is the happiest cat I have ever met,” says Katie Beth. However, while Katie Beth was familiar with the challenges of caring for a blind cat, she’d never dealt with an incontinent pet before, and there was a lot she had to learn about Cappy’s unique set of needs.
“I think getting in a routine with Cappy was the biggest learning curve,” explains Katie. “It’s been a learning process for me on how to best clean him, how to empty his bladder completely, and how to bathe him most efficiently and effectively.”
One of the biggest challenges Katie Beth faced was learning how to express Cappy’s bladder, and she admits it took her several days to figure out how to do it correctly. However, she eventually got the hang of it, and now she and Cappy have a great schedule that works well for both of them. In fact, Cappy is incredibly patient when Katie bathes him, trims the fur around his bum, and helps him go to the bathroom, which his mom definitely appreciates. “He is so, so, so helpful with me taking care of him,” says Katie. “He rarely squirms or is disagreeable.”
Cappy, who traveled thousands of miles to be with Katie Beth and Leopold, absolutely loves his new life in Nashville, and he spends much of his time chasing after his brother and lavishing his mom with affection. He also enjoys watching cartoons, playing with wand toys, and modeling bandanas for Wags Out West, a company that makes pet accessories.
However, Katie Beth, who has a full-time job in healthcare, has definitely had to adjust her life a bit to accommodate Cappy’s needs, but through trial and error, she’s developed a schedule that works well for both her and her beloved Persian boy. “Luckily, I live half a mile from work,” says Katie Beth, “so I can run home during lunch if needed!”
While many people who know Katie Beth marvel at the care and attention she selflessly gives to Cappy, she insists she’s not superhuman. “Anyone who has patience and a willingness to learn is a solid candidate to adopt a cat with special needs!” says Katie Beth. “Sure, it might not be for everyone. But for people with a general interest, it is definitely something you can accomplish!”
Katie Beth also thinks it’s important to celebrate the ways in which special needs cats are different — not to treat them with pity — as she believes it doesn’t benefit anyone when people feel sorry for these unique kitties, including incontinent pets like Cappy. “It is all part of his story, the good and the bad — and he is thriving!” says Katie Beth. “All cats need is just some love and someone to take a chance on them!”
Thankfully, more than a few people have taken a chance on Cappy, from the flight attendant who rescued him from the streets of Dubai, to Kirsten, the woman who gave him massages and got him walking again, to Athina and Mark, the New Jersey couple who transported him to United States and provided him with a foster home, and of course, to Katie, the woman who has dedicated herself to giving this adorable Persian cat the best possible life. “I committed myself to being his daily helper,” says Katie, “and I value all the lessons he has taught me with patience, love, and tolerance.”
Cappy, along with with his adoptive brother Leopold, has also given Katie great joy, and he’s shown her the value of facing adversity with determination, resilience, and grace. “He is a warrior, and he is a world traveler!” says Katie. “He is an innocent spirit.”
To learn more about this incredible cat, you can follow Cappy on Instagram.