When Shealah learned One Planet Rescue — an organization dedicated to finding homes for special needs animals from all around the world — had rescued Hermione, she was immediately interested in adopting the stunning female feline. “Hermione was found dragging herself on the streets of Iran at about five months old,” explains Shealah.
While little was known about Hermione’s life before she was rescued in late 2017, a medical examination revealed she was most likely born in July 2017, and she had radial hypoplasia (RH). “RH is a congenital disease which causes the forelegs to be short and twisted, making it look like the cat has little elbows,” says Shealah.
Having volunteered at an animal shelter near her home in New York City, Shealah had seen firsthand how cats with special needs often have difficulty finding forever homes. “They are less likely to be adopted even though they are really sweet and not much different than any other cat,” explains Shealah. Convinced she would be able to provide Hermione with a wonderful home, Shealah contacted One Planet Rescue and arranged to meet this beautiful RH cat and her foster mom Sharon.
In February 2018, Shealah went to Hermione’s Brooklyn foster home, a day she remembers fondly. “I was able to hang out and play with Hermione for a while, and I immediately fell in love,” says Shealah. “She was so sweet and playful, and acted like any ‘normal’ kitten despite her RH.” Certain Hermione — who was named after the brave and clever character from Harry Potter — was perfect for her, Shealah officially adopted this stunning feline on February 17, 2018.
While it didn’t take long for this adorable special needs cat to settle into her new home with Shealah, Hermione’s unique front legs made it difficult for her to use the litter box her mom had purchased for her.
However, Shealah was determined to find a litter box that would work for this fun and affectionate girl, and she didn’t stop looking until she found the right one for Hermione. “We had to find one with tall sides and a low opening so she could easily get in, but also not make a mess of the litter,” explains Shealah.
Aside from this relatively minor issue, several months later, Hermione’s mom hasn’t found this adorable kitty to be all that different from the average feline. While people often assume cats with radial hypoplasia are in paint and aren’t able to jump and climb like typical felines, Hermione is pain-free and just as active and agile as kitties without special needs. “Hermione definitely loves to jump around and the only way her RH affects her is the way she hops/slides around instead of walking,” says Shealah.
While Hermione has her own way of getting around, it doesn’t prevent her from enjoying all of the same activities typical cats are known to adore. “She loves her toys, especially her little pink octopus and blue mouse,” says Shealah. “She also loves to play with anything that resembles a string and just getting into everything and anything.”
When this beautiful radial hypoplasia cat isn’t playing, she likes cuddling with her mom, taking cat naps, and of course, eating. “Her nickname is chicken because she will come after you if she can smell chicken,” says Shealah. “It’s definitely her favorite food.”
Hermione, who was found dragging herself along the streets of Iran when she was five months old, celebrated her first birthday in July 2018, and it’s impossible not to imagine what might have happened to her if she hadn’t been saved by One Planet Rescue.
Fortunately, this stunning girl is safe and sound in New York City — thousands of miles away from where she was born — with Shealah, a woman who hopes other people will consider adopting cats special cats like Hermione. “They aren’t so different from other cats and deserve a loving forever home,” explains Shealah.
Thankfully, Hermione has a loving forever home where her differences aren’t just accepted, they’re celebrated, making this beautiful cat with the unique front limbs truly lucky. “She means the world to me!” says Shealah. “She is the sweetest, funniest little cat. I love her more than anything and would do anything for her.”
To learn more about this adorable cat, you can follow Hermione on Instagram.