When Gina Carrone — one of the co-owners of Catopia Cat Rescue in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida — got a call from a couple who found a kitten who seemed to be unable to use her back legs, she was eager to help. “Initially, my thought was she was injured by a car,” says Gina. On May 13, 2016, Gina arranged for the little tabby and white kitten to see a vet, and an examination revealed the young feline was approximately six weeks old and appeared to be unable to control either of her hind legs.
“When we first rescued her,” says Gina, “we thought she may just need her bad leg amputated,” but over the next few weeks, Pixie saw more doctors and specialists, and it became clear that the kitten’s injuries were much more complex than anyone had initially realized.
Even the experts who have examined Pixie disagree on whether she was born with hind leg paralysis or lost the use of her back legs due to some sort of trauma. “One leg and hip are actually twisted and almost look on x-rays like they are backwards,” explains Gina. “The other leg looks fine and she has feeling, but she just doesn’t have any control or muscle mass.”
Shortly after she was rescued, many of the people who learned about Pixie’s situation urged Gina to euthanize the young kitten, but she refused. “Everyone told me to put her down,” says Gina, “that there were other kitties that needed help and would be easier to adopt after socializing.”
Gina, who had agreed to rescue Pixie when she got the initial phone call in May 2016, had been fostering the little special needs kitten, and she had developed a strong bond with the young tabby and white cat. “She was a member of our rescue and she needed help,” says Gina. “It wasn’t a choice, and she was so cute and sweet.”
In an effort to help Pixie learn — or possibly regain the ability — to walk, Gina arranged for her to have acupuncture and laser treatments, and when the young cat started bleeding from her rectum, her foster mom made sure she got the blood transfusion the paralyzed kitten needed to save her life.
“All the vets questioned why we were putting so much into this kitten when she was special needs and there are so many others that need help,” remembers Gina. “She may not look like any other kitten, but her spirit is loving and grateful, and I wasn’t going to let someone put her down because she was different.”
It’s been nearly two years since Catopia and Gina came to Pixie’s rescue, and while this adorable girl is still unable to walk, she has no trouble getting around. This beautiful tabby and white cat is also incontinent, so she often hangs out in her play pen, which is outfitted with pee pads and towels, or she wears a diaper when she wants to scoot around her foster home. “She hates getting her diaper on,” says Gina, “but she loves when it is on so she can be active and not constrained.”
Thankfully, Pixie gets to spend a lot of time outside of her play pen, and while she has loads of toys to entertain her — including chirping birds that she likes to “drown” in her water bowl — she loves chasing after wadded up balls of paper and she will often bring them back to her foster mom when Gina throws them. “She also loves to watch her sisters,” says Gina, “and tries to chase them and push their buttons to get them to play with her.”
Pixie and her foster mom have developed a very special relationship during the nearly two years they’ve spent together, and Gina — who has provided temporary homes to lots of animals in need — knows it would be bittersweet if the right person came along to adopt this adorable tabby and white cat with hind leg paralysis. “If she left, my house would be completely different,” says Gina. “Even though she was not a planned addition to my house, she is a sweet addition.”
In fact, she’s adamant that Pixie, the cat she rescued when she was just six weeks old and desperately in need of someone to take care of her, has taught he some very important life lessons. “I have learned so much from her and I love her,” says Gina. “She is very content and grateful in her life and has showed me that you can adapt no matter what life throws at you. She is such a loving, special little soul.”
To learn more about this adorable cat, you can follow Pixie on Instagram.
If you’re interested in adopting Pixie, please contact Catopia Cat Rescue.