When Amelia and Alex saw a post on social media about a Wyatt, a paralyzed kitten who was looking for his forever home, they were both interested in adopting the adorable special needs cat.
“I originally saw Wyatt’s picture on Chloe’s account and it was the cutest picture of him in a sock onesie and a tiny diaper,” remembers Amelia. The couple learned Wyatt and his brother had been rescued from an industrial park in Missouri by St. Louis Pet Rescue in July 2017.
“He was found at four weeks old dragging his leggies and with an injury in the form of a band around his waist, and had multiple sores,” explains Amelia. “His kitty momma apparently was still taking really good care of him and would bring food to him.” A medical examination revealed Wyatt had suffered a spinal injury that left him incontinent and with hind leg paralysis, while his brother was missing one of his limbs.
Unfortunately, no one was able to determine the cause of the kittens’ injuries, so it’s impossible to know if Wyatt and his brother were the victims of abuse or had accidentally injured themselves, possibly on a piece of machinery in the industrial park where they were found.
While it didn’t take long for his litter mate to find his forever home, Wyatt had more difficulty getting adopted, perhaps because people were concerned about caring for a cat with incontinence. However, Amelia and Alex — having followed a lot of special needs cats on Instagram — felt comfortable with adopting a cat like Wyatt who would need to have his bladder expressed multiple times a day.
“It was kind of a conversation between us where we talked about how we could do this; we can adopt and care for a special needs kitty,” says Amelia. “We had the room, we felt like we had the heart and compassion that is needed, and we had the motivation to give a special needs kitty anything and everything they would ever need.”
The couple contacted Wyatt’s foster mom through social media, not only to share their interest in adopting him, but also to learn more about his special needs, including his schedule and routine. Then, Amelia and Alex had a phone interview during which they learned two other families were in the running to adopt Wyatt, one of which was located in St. Louis.
While they really wanted to adopt the cute special needs kitten, ultimately, Amelia and Alex — who live in Denver — wanted whatever was in Wyatt’s best interest. “We thought that we didn’t want to take him away from another couple who could care for him just as good as we could, and also lived in Missouri where Wyatt could still see his foster family and his veterinarian,” explains Amelia.
After communicating their feelings to Wyatt’s foster mom, the Colorado couple learned the other potential adopters had backed out. “His foster mom was so excited because we were the perfect fit and after months [of waiting], Wyatt would finally have his forever family,” remembers Amelia. “From that moment we knew it was meant to be and Wyatt would be ours forever!”
In order to transport Wyatt to his new home in Denver, St. Louis Pet Rescue and his foster mom set up a GoFundMe to raise money for a plane ticket, and on May 11, 2018, he met his new mom and dad for the first time. “That is also my birthday,” says Amelia. “It was such a perfect birthday present!”
While Wyatt was miles away from where he was born, it didn’t take long for him to settle into his new home with Amelia, Alex, and their three other cats. “Our other three kitties have chemical element names — Carbon, Xenon, and Nitrogen — and we didn’t want to leave Wyatt out, so his full name is actually Wyatt Wolfram,” says Amelia. “Wolfram, also known as Tungsten, is the strongest chemical element which we thought was so fitting for our strong and courageous warrior.”
Since arriving at his forever home, Wyatt — who celebrated his first birthday in June 2018 — has had to battle a few health issues, including a broken leg related to his paralysis and kidney damage caused by the injury to his spine. He was also diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a disease that has weakened Wyatt’s heart muscle, making it harder for it pump blood.
Due to the issues with Wyatt’s heart and kidney, he’s not an ideal candidate for a lot of medical procedures, which means there are fewer treatment options available for him. “We just know that the end of every day we will do anything to protect him and keep him happy and healthy,” says Amelia. “Whatever Wyatt needs we will always get it for him because we love him.”
While Wyatt has more medical issues than other cats his age, he is still a very happy and active boy who absolutely loves to play. Not only does this adorable special needs cat enjoy playing with sweatshirt strings and his animal toys, Wyatt has no trouble getting around his house. “He really loves chasing after those sparkle pom balls!” says Amelia. “He will put any toy in his mouth and just carry it around — it is just the cutest thing ever!” He also adores cuddling with his parents, and not only does Wyatt have to sleep between his mom and dad each night, his paws have to be touching — or almost touching — their faces.
Over the past seven months, Wyatt has developed an incredibly special bond with his mom and dad, and this extremely cute cat knows he can rely on Amelia and Alex to give him the best care possible. While Wyatt requires a bit more attention than the average cat, his parents have found that expressing his a bladder a few times a day really isn’t that big of a deal. “Expressing him is easier than having to take a dog outside to go to the bathroom!” says Amelia. “Also, when you love any being this much, nothing is ever too difficult to take care of. Love makes even the hardest things easy.”
While Amelia and Alex adore Wyatt and are constantly impressed by how active and agile he is, they’ve found a lot of well-meaning people pity him and other cats with paralysis and incontinence. However, Amelia is adamant there is no reason for anyone to feel sorry for Wyatt, because not only is he pain-free, he doesn’t let anything stop him from having fun. “The way he gets around is so amazing and he has such a happy life!” says Amelia. “As far as Wyatt is concerned, the only annoying thing to him is these two dangly things that follow him around everywhere!”
By sharing Wyatt’s story, Amelia hopes more people will realize special needs animals aren’t necessarily more expensive or time-consuming to care for than their counterparts. However, this adorable young cat with hind leg paralysis and incontinence is different from the average feline in other ways.
Not only does Wyatt bring a smile to the face of every person he meets, he has been able to establish incredibly deep and meaningful bonds with both of his parents in the short time he has known Amelia and Alex. “He is our soulmate and best friend. I know that some people may find it weird that a kitty is our soulmate, but it completely and utterly describes how we feel about him,” says Amelia. “Wyatt is our whole world — he is amazing.”
To learn more about this adorable cat, you can follow Wyatt on Instagram.