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Meet The Adorable Kitty With Dwarfism Who Found An Amazing Home After He And His Siblings Were Rescued From A Feral Cat Colony!

When Miranda Joy Turpin visited a pet store near her home in Eureka, California, the day before her birthday in November 2018, she wasn’t planning to adopt a pet, but a cute kitten caught her eye as she was on her way out.

ginger cat with dwarfism
Image via @normal.the.cat on Instagram

“As I was leaving the store, I spotted that little ball of orange fluff curled up on the bottom of the cat condo and I had to go take a look,” remembers Miranda. Her family had multiple ginger tabbies while she was growing up, so Miranda intended to take a few photos of the cute rescue kitten to send to her mother and sisters.

 

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“I pulled out my camera and started talking to the little kitten to get his attention,” says Miranda. “As soon as he lifted his head and looked at me with his big green eyes, my heart skipped a beat. It was truly love at first sight.”

ginger cat with dwarfism
Image via @normal.the.cat on Instagram

Smitten with the little cat, Miranda asked a member of the rescue organization, Spay Humboldt, if she could hold him, and while cuddling the adorable kitten — who was named Pugsley at the time — she learned about his life before he was rescued.

ginger cat with dwarfism
Image via @normal.the.cat on Instagram

“He was born in a feral cat colony where he and his siblings were thankfully rescued from a very young age,” explains Miranda, but as the kitten and his litter mates developed, it became apparent he was different from the other members of his family. “He was much smaller than his siblings. His eyes seemed too big for his head, his lip was cleft, he had very few teeth, his legs were stumpy and bowed, and his breathing sounded like a pug’s.”

ginger cat with dwarfism
Normal and his siblings in their foster home/Image via @normal.the.cat on Instagram

Eventually, the young cat was diagnosed with feline dwarfism, a congenital condition that can lead to stunted growth and abnormal body proportions. In addition to looking different from typical felines, cats with dwarfism can have a host of health issues, including heart and lung problems, neurological challenges, and mobility difficulties.

 

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“The rescue organization made it very clear that he would likely have health issues his whole life and so they wanted him to go to someone that was prepared to deal with that,” remembers Miranda. After giving herself a night to think it over, Miranda was confident she would be able to give the diminutive cat the care he needed to thrive, so she returned the following morning to complete an adoption application.

 

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When she discovered 15 other people had already applied to adopt Pugsley, Miranda feared she wouldn’t be chosen to adopt him, but she went ahead and purchased the supplies needed to welcome the approximately two-month-old feline to her home. Thankfully, her application wasn’t rejected, but she did have to go through a phone interview and a home visit. “On the day of the home visit, I became so sick with worry that they would reject my application,” says Miranda. “I had fallen so in love with him and I could not imagine my life without him after that.”

ginger cat with dwarfism
Image via @normal.the.cat on Instagram

A week after meeting the special needs kitten for the first time, Miranda’s application was approved, allowing her to adopt the tiny ginger kitten! Wanting to give him a new name to go with his new life, Miranda contemplated a number of different monikers before settling on the perfect one. “My brother suggested I name him Nermal, after the kitten from the Garfield comics,” explains Miranda. “As soon as he suggested that, I thought of the name ‘Normal’ and there was no going back.”

ginger cat with dwarfism
Image via @normal.the.cat on Instagram

It didn’t take long for Normal to settle into his forever home, and not only did he form a close relationship with Miranda, he also bonded with her dogs, Juno and Jasper. More than a year later, Normal is doing well, but due to his unique facial structure, he often has runny eyes. “Normal hates it when I clean his face, but thankfully my terrier Jasper helps me out with that and bathes Normal on a daily basis, which Normal loves,” says Miranda.

 

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Plus, because Normal has constricted airways, not only does he make a snorting sound when he breathes, he is prone to upper respiratory infections. Fortunately, he’s only had a few upper respiratory infections since he was adopted by Miranda.

 

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Also, Normal never lost his baby teeth, so it’s possible he will have dental issues in the future, and due to his unique skeletal structure, he may be more likely to develop joint and back issues. However, Miranda monitors his health very closely, which means she’ll be able to address any medical issues as soon as they present themselves. “Thankfully, Normal is a relatively healthy cat,” says Miranda.

 

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Unfortunately, a lot of other kitties with dwarfism aren’t as lucky as Normal, which is one of the many reasons Miranda discourages people from buying dwarf cats from breeders. “I love Normal and I think he is perfect,” explains Miranda, “but I would never dream of breeding any animal with dwarfism just because they are cute.”

ginger cat with dwarfism
Image via @normal.the.cat on Instagram

Not only are shelters and rescues filled with wonderful cats who are desperately in need of families, Miranda knows Normal is likely to have health challenges in the future because of dwarfism, and she believes it would irresponsible to breed an animal with his congenital condition.

ginger cat with dwarfism
Image via @normal.the.cat on Instagram

“Amazing cats like Normal exist in shelters all over the country, and they are waiting to find their forever homes,” says Miranda. “Though they do require some extra care, they can live full and happy lives.” Thankfully, Miranda is able to give Normal the additional attention he needs to thrive, but she has encountered people who believe he must be suffering simply because of his appearance and unusual breathing.

 

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“I’ve literally had people tell me I should put him down, which is absolutely ridiculous!” says Miranda. “He is the happiest being I know.” Like a typical cat, this handsome ginger boy loves eating and sleeping, and he enjoys spending supervised time with Miranda in the backyard while she tends to her vegetable garden. Normal also adores going on walks with his mom and dog siblings, but there’s nothing he enjoys more than just snuggling at home with his canine best friends.

 

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“Jasper especially is like a second mom to him,” says Miranda. “They will play and snuggle, and Jasper takes his job of cleaning Normal’s face very seriously. It warms my heart to see their love for each other.” Miranda hopes by sharing Normal’s story, more people will consider opening their homes to special needs cats, but she strongly recommends getting pet insurance before adopting any animal.

ginger cat with dwarfism
Image via @normal.the.cat on Instagram

“They do require extra levels of care, but at the end of the day, rescuing a special needs animal will be the most rewarding thing you will ever do,” says Miranda. After all, when she visited a pet supply store the day before her birthday, Miranda had no intention of adding another member to her family, and now it’s impossible for her to imagine her life without Normal in it. “He loves me so much and I love him so much in return,” says Miranda. “Normal has accessed recesses of my heart that I didn’t even know existed.”

ginger cat with dwarfism
Image via @normal.the.cat on Instagram

To learn more about this adorable cat, you can follow Normal on Instagram.

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