When Atoosa discovered a mother cat and her young kitten living on the streets near her home in Tehran, Iran, she began feeding the adorable pair in January 2021. The kitten, who appeared to be less than two months old, was very friendly and sweet, and Atoosa looked forward to seeing her and her mother when she visited them twice a day to bring them food. “She was a lovely and playful kitty,” remembers Atoosa.
However, two weeks after meeting the duo for the first time, Atoosa went to the site where she usually fed them, only to discover the kitten was seriously injured and unable to move. “Someone hit her and abandoned her in the street,” says Atoosa. “Unfortunately, one of her front legs was completely crushed because of the car accident.”
Shocked, Atoosa scooped up the injured feline and rushed her to the vet. A thorough examination revealed the tiny tabby and white kitten weighed just 500 grams, and she had suffered severe trauma to one of her front and one of her back legs. “[The vet said] her front leg would need to be amputated and her rear leg had eight fractures and the vet said there was only a five percent chance of saving her back leg,” remembers Atoosa. “The vet said that the best decision for her was euthanasia.”
However, Atoosa couldn’t bear the thought of giving up on the little kitten, especially because she knew firsthand how resilient cats can be. After all, before she adopted her, Atoosa’s cat Danette had suffered severe abuse that left her paralyzed and incontinent, but with Atoosa’s help — and excellent medical care — she has been able to live a very happy and active life. “We didn’t accept euthanasia and started [the kitten’s] treatment,” says Atoosa.
While the kitten — who Atoosa named Dora — had to have her front leg amputated, Atoosa was determined to do her best to try to save her hind limb.
Over the course of the next three weeks, she took Dora to the vet every day to have her bandages changed, and the tabby and white kitten ended up being able to keep her back leg! “Unfortunately, one of her rear leg’s toes was infected and the vet amputated it,” says Atoosa, but it was a relatively small price to pay for Dora to be able to keep the rest of the limb.
During her recovery, Dora not only healed, she also bonded with Atoosa’s other cat, a Siberian named Amitis. In fact, the moment Atoosa brought the injured kitten home, Amitis fell in love with her. “I think Amitis loved Dora as her own baby!” says Atoosa. “Because of the strong bond, we decided to keep her, and of course we love Dora so much as well!”
Two months after she was rescued, Dora is doing extremely well, although she’s still unable to walk like a typical cat. However, Atoosa is just grateful the three-legged feline is able to walk at all, especially considering Dora was unable to move when she found her on the street in February 2021. “We have to be more careful about her because she lost a leg and her back leg isn’t completely normal,” says Atoosa, “but generally she is okay now.”
In fact, while Atoosa has found people often assume three-legged cats aren’t as happy and active as their four-legged counterparts, that definitely hasn’t been her experience with Dora. “Dora can do everything that a ‘normal’ cat does,” says Atoosa, “and even she’s more playful than a ‘normal’ kitty!”
Like a typical four-month-old kitten, Dora loves to play, especially with balls and Amitis’s fluffy tail. She also adores snuggling, and this beautiful three-legged girl can often be found cuddling with Amitis, her surrogate cat mom. “She just loves her so much and they cuddle and groom each other most of the time!” says Atoosa.
By sharing Dora’s story, Atoosa hopes more people will consider opening their homes to special needs cats, either by rescuing or adopting them. She believes paralyzed cats like Danette and three-legged felines like Dora make wonderful pets, but it’s up to people to give them the care, attention, and love they need to have happy lives.
“They are even more lovely and kind than ‘normal’ cats,” says Atoosa. “Being a special needs cat or a tripod cat doesn’t mean they aren’t as beautiful as other cats — they are even stronger and sweeter!”
Not only is Dora strong and sweet, she’s also incredibly resilient and inspiring, and Atoosa is thankful this gorgeous girl is a part of her family. “She’s our little miracle,” says Atoosa. “She’s really sweet and I love her so much.”
To learn more about this beautiful kitten, you can follow Dora on Instagram.