When Dana’s boyfriend Adam called her from a pet store near their home in Hoboken, New Jersey, and asked her to come to the shop to meet a cat who was available for adoption through a local rescue, JerseyCats, she knew the kitty had to be special.
“My boyfriend and I had talked about getting a cat sporadically but never fully decided on getting one,” explains Dana. “One day he went out for a run and on his way back, he ran past the pet shop and decided to stop in.”
Dana was curious about the cat Adam was eager for her to meet, so in March 2017, she went down to the pet store, and her boyfriend introduced her to Amika, a young Persian kitty who had been rescued from the streets of Egypt only a few months earlier.
“When she was found in Egypt, her leg was completely open and it looked as though she might be paralyzed,” says Dana. “She wouldn’t eat or move and her rescuers thought she might die.” While no one was certain how Amika ended up with a massive wound on her leg, an x-ray revealed she also had a broken pelvis, and veterinarians worked to stabilize the fluffy little kitten.
Thousands of miles away in Jersey City, New Jersey, Athina and Mark, a couple that helps transport international kitties in need, heard about Amika, and arranged to have her brought to the United States. “She was flown to Athina here in New Jersey where the vets evaluated her and decided it was best to amputate her leg,” says Dana. “At that point it was doing more harm than good since it was totally stiff and the tendon wasn’t healing to allow any elasticity.”
Athina and Mark, who were fostering the Persian rescue kitten, raised money to cover the cost of the amputation, but on the morning the surgery was scheduled to take place, Amika shocked everyone when she had a miscarriage.
“The vets had had no idea she was pregnant since she wasn’t far along,” explains Dana. Amika was already pregnant when she was transported to the United States, but she was only three weeks along when she had a miscarriage, which is why no one saw the fetus during a routine ultrasound. Following Amika’s miscarriage, doctors decided to postpone the surgery for a few weeks in order to give the young cat time to recover.
“While everyone was waiting for the next appointment, Athina noticed Amika running one day,” says Dana, “and saw her applying some pressure to the back leg.” When the vet saw a video of Amika using her injured leg, they decided it would be best to try laser therapy in hopes of helping the limb heal, and the amputation was canceled.
A few weeks later in March 2017, Amika had improved considerably, so JerseyCats took her to an adoption event at the Hoboken pet store where Adam spotted the resilient kitten and called Dana. “He told me there was a cat there that I needed to come see,” remembers Dana. “I came in and it was little Amika.” While Dana thought Amika was adorable, she was initially uncertain if the fluffy ginger cat was the right pet for her. “I was actually a little hesitant at first,” explains Dana, “because she didn’t really like to be held and didn’t really seem that affectionate.”
Thankfully, Athina, Amika’s foster mom, stopped by the store and answered all of Dana and Adam’s questions and explained everything the Persian rescue cat had already been through during her short life. Convinced that Amika was the right feline for them, Dana and her boyfriend submitted an adoption application, and she joined their family a few days later on March 18, 2017, when she was approximately one year old.
“When we adopted her,” says Dana, “we were still bringing her to her laser therapy appointments about once a week.” Amika continued to make excellent progress, regaining nearly full use of her injured leg, although she still has some stiffness in the limb.
“Pretty much the only lasting issue she has is with a slight lack of flexibility,” explains Dana, “which means she has a tough time cleaning herself.” Otherwise, this fluffy cat — who was rescued from the streets of Egypt with a broken pelvis, pneumonia, and a gaping wound — isn’t all that different from other felines.
“She loves the typical cat toys like balls, feathers, and lasers,” says Dana, “but she’s pretty obsessed with a few household items like bottle caps and toilet paper rolls.” Amika is also extremely vocal, and she spends a lot of time meowing to herself and her parents. However, this fluffy little cat does have one unusual fixation: “She’s obsessed with eggs,” says Dana, “so now I can’t crack a hard boiled egg without her running over and demanding some of it.”
Amika, who Dana thought was a little standoffish the first they met, doesn’t really enjoy being held, but she does like being close to her parents on her own terms. “She loves to sleep on the couch when we’re hanging out,” explains Dana, “and has taken to sleeping under the covers at night in our bed.”
Dana is thrilled that she and Adam adopted Amika, and she hopes other people will be inspired to open their homes to special kitties like her. “So many cats need homes and families and the special needs ones are even more susceptible to being passed over by people who don’t want to put the extra work in,” says Dana. “All of the extra love and care that these animals require comes back in the love and devotion that you feel from your pet.”
Undoubtedly, Amika is devoted to her parents, and since she joined their family last March, she’s formed a close bond with both Dana and Adam. The couple remains committed to giving Amika — who traveled thousands of miles to find them — the best life possible, and when Dana and Adam imagine their future together, this fluffy little cat with the stiff leg is there, begging for eggs, hiding bottle caps under the couch, and meowing her head off.
“I love thinking about years down the road where a lot in my life and my boyfriend’s life and our lives together will change but knowing that Amika will be there no matter what happens or where we are,” says Dana. “Amika means everything.”
To learn more about this gorgeous cat, you can follow Amika on Instagram.