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Meet The Incredibly Cute Cat With Contracted Hind Legs Who Found The Perfect Forever Home With The Couple Who Agreed To Foster Him!

When Dina and her husband Michael learned about Speck, a special needs kitten who needed a foster home, the couple agreed to help the tiny grey cat who was born with severely contracted back legs in March 2018. “Speck came to us through Nikki Kennedy from Fuzzy Butt Rescue & TNR,” explains Dina. “KITTY RIOT TNR had found him — and what she believes to be his three siblings — in a yard in Ridgewood.”

grey rescue cat with contracted back legs
Image via @kittyriottnr on Instagram

On July 26, 2018, Speck was approximately four months old when he arrived at Dina and Michael’s home in Brooklyn, and the couple introduced him to Tilly and Tully, a pair of kittens they were fostering at the time. “We thought it would be good for him to have friends his size,” says Dina, “and then once the two kittens — Tilly and Tully — were old enough, they’d be adopted out together.”

Speck and Tilly/Image via @speck.tacular on Instagram

However, Speck immediately bonded with his new buddies, and over time, Dina realized there was no way she’d be able to separate the adorable trio, so she and her husband adopted all three of the young cats.

Speck and Tully/Image via @speck.tacular on Instagram

“I have a soft spot for animals that need extra attention — the elderly, the sick, the abused,” explains Dina. “A lot of the animals we’ve taken in have some sort of special need, but none are as physically obvious as Speck.” When Speck initially arrived at his foster home, his hind limbs were very constricted, but he was still able to walk, and Dina and Michael did physical therapy with the special kitten in hopes of helping him improve, or at least maintain, his mobility.

Image via @speck.tacular on Instagram

However, Speck’s condition — the cause of which is unknown — worsened quickly over a relatively short period of time, making it impossible for him to walk like a typical cat. “We had tried to keep his legs bent in a normal position but it just wasn’t enough,” explains Dina. “They ended up becoming extremely twisted over time and he no longer has any use of them.”

Image via @speck.tacular on Instagram

Even though Speck is unable to move around like a typical feline, he’s a very happy and active boy who can usually get where he wants to go. “He’s just a regular cat aside from the fact that his hind legs impede his mobility,” says Dina. “He still scoots around on his own — he just can’t get up stairs or jump like normal cats.” Since meeting Speck more than a year ago, Dina and Michael have employed a number of different techniques to keep him as mobile as possible, including water therapy and a wheelchair.

Speck has also seen a number of doctors about his condition, but they haven’t been able to provide a lot of insight into the cause of his unique hind legs. “He’s been taken to several specialists and so far no one has been able to make a definitive diagnosis,” says Dina. However, urine and blood tests have enabled Speck’s family to rule out mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS), a rare genetic disorder.

Image via @speck.tacular on Instagram

“It would be great to at least know what he has so we can kind of know what to expect,” explains Dina, and she and her husband are looking into nerve conduction studies and a visit to an ophthalmologist who might be able to shed some light on Speck’s condition. Regardless of the cause of Speck’s contracted back legs, he’s obviously a very happy cat, and while multiple people — including vets — have recommended putting him to sleep, his parents have no intention of euthanizing him just because he can’t move like the average feline.

“They think special cats are miserable or uncomfortable being alive,” says Dina. “They’re just projecting. Speck is incredibly happy.”

After all, this handsome cat is surround by people and animals who adore him, including Tilly and Tully who have grown up with Speck, as well as three of Dina and Michael’s other cats, Meatball Sue, Bug, and Freckles, who all take turns mothering him.

“Meatball Sue grooms and cuddles him all day long,” says Dina. “She comes running when she hears him meow. Bug, our largest cat, enjoys lounging with him, and Freckles, one of our oldest cats who has raised several litters of foster bottle babies, also adores hanging out with Speck.”

In addition to being with his surrogate parents, Speck loves spending supervised time outside with Tilly and Tully, and there’s seemingly nothing he enjoys more than lounging in the yard of Dina and Michael’s home. “He loves the heat, sun, and sniffing plants,” says Dina. “He’s very demanding and has conditioned us to be in a routine to feed him his breakfast and then take him outside for sunning.”

Image via @speck.tacular on Instagram

Like a lot of special needs cats, especially those with mobility issues, Speck is an excellent communicator who has no trouble telling his parents exactly what he wants and needs. Also, he’s not in any pain or discomfort, and Dina is confident Speck has no idea he’s different from the average feline, so she believes there’s no reason to feel sorry for him or any other kitty with special needs. “They don’t think about their limits — they just live their life and are happy, unaware of their condition,” says Dina. “To them, it’s just how they are and they don’t let it stop them.”

Without a definitive diagnosis, it’s impossible to know exactly what the future holds for Speck, but thanks to his parents there’s no doubt his days will be filled with lots of love and fun, especially because Dina and Michael are more than happy to give this special boy all the care and attention he needs to thrive. “He dictates our lives and we’re perfectly happy with that,” says Dina. “He’s just such a sweet, happy, surly, purring, bitey, stinky ball of love. He means everything.”

Image via @speck.tacular on Instagram

To learn more about his adorable cat, you can follow Speck on Instagram.

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