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Meet The Incredibly Cute Cat With Mucopolysaccharidosis Who Found The Perfect Forever Home With The Woman Who Rescued Him From The Streets!

When Melissa Yellowega learned about a sick stray kitten who had started showing up at her dad’s business for food and water, she knew she had to help the young black and white cat. “He looked very sickly — upper respiratory infection, worn down whiskers, goopy eyes,” remembers Melissa. “In seeing him, I knew I had to take him to the vet and provide the care he needed because he was such a small, frail kitten.”

black and white rescue cat with mucopolysaccharidosis MPS VII
Image via @luckyluxyboy on Instagram

In July 2020, Melissa brought the kitten to a vet near her home in Ontario, Canada, and an examination revealed he was approximately four weeks old. However, the young cat didn’t have any teeth, which was unusual because most kittens’ incisors start to emerge when they’re around three weeks old. “Originally, I was not planning on keeping him as I already had two cats and two dogs,” says Melissa, “but it didn’t take long before our hearts changed!”

black and white rescue cat with mucopolysaccharidosis MPS VII
Image via @luckyluxyboy on Instagram

While the kitten — who Melissa named Lucky, or Lux for short — had found a great forever home, he began having mobility issues not long after he was rescued. “The vets diagnosed Lux with CH [cerebellar hypoplasia] because he was able to walk as a kitten and then would lose his ability to walk for a week or so and then regain it,” explains Melissa.

 

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A post shared by Lux (@luckyluxyboy)

However, cerebellar hypoplasia is a non-progressive neurological condition that occurs when a cat is born with an underdeveloped cerebellum, and it doesn’t get better or worse over time, nor do the symptoms of CH come and go.

 

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A post shared by Lux (@luckyluxyboy)

Consequently, Melissa suspected Lux may have been misdiagnosed, so she did some research on her own and discovered mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS). “Mucopolysaccharidosis is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by an enzyme deficiency and improper digestion of GAGs (glycosaminoglycans),” says Melissa. “There are three types of mucopolysaccharidosis in cats: MPS I, MPS VI, and VII.”

Image via @luckyluxyboy on Instagram

Mucopolysaccharidosis causes affected cats to have a number of symptoms, including dwarfism, bone degeneration, corneal clouding, mental disorders, stunted growth, paralysis, thickening of the heart valves, enlarged livers, skeletal abnormalities, and facial deformities. Lux had many of the traits described in the articles Melissa read about MPS, so she contacted her vet and told them about her suspicions. “We were able to have blood work and a urine smear done and he was then diagnosed with MPS VII,” remembers Melissa.

black and white rescue cat with mucopolysaccharidosis MPS VII
Image via @luckyluxyboy on Instagram

Sadly, cats with MPS have shortened life expectancies, but Melissa refused to allow this to discourage her. Instead, she decided to do everything in her power to make the most of Lux’s time on Earth. “We wanted to provide him with as much care and the best possible chance at a happy, healthy life,” says Melissa.

black and white rescue cat with mucopolysaccharidosis MPS VII
Image via @luckyluxyboy on Instagram

Nearly a year after he was rescued, Lux is doing well, although his mobility has declined over time, so he needs help eating, drinking, and using the litter box. Thankfully, Melissa and her family don’t mind giving this adorable boy the extra care and attention he needs to have a good quality of life. “It works,” says Melissa, “and we will continue to do all of this for him.”

 

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A post shared by Lux (@luckyluxyboy)

However, Melissa realizes not everyone is willing or able to provide this level of care, and she’s also encountered people who believe cats with MPS VII must be suffering. Fortunately, Lux isn’t unhappy or in pain, and he found the perfect home with people who are more than willing to do whatever it takes for him to thrive. “It’s a commitment that one needs to make, but it’s one that you’ll never regret!” says Melissa, and she hopes more people will consider opening their homes to kitties like Lux. “Special needs cats are so deserving and they make perfect family members.”

black and white rescue cat with mucopolysaccharidosis MPS VII
Image via @luckyluxyboy on Instagram

Like a typical cat, Lux loves to play, he enjoys watching bird videos, and he adores food. He also likes spending supervised time outside, and Melissa takes him on adventures so he can enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors. “He is my biggest priority and seeing his cute face every day makes my days that much brighter,” says Melissa.

 

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A post shared by Lux (@luckyluxyboy)

When she named him Lucky, Melissa thought this beautiful black and white boy was the fortunate one, because rescuing him meant he would no longer have to endure the hardships of a life on the streets.

black and white rescue cat with mucopolysaccharidosis MPS VII
Image via @luckyluxyboy on Instagram

However, nearly a year later, Melissa now knows she and her family are the lucky ones because they get to share their lives with this truly remarkable cat. “Lux means the world to me!” says Melissa. “He has changed my life for the better and my priorities have changed for the better since getting him.”

black and white rescue cat with mucopolysaccharidosis MPS VII
Image via @luckyluxyboy on Instagram

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

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