When Linda stopped by her vet’s office near her home in south Florida to pick up medication for her family’s Pomeranian, an adorable Persian cat with big green eyes immediately grabbed her attention. “I saw him scooting around on the floor behind the receptionist’s desk and I asked about him,” remembers Linda.
She learned the fluffy cat was named Wolf — or Wolfie for short — and he was available for adoption, having been surrendered to the veterinary practice by a breeder. “He was born with a disability,” explains Linda, and she eventually discovered he had hip dysplasia and malformed knees, making it impossible for Wolfie to walk like a typical cat.
Due to his congenital anomalies, the breeder determined Wolfie — who was born on August 1, 2011 — wasn’t fit to be sold. However, it was obvious from Wolfie’s condition when Linda met him for the first time in March 2014, that he had been neglected by the breeder who eventually surrendered him.
“He had not been well cared for,” says Linda. “His fur was matted and he weighed 4.6 pounds.” While Linda wasn’t planning to adopt a cat, especially one with special needs, she felt an instant connection with the malnourished and bedraggled 3-year-old Persian. “I drove home from the vet’s office crying my eyes out,” remembers Linda. “He was in such bad shape.”
Shortly after arriving home, Linda called her husband and told him he had to come with her to see Wolfie. “A few hours later, he was just as much in love with him as I was and we brought him home immediately,” says Linda. “We never hesitated giving him a home because of his inability to walk.”
Not long after adopting Wolfie, Linda took him to an orthopedist to learn more about his congenital conditions, as well as to find out if there were any medical options available to improve his mobility. “We were told that there was no operation or treatment that could repair his hips and legs,” explains Linda, “but it was reassuring to hear that he was not in any pain.”
While it took a little while for Linda and her husband to adjust to life with a special needs cat, nearly five years after they adopted him, Wolfie and his parents are doing great. Even though this handsome Persian can’t climb or jump on to high places — like his mom and dad’s bed or the kitchen counters — Wolfie has control of his bladder and bowels, and he’s able to use the litter box.
Still, Wolfie — whose weight has nearly doubled since his parents adopted him — does have some special grooming requirements due to being a Persian cat with both hip dysplasia and malformed knees. “He sometimes gets his tushy dirty after using the litter box and needs a butt bath,” says Linda. “He also needs haircuts since the fur on his butt gets tangled from the scooting if it grows too long.”
Aside from these relatively minor issues, Linda has found Wolfie to be easier to take of than a lot of people might think, especially because this outspoken boy has no trouble letting his mom and dad know when he needs their help. “He is very vocal and adamant about when he wants to get up somewhere,” explains Linda. “He will meow and scratch when he wants to be picked up or wants to sit in your lap. He definitely demands a lot of attention.”
While this 7-year-old Persian is unable to get certain places on his own — like the couch — Wolfie is perfectly capable of jumping down from some spots by himself. To cushion his landings, Wolfie’s parents have placed thick rugs near his favorite areas, and if he ever needs their help getting down from someplace, Linda and her husband are always happy to help him. “He does require more attention and care than ‘regular’ cats who can be very independent,” says Linda.
Even though Wolfie is more dependent than a typical feline, he still has a full and active life filled with fun. When he’s not chasing after his beloved feather toy, this adorable Persian boy enjoys trying to wrestle with his brother, licking his catnip fish, taking in the sights from his home’s balcony, and scooting at full speed towards his parents in hopes of getting some of his favorite treat, coconut oil. “He’s absolutely obsessed with it and demands it daily,” says Linda.
Like the average cat, Wolfie loves taking naps, but there’s nothing this special kitty enjoys more than spending quality time with his mom and dad. “His favorite activity is being held and carried and having his belly scratched,” says Linda. “He’s a very affectionate kitty — he gives lots of kisses and can cuddle with you all day! ”
While it’s impossible to deny that Wolfie needs more attention and care than a lot of other cats his age, Linda is confident special needs pets like this exceptionally loving boy are worth the extra effort and time they require. “Giving them a home is not necessarily a full-time job,” says Linda. “They can have great lives, and that they’ll be the most thankful, loving cats in return.”
It’s obvious Wolfie, who spent the first few years of his life being neglected by his former owner, is grateful to have such a wonderful forever home. However, it’s Linda and her husband who consider themselves fortunate to have such a determined and affectionate cat to share their lives with. “He inspires us, he teaches us patience and resilience, and he doesn’t take ‘No’ for an answer!” says Linda. “He really is our world!”
To learn more about this handsome cat, you can follow Wolfie on Instagram.