When we saw Posie on Instagram, we immediately fell in love, in part because we absolutely adore torties, but also because she refuses to allow her special needs to keep her from having fun and enjoying life! We reached Posie’s mom Megan, who is the president of Rafiki’s Rescue, a non-profit organization in Anaheim, California, that is dedicated to rescuing and finding homes for cats and dogs with special needs.
We learned Posie was rescued from an animal hoarding situation, which likely contributed to her paralysis and incontinence, as well as how this gorgeous girl has overcome multiple health issues since she was rescued in 2020. Megan also told us about the many adventures she and Posie have had over the last two years, which really touched us because we traveled all over the United States with Mittens, our first special needs cat.
We really enjoyed learning Posie’s story, and we hope you’ll find this stunning tortie as inspiring as we did!
Meow As Fluff: How did you meet Posie?
Megan: I first received a video of Posie from a fellow local rescuer. In the video, she was walking around with her “bunny hop” as she does today. I have a reputation for taking in special needs cases and word of her situation was sent my way.
I saw her adorable video and immediately said, “Oh, that is mine!” I had no idea what it was getting into. When Posie first arrived, she would not stop crying. I remember it so specifically because she is just as needy today. It was not a scared cry, it was an attention cry and she could not stand going through her 2-week quarantine.
I genuinely feared she would pass out from yelling out so nonstop for days on end unless I was holding her. To this day she cries when I leave the room or simply go to the bathroom without her!
MAF: Can you tell us a bit about Posie’s life before she was rescued?
M: Posie was about five weeks old and came from an accidental hoarding situation. The family had responded to a Craigslist ad asking for fosters. They wanted to do good and foster some cats, but the person dumped two pregnant cats on their porch and blocked their numbers. When they couldn’t afford to vet the cats, they began multiplying. For years no rescues stepped up to help them. We fixed all of the adults and found homes or rescues for them and took on Posie ourselves.
MAF: How did Posie get her name?
M: Posie’s name was actually the recommendation of a dear rescue friend, Dominique, who runs Rags to Riches Animal Rescue in Florida. I reached out to her for ideas and Posie was the instant winner. It fit perfectly. This was before I knew she would have so many poop issues though, so now she is “Poosey Posie” or “Poosie” half of the time
MAF: Can you tell me a little bit about the cause of her hind leg paralysis and incontinence?
M: There is a lot of debate about whether Posie’s condition is a result spinal of injury, congenital deformity, or both. Taking the input from each specialist she has seen, I think it’s most likely that it is both. She also has internal congenital problems as well relating to her digestive tract and chronic inflammation.
MAF: What are some of the biggest misconceptions you think people have about cats with paralysis and incontinence?
M: The biggest misconception about paralyzed cases is that they take a lot of work. In some cases, I believe them to be easier than a “normal” cat. No need for a litter box! The best way I can describe caring for any special needs case versus a “normal” cat is that they are a bit more like committing to a dog. A dog needs to be walked daily and provided adequate human interaction. It’s not difficult, it’s just different.
MAF: What are some of the challenges — if any — you and Posie have faced as a result of her special needs?
M: Some of the bigger challenges with Posie are not her incontinence, but her body’s sensitivities. I have to be incredibly in tune to catch the slightest decline because her body can go downhill fast and require hospitalization far faster than the average cat. When she’s doing good, she’s fantastic. When she’s not, it’s like a switch goes off in the blink of an eye.
Luckily, we’ve gotten her to a place health-wise that we feel very confident with and she has gone the longest she ever has without needing additional medical attention. I am hopeful we have finally figured her little body out and that those days are behind us.
MAF: What are Posie’s favorite activities?
M: Because Posie has to travel with me when I travel, she has become quite the adventurer. She loves hikes and road trips. She just loves to go anywhere at all.
She’s not the biggest fan of strangers but adores traveling in her backpack. We are not supporters of off-leash, outdoor cats, but with Posie’s condition, she cannot physically jump walls and so we allow her in our backyard with us, supervised. We discovered that she absolutely loves to play fetch in the yard with our dogs!
MAF: Is Posie available for adoption?
M: Posie is a forever foster and will not be available for adoption. We are huge believers that most special needs cases can find their perfect home and do not have to live in a sanctuary or rescue for their life. However, Posie has too many very sensitive internal issues and her vets advised that she remain with the rescue, especially considering how well I know and understand her body now.
It’s important to catch things quickly with her. Even if she was ever deemed adoptable, I would never be able to let her go and would absolutely adopt her myself. I am very good about saying goodbye to my fosters, but Posie and I have something different and it would not be fair to her to leave me.
MAF: What does Posie mean to you?
M: Posie is my heart and soul and the constant reminder of why I do what I do. The bond I have with this cat is like nothing else. Funnily enough, I never had a thing for tortoiseshell cats before her. I wasn’t their biggest fan quite frankly, but this cat has captured my heart, and now every tortie has a place in my heart.
I love all of my fosters so so dearly. I consider them my own until they leave me — and even thereafter. So the day Posie arrived, I looked at her and said, “I don’t know it yet, but I am going to love you so much.” I look back at those words and I truly had no idea at all. I love her so much it hurts.
To learn more about this gorgeous girl, you can follow Posie on Instagram.