At the very beginning of 2020, a pretty grey kitten with white paws was rescued together with the rest of her litter. The good samaritans, however, realized she had twisted legs. Trying to get the kitty the best care she could receive, they took her to Mojo’s Hope, a rescue organization for animals with special needs based in Anchorage, Alaska.
Shannon Basner, the founder of Mojo’s Hope (and Alaska’s KAAATs), took the kitten, named Lady Purrl, to the vet for evaluation. It turned out that the twisted legs weren’t her only problem.
“The vet team did not have high hopes for her and were very concerned about her quality of life,” Basner told Bored Panda. “They were not really familiar with who we were and how powerful our mission is. Once I spoke with the vet and explained the work we do with each of these unique animals, she proceeded with her exam.”
Purrl was only 1.7 pounds (0.8 kilograms) and was having severe diarrhea. Later, the X-rays indicated she had such a severe fracture in her spine, the vet was unable to tell if it was an accident or congenital.
“When we got her into our regular vet, she spoke with a specialist and it was confirmed her condition was congenital. Her spine was very fragile and there were concerns if jolted it could cause paralysis or even death,” Basner said. “We were very careful with her and I have these special plexiglass kitty condos for our sweet rescues/residents who need a safe place when they cannot be supervised.”
But as Lady Purrl grew stronger, she showed everyone how amazingly resilient she was. Now, she climbs, runs, wrestles, and truly shines.
“Lady Purrl is one of the sweetest and most spunky of kitties,” Basner said. “She has grown into a very affectionate and loving sweetheart who loves lap time!”
“She gets along with everyone in the home and especially with her best buddies Cinder the husky and HarPURR (our paralyzed kitty). She loves to play, snuggle, and is a licker.”
Purrl bonded very strongly with Cinder right from the moment they met. “Cinder is my own dog who has been an amazing mentor to numerous rescues over the years. She is the most fantastic, nurturing sweetheart who absolutely adores her cats! Cinder helped HarPURR when we rescued him and she immediately fell in love with Lady Purrl.”
“Lady Purrl began nursing on Cinder from day 1 and continues to nurse on her to this day. Cinder is her surrogate mom. Purrl and Cinder play together and also groom one another, it is about as precious as it can get! Purrl plays with all of the other cats and loves to wrestle with HarPURR. They are all so precious together. She has the most loving and tender personality.”
Lady Purrl’s legs are not something that can be repaired. But they don’t stop her from growing and living a happy life, too. Nor did her other health issues.
“Once we got her on a special diet (high in fiber) and a special place to relieve herself (she does not use the litter, she uses pee pads), her diarrhea went away and she started blossoming. She grew stronger and stronger,” Basner said. “We got her spayed in May and she recovered beautifully!”
Basner said Lady Purrl’s twisted legs do not stop her from moving around either. “She is like lightning when it is nom-nom time or getting to where she wants to go. She loves to climb and explore (while being carefully supervised).”
Basner runs the rescue from her home and has to consider the needs of all the residents and rescues to ensure that those needs are being met. She said Purrl’s special bond with Cinder and HarPURR made it abundantly clear that this is the home she wanted so it’s the place she is staying in.
“I also had to consider what may happen as she continues to age and keeping her with us will help us to monitor her closely. We cannot predict that she will stay in good health, but with routine vet visits, quality care, and all the love, we hope she will be with us for a very long time,” Basner explained.
The woman truly admires the camaraderie in her home. “The beautiful friendships and bonds that develop here between species and across is something extraordinary. I feel so fortunate every day to be surrounded by such love, positivity, and sass. Their daily interactions are uniquely special and they sure do know how to keep me on my toes!”
November 13th was a wonderful milestone for the entire family as Purrl had her 1st birthday! “For a kitten that some didn’t think had a good quality life, she sure showed how resilient, strong, and wonderful she is. We always assess very carefully and when we see that glimmer of spunk, sass, insPURRation, and determination, we will do whatever we can to give each one the best life possible.”
“Each one teaches us so much about what we can do and how to never give up! Purrl overcame so much at the beginning of her little life and she showed everyone that she is a true warrior kitty,” Basner said.