‘She is truly miraculous’: Oliver cat with malformed back legs in search of forever home
The start of a new year is filled with hope and resolutions for a better life. For a little cat named Mirielle, that means finally finding the right home and the right family to love her.
“Mirielle. It’s French or Latin, I believe, and it means miraculous,” said Theresa Nolet, vice president of AlleyCats Alliance. “And she is truly miraculous because I cannot believe that she has been able to survive out there on her own, on the streets raising litter after litter of kittens and still be in such good health and condition.”
AlleyCats Alliance is a non-profit organization in Penticton that has been providing rescue, rehab and adoption to feral, orphaned cats and kittens around the valley.
The organization rescued Mirielle from the streets of Oliver, where the cat had been residing with her two kittens.
What’s special about this particular cat is she was born was severely malformed back legs, potentially from a birth defect.
“If you see her walking around, she’s fine on carpets but she has truncated back legs,” said Garry Mitchell, current foster parent to Mirielle. “When she’s on a smooth surface, she really has to pull herself across that surface with her front legs, but on carpets she’s fine. Going up and down stairs is also fine for her.”
This is Mitchell’s first experience with fostering a cat, a decision born out of a busy schedule but a desire to help animals in need.
“Actually, with her, it’s been absolutely fantastic. She’s just a really adorable cat,” Mitchell said. “She’s obviously been socialized, simply because she’s a very friendly, really loving cat.”
Mitchell said that a home with carpets and adults would be best to accommodate the cat’s special needs. He added that seeing her find a home will be bittersweet.
“We love having her but, at the same time, we recognize that somewhere out there is someone who will provide a loving home for her and provide care over a much longer period of time,” Mitchell said.
Mirielle is a polydactyl cat which means she has extra toes. She also has a shorter tail which she wags adorably like a puppy.
Nolet and the team at AlleyCats Alliance are pleading with the public to do one important thing to help reduce the feral cat population in the Okanagan.
“Please spay and neuter your cats,” Nolet encouraged. “We do offer a program, as do many other organizations, to low-income families so that we can assist them to get their cats spayed and neutered.”
Since AlleyCats Alliance began, close to 1,700 cats have been assisted in one way or another, generally from Osoyoos to Kelowna.
“This organization was started in 2012 by five women who’ve all been in rescue most of our lives and we just saw a need,” Nolet said. “A lot of the other areas of rescue are addressed, but the feral cats and the colonies, there was no one really that people could turn to for help.”
Anyone wishing to learn more about Mirielle or assist through volunteering or fostering is asked to contact AlleyCats Alliance.
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