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Severely injured cat gets help at Sanctuary

Snowflake is an extraordinary cat. In California, she was hit by a car and severely injured. But, despite having completely lost the use of her back legs, she managed to drag herself back to her kittens, who were helpless and waiting for her under a trailer.

At that time, Snowflake, barely a year old, was still a kitten herself. And she was in serious trouble because of her injuries. With no family or home and no one to claim her, the outlook for a cat like Snowflake could be very grim. But luck was on her side; volunteers for Stray Cat Alliance (part of Best Friends' NKLA Coalition to save the pets of Los Angeles) found her and raced her to a vet. The vet was able to fix Snowflake's broken pelvis. But the nerve damage was too much; she would never use her back legs again.

Snowflake came from Stray Cat Alliance part of NKLALove and acceptance

But, like so many other special-needs animals, Snowflake came to Best Friends where she found love and acceptance. And, because she was so young and otherwise healthy, she adapted quickly to her limited mobility and learned to get around by walking on her front legs and dragging her hindquarters. But the friction, combined with her incontinence, was giving her painful sores. Her caregivers, in a creative attempt to make her more comfortable, found a woman who made custom cat clothes. They measured Snowflake and asked the woman to make her several knitted dresses that would act as a buffer between Snowflake's paralyzed legs and the floor.

But, while adorable, the dresses didn't work as well as her caregivers had hoped, and it was clear that Snowflake needed more serious intervention. So Best Friends veterinarians removed her back legs. Now, Snowflake is much more comfortable, and she is continuing to receive top-notch medical care at the Sanctuary.

A happy life

Snowflake has made many feline friends at Best FriendsHappy and living the good life, Snowflake zooms around the lobby of Quincy House (the building in Cat World for special-needs cats where she lives) as though there's nothing in the world the matter. And she's surrounded by friends: not only do her caregivers, visitors and volunteers love her, but she has endeared herself to the other cats. A nurturer at heart, she's always grooming them and loving them.

Though she is still quite young, Snowflake has truly become the "mama cat" of the group. She enjoys snuggling and hanging out with everyone, and she has a special bond with other special-needs cats. For example, she will lean forward so that Duke, a cat with cerebellar hypoplasia, can touch her forehead for reassurance.

A brave little firecracker

If you come to Best Friends, and, in particular, to Cat World, stop by and meet Snowflake. She'll be the one scooting around like a firecracker, licking the faces of the other cats. No one is more deserving of the spacious, sunny catteries, full of furry friends, scenic views and adventures, than this brave little momma cat. And while she is enjoying her new life, her kittens are too; they all found great homes. Snowflake is sure to find one, too.

Learn more about adoptable cats at the Sanctuary.

Check out resources for pets with special needs.

Photos by Molly Wald