Brave kitten’s big new life

Tinker Toy the kitten lying on a rainbow colored blanket with paw prints
Tinker Toy came to Best Friends with chronic fractures in both front legs, but today she’s all play and love.
By Best Friends staff

Tinker Toy is taking her home by storm. If the gray tabby kitten isn’t darting down the hallway chasing a toy or her shadow, she’s climbing on the cat tree or zipping around the catio. Her adopter, Valerie Yoder, takes it all in stride. In fact, watching Tinker Toy dive into life headfirst makes her happy. Every leap and jump, cuddle and purr is a reminder of how much the kitten has already overcome in her short life.

Brave, young kitten

Tinker Toy came to Best Friends in Salt Lake City from a Utah shelter with her two siblings when they were just a few days old. Valerie, a Best Friends foster volunteer, immediately stepped up to foster the litter. And she noticed soon after she brought them home that Tinker Toy had some swelling in her front legs.

When Dr. Megan McCarthy, Best Friends veterinarian, examined Tinker Toy, she discovered that the kitten had an infection in her left elbow, too. All of this made it difficult for her to walk.

X-rays at a veterinary specialist clinic showed that she had fractures in both of her legs that had healed in place. As for the swelling in her elbow, that would heal in time, they determined. No additional medical intervention was needed.

Tinker Toy went back to Valerie’s home, rejoined her two siblings, and showed Valerie that she was all business about play. She was also affectionate and generous with her love.

Eventually, Tinker Toy’s siblings were adopted, but Valerie couldn’t let Tinker Toy go. Instead, she adopted her. Today, Tinker walks a bit differently from most other cats and can’t fully extend her front leg, but that doesn’t slow her down one bit.

Now, she loves exploring the great outdoors in her harness. And she has a new name: Merida, after the character in the Disney-Pixar film Brave. “She has the same energy and curiosity of any growing kitten,” says Valerie. “She is doing great.”

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