Mercury was found when he was about 4 days old (just over 5 ounces in weight, and eyes still shut, born about September 3rd/4th 2013), and we believe he was hit with a weed whacker since people in the neighbourhood had been doing yard work in tall grass shortly before he was found. He was taken to our vet, his wounds were cleaned up, and we were then called to care for him since we do a lot of bottle babies and special needs kitties for rescues. We fed him around the clock, and cleaned his wounds multiple times a day until they fully closed over. As far as bottle babies are concerned, he was actually very calm and content, only crying when he was hungry or wanting a cuddle. He grew well, and from the very start he would move on his own.
As he has grown we worked on different aspects of movement with him- pushing himself with his back legs, balancing in an upright position, jumping from various positions, moving on different surfaces, jumping from one place to another and so on. The more he grew, the better he got at each one, and he can now run on most surfaces, climb stairs, jump on to and off the couch, and balance better than almost any other cat. Mercury does everything other cats do- he plays with toys, he jumps, plays with other cats and dogs, sleeps on the bed, uses a litter box, and believes he is the king of the world and should be worshiped. We still encourage Mercury to move his body in his way, and try to get him to do as much as he can on his own- carrying him around and doing things for him does not help him be a strong independent cat.
We have had Mercury in to see the vet regularly, and she is pleased with his progress. His radiographs, taken in December and February have shown he is developing on track, and that there is no problems with his spine or hips due to moving differently. As he grows, we will keep checking this periodically, so that if anything does change we will know as soon as possible. In terms of Mercury’s injuries, his right arm goes down to just before the elbow, his left goes to after the elbow, but before the paw, and his left back foot only has one toe. As Mercury has grown, he had no use of his right arm, and in fact that arm stays against his ribs, and is not even in the tissue of the arm anymore. His left arm had almost no use either, and as Mercury started to jump around it pulled away from the shoulder, and the muscles never developed. Neither cause him pain, and due to the nerve clusters in the armpits we don’t want to remove either. He has full use of his back foot, but doesn’t have great grip/balance due to the missing toes.
When Mercury was about a month old we started contacting animal prosthetic places to see what options there may be for him. He is not a candidate for a prosthetic leg on either front foot, as we were told he would need at least 40% of the limb intact, and working joints, which he does not have. As for wheels, every place we contacted told us that they had never made a front wheel chair for a cat before, and none were sure if a cat would accept one. He cannot be assessed for one until he stops growing, which will be at least 9 months old, and maybe older. In order to have wheels he would need to be restrained with something similar to a harness, and even though we have had him in those regularly since he could fit into them, they don’t stay in place on him, and he refuses to move around in them very much. His chest muscles, because he doesn’t have front arms to move, are not very well developed, especially compared to his stomach and thigh muscles. This could hinder him when he comes to being assessed for one. This all means that if Mercury needs one as he gets older, it is likely to have to be something special that is designed to suit him. At the moment we don’t have a great option, so he needs to keep working what he does have, and we need to encourage him to do as much as possible on his own. We appreciate all the suggestions we get for him, but at the moment we can’t really do anything until he is fully grown.
Mercury absolutely loves life, and has the most inquisitive personality. If he sees something outside he runs to the window to watch, if a new toy or scratching post is brought in he is the first to run over and check it out, he has the biggest purr when he is being petted, and if he doesn’t like something or you aren’t doing what he wants he will yell at you until he gets his way. For everyone that loves the little guy, thank you very much for liking, commenting and sharing Mercury. It would take me weeks to thank you all individually, but we really do love and appreciate everyone’s support. This is from Mercury’s Facebook page
Mercury will be on the Pet Radio show, and you can listen HERE