Mercury had a rough start in life. He was found as a kitten at a construction work site where workers were clearing grass with a weedwhacker and accidently cut off his front legs. He was roughly four days old and was brought to an emergency vet that fostered kittens with Scott and Sara Bohn. The vet called Scott and Sara when the kitten was mended and the Bohns have been caring for Mercury all the years ever since.
I asked them after all these years if they were surprised by how well Mercury has adapted to life on two legs.
“Yes. At first, there were not too many two-legged cats around, and especially ones that were so small and young, so we were not entirely sure what to expect.
From previous experience fostering bottle-baby kittens, we knew how to handle all of his kitten needs. My wife had years of experience working with people with disabilities. And it was hours and hours of her working with Mercury on moving around that I think really made a difference. Even as a baby, Mercury had a pretty tenacious personality and he was always up for a challenge.”
“No. We considered one initially, but the companies we contacted at the time had never made such a thing for a cat missing his front legs.
A wheelchair would hamper his ability to run, jump, and even take a nap, so we are not considering one at this time. But as he grows older and his needs change, we would not completely rule one out.”
“Mercury’s biggest challenge has always been watching other cats. He sees them running around and jumping everywhere. He gets very frustrated that he cannot do it as quickly or easily as they can.”
Is he able to jump up onto things or climb up at all? Stairs do not seem to be a problem for him!
“Yes, he has always been able to jump and climb stairs since he was roughly 7 weeks old. When he was younger, we always made a point of training him to jump to higher points. Sometimes it would take a bit of practice, and other times he would surprise us by getting right away.
Currently, he can jump about about 2-1/2 to 3 feet, so he can easily make it to the couch, the bed, and dining room chairs where he spends a lot of his day. Usually under the table, but sometimes we pull the chair out just enough for him to jump on the table to get a snack.”
Does he play with toys like any other cat? How does he play and what’s his favorite type of toy?
“He loves to play with toys. His favorite toys are the DaBird and DaMouse which he bites, thumps with his chest, and kicks with his legs. He snorts at them to intimidate them. We keep them in a closet. As soon as we open the doors, he starts chattering at us and runs over to investigate.
He also likes to run through his tunnel, attacks anything catnip, and battles with the evil red laser dot.”
“Last year, unfortunately we lost Mercury’s favorite cats, Matty and Maeby. Matty was the cat my wife brought with her when she came here and he was always looking for Mercury. Maeby was a another single bottle baby from the same year we got Mercury. She had a feisty personality and they got along like siblings.”