There’s no doubt that Little Bear is a happy little black cat. His Facebook photos and videos show a kitten with sleek fur and striking yellow-green eyes. He’s a curious, healthy rescue kitten who gets lots of love, loves to play, and (perhaps) has a bit of a naughty streak.
“He is very unique and special,” says his owner, Allie O’Sullivan. “He loves life, and he is always purring.”
Despite his obvious joie de vivre, Little Bear also suffers from significant physical deformities. His rear legs are backward — his left foot should be his right, and vice versa — and he has six toes on one foot. His tail is also crooked and shorter than average. But his front leg deformities are the most severe. Each paw has only three toes and faces inward, making Little Bear look as though he’s giving himself a hug. When he walks, he scoots along on his wrists.
In addition to the difficulty of getting around, Little Bear has to cope with a number of health problems, mainly the extra pressure on his heart and lungs, which could considerably shorten his lifespan. It’s common in cats with his type of deformity.
Like many special-needs kitties, Little Bear might have been euthanized if O’Sullivan had not rescued him from a shelter in New Hampshire. His siblings had similar deformities, but Little Bear’s were the most extreme. O’Sullivan is an experienced pet owner — she has three other cats and two dogs, but she always knew she wanted to “give a special-needs animal a great life.” The moment she saw Little Bear, she knew he was the one.
“They took him out and showed me his legs,” she says. “It broke my heart. I have never felt so much for an animal. He stole my heart immediately. He was the last cat from his litter to be adopted.”