Clark Kent, Super Kitten

Clark came to us, again, from Henderson County. He was part of a litter of strays being looked after by a family. One day, they noticed that little Clark couldn’t walk. They took him to the shelter, where we came across him. We took him in to foster to assess him, and what we found was a half-paralyzed kitten with a major personality. Clark doesn’t have use of his back legs, and feels no pain in them. We do, however, think he might have a bit of use of his tail. He had control of his inner workings, so we needed to get him upright so his growing kitten body did not grow…weird.

After doing countless hours of research online, it was determined that there just wasn’t a mobility cart available for the size of a five-week old kitten. Terry decided that she was going to build him one. We found a product called “InstaMorph Moldable Plastic”—plastic beads that could be melted down in hot water and sculpted into any shape.

About twenty attempts and a pair of wooden wheels later, and Clark had a cart! He was very skeptical about this contraption he was in at first, but it didn’t take him long to start running at full speeds through Terry’s home. 

Clark's story has reached people internationally. This little cat's spunky nature has resonated with a lot of folks, and he's become famous as a result. Buncombe County Schools has featured stories about him. Clark has visited a Middle School STEM class, and the students worked as a team to build him a cart that could grow with him!

Our attempts to rehabilitate Clark's legs, unfortunately, never amounted to anything. After talking with his vets, his foster, and his rehab doctors, it was decided that amputating both of his legs would medically be the best thing for him. 

Clark has healed up beautifully, and actually moves better than he ever did. He's happy, healthy, stable, and will find his special home soon.

 Photo courtesy of  Buncombe County Schools

Photo courtesy of
Buncombe County Schools

Stephen

Stephen, a six year old tuxedo, was turned into the Hendersonville County Animal Services when he turned up on the doorstep of a family. He had a large, abscessed wound on his head, and they had no idea what to do. The shelter took him in and got him healed up. As he got better and the swelling went down, it was apparent that Stephen had some brain damage from whatever happened to him. (We learned later that Stephen had been living as a stray in a burned-out home with a colony of ferals. There had been a fight, and Stephen fell out of a second-story window right onto his head. He ran off before he could be caught and helped, and turned up a week later.)

Stephen’s TAAG story begins with a call to us from HCAS—they had a special needs cat that they wouldn’t be able to adopt out, and wanted our help. We agreed, and Terry took him into her home for a long-term assessment to determine his adoptability.

It soon became apparent that, while brain damaged, Stephen wasn’t significantly impaired. He could still eat, drink, and use a litter box. He moved funny—carefully, like he was taking time to make sense of what he was seeing. However, he could hear and see fine. 

We set out terms for his adoption: he would need a single-level home as we did not think he could do stairs, with someone who would have a lot of love and patience to give, who would take the time to brush him. Stephen was unable to groom himself, and so his coat was dull, dandruffy, and shedding. 

Stephen spent some time out at PetSmart, where he quickly became a favorite of the enclosure volunteers and PetSmart staff. He was super friendly and loved all the attention—and daily brushings—he was getting. Sometime during his stay Stephen came down with a “kitty cold” and had to go back to Terry’s for the duration of his medication. By that time, kitten season was in full swing. And that’s when it happened.

As it turns out, Stephen LOVES kittens. The kittens were skeptical about this at first, until they realized his strange gait was just the way he walked and did not mean they were about to be pounced on. Stephen would snuggle with the little ones, and they would snuggle back and interact a lot with him. And that’s when we noticed something pretty significant: Stephen had started to groom them. Grooming the kittens eventually turned into grooming himself. Stephen was relearning behaviors! 

By the time Stephen came back to PetSmart, this gentle cat’s coat was soft, shiny and healthy looking. He could jump up and down into his enclosure (and the couch). All from watching kittens. Stephen was adopted in August 2015, and is absolutely loved and spoiled. He is happy in his home, and we couldn’t be more excited about that.

 Stephen looking all dapper in his new home!

Stephen looking all dapper in his new home!