One Fur Mom Wants You To Know How Sweet Life Can Be With “Special Kids”

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on June 29, 2023

Every morning, paw parent Tara wakes to almost a dozen sweet furry faces, and she couldn’t be happier about it. Tara is mom to two pups, seven cats, and Sir Maximus, a rescued Highland Lynx with twenty-seven toes! And then, there are her foster animals. It’s chaos every day but the best kind, because this group makes one big happy family!

All of Tara’s furkids are rescues, each with their own tale of how they came to be part of the family. And while all her cats and dogs depend on her, three of her cats are special needs angels who need a little more assistance in life. Though Mira, Mickey, and Marvin require extra help, every minute is worth it as Tara has learned life with special needs animals is truly sweet. And she wants all pet parents to know how rewarding such an experience can be.

Photo: Courtesy of Tara & Her Furkids

Meet Three Special Felines

Special needs cats show us that just like any other cat, they have unique personalities, silly quirks, and incredible capacities for love. They love just as deeply and form unwavering bonds with their families. And while all cats are determined little souls, those with special needs often exhibit remarkable resilience and strength in the face of adversity. They adapt to their circumstances, overcome challenges, and demonstrate an inspiring will to live and thrive.

And in Mira, Marvin, and Mickey, this will and their mom’s love has carried each of them through their hardships.

Photo: Courtesy of Tara & Her Furkids

Mira the Miracle

When Mira first came to Tara, she was a seriously ill kitten. She and her sibling suffered from a respiratory infection, and neither was expected to live. Mira proved to be a miracle, but though she survived, her road to healthy was a long one. And on that journey, Mira’s wobbly ways became apparent, and so did her adorable perma blep.

Photo: Courtesy of Tara & Her Furkids

She was diagnosed with Cerebellar Hypoplasia and Radial Hypoplasia, but Tara was by her side at every moment, the connection between them reaching deep.

“She is my soulmate,” Tara told iHeartCats about Mira. “I’ve loved and do love every single baby in my life but never had a connection like I do with her.”

And watching her little miracle thrive, Tara is inspired every day.

“She’s taught me to never stop fighting, when things get as low as they seem they possibly can, just know tomorrow is another day,” explained Tara.

Photo: Courtesy of Tara & Her Furkids

But it’s not just Mira who inspires Tara.

RELATED: Quark, A Kitten With A Quirk For Cuddles

Mickey the Manx

Among Tara’s large fur family is Mickey, a handsome house panther who loves getting into mischief. But with those adorably darling eyes of his, Mickey knows how to get away with being naughty. He’s just too cute!

Photo: Courtesy of Tara & Her Furkids

And though Manx Syndrome has robbed him the use of his hindquarters, there’s no slowing him down. This wild boy can do it all! No stairs are too tall, and no couch is too high!

“He’s a little devil child and has no limits,” joked Tara. “He’s as fast as any other cat, climbs anything and even does backflips! He’s VERY adventurous.”

Photo: Courtesy of Tara & Her Furkids

And that’s another important lesson special needs pets can teach us—celebrate the small victories. Things may take them a little longer, or they go about it differently, but they still make gains.

“With both Mira & Mickey, they prove disability isn’t inability.”

Photo: Courtesy of Tara & Her Furkids

Watching cats like Mickey and Mira overcome disability to dash upstairs or zoom around the living room for playtime can be incredibly rewarding to witness. These achievements, whether mastering a new skill or overcoming a hurdle, bring immense joy and pride. And Marvin, the newest kitty in the bunch, has also shown her a thing or two about what it means never to give up.

RELATED: Do You Have Misconceptions About Special Needs Cats?

Marvin the Survivor

Marvin and brother Merlin were both kittens afflicted with Cerebellar Hypoplasia, wobbling their way into Tara’s arms after someone dumped them by a set of train tracks on one of the hottest days of the year. Sadly, Merlin became lethargic and passed away. Marvin was heartbroken at losing his brother, and then he fell ill with panleukopenia, the same disease that most likely killed Merlin.

Photo: Courtesy of Tara & Her Furkids

“When he acquired Panleuk it was devastating, I didn’t know what to expect,” explained Tara. “Somehow he had the strength to pull through, and lets me do whatever I want/need to do to help him.”

But this little fighter made it through and just celebrated his first birthday! His mobility might not be the best, but “he’s ALWAYS watching what’s going on around him, taking it all in.” Marvin has grown into a “little lovebug” who’s so happy to be with Tara, Mira, Mickey, and the rest of the fam.

Photo: Courtesy of Tara & Her Furkids

“He’s really shown me that it’s ok to accept help when it’s offered or given, with no expectations.”

Marvin and his special siblings are survivors, “pushing through every obstacle thrown in their paths.”

A Love That Goes Both Ways

Watching her “special kids” overcome hardships have taught Tara about being a survivor too. She struggles with her own issues, but in caring for her furry ones, she’s learned strength, the power of patience and compassion, and the joy of making a difference.

“They’ve saved me,” Tara said of her special ones. “They inspire me to get out of bed every day.”

Photo: Courtesy of Tara & Her Furkids

“You hear the phrase who rescued who, and in my case I’d say that’s absolutely true. The love I have for them is immeasurable and I feel it right back. I may not have human family but all my fur kids sure fill that gap.”

RELATED: 5 Benefits Of Adopting A Special Needs Cat

Though it’s a full-time endeavor to care for special needs cats or dogs, the rewards are worth the work. Special needs pets bring joy, love, and inspiration into their parents’ lives while demonstrating that every life is valuable and deserving of care and compassion. And these are the things Tara wants everyone to know about her “special kids” and all the other furry ones out there that need a little extra help in life. By chronicling their lives on social media, Tara hopes to inspire others with love to give to think about rescuing a special needs animal.

Follow Mira, Mickey, and Marvin on their Instagram pages to learn more about them and their amazing family!