Sometimes cats are born with challenges, or develop them along the way. With recent developments in veterinary medicine and physical therapy, many of them are able to thrive and live full, happy lives. While these cats are going about their regular cat business, they’re inspiring people all around the world with their stories of resilience.
#1 – Lil Bub
Lil Bub is perhaps one of the most famous cats of all time. Her sweet face can be seen on an amazing amount of merchandise, from t-shirts to socks to pillowcases. She has even had a stuffed animal made of her likeness! Nearly everyone would recognize her, but most don’t know her story. In 2011, Bub was born into a feral colony in Indiana. She was rescued by some caring humans when she was recognized to have several genetic anomalies that would put her at a substantial risk if she continued to live on the streets. Now she’s 4 years old and living like a queen with her family of humans and other cats. Lil Bub is now an author and a talk show host! She’s also quite generous! She has teamed up with the ASPCA last year to create Lil Bub’s Big Fund, which provides grants to shelters with special needs pets. She has also raised over $300,000 for other animals in need. Bub, YOU’RE AMAZING!
#2 – Lazarus
Lazarus has been nicknamed “Vampire Cat”, but don’t let that name fool you. He’s actually incredibly loving and playful. His unusual mouth is a result of being born with a cleft palate, which left him without a nose or upper lip. Lazarus was found by a college student in Tennessee in 2012 at just 10 weeks old. The student enlisted the help of an animal-loving professor who rushed him to a local veterinarian. It turned out that little Lazarus had exposed bone in his mouth, a nasty infection, and was very malnourished. With some antibiotics and lots of love, he was on his way to healing and thriving. Today he lives with that same professor (and many other animal siblings), who couldn’t bear to give him up. Lazarus is making a big difference in the world as a therapy cat, and loves to help children with disabilities accept their differences.
#3 – Monty
Monty is a 5 year old boy who was adopted in 2013 from a shelter in Denmark. He was born without a nasal bridge– the bone that gives most cats the sculpted nose you’re used to seeing. His deformity doesn’t slow him down though– he’s just a bit sneezy. Monty strives to be the face of cats that don’t look perfect. It’s his goal to let the world know that looking a bit different doesn’t mean you can’t be fabulous!
#4 – Mercury
Baby Mercury was found in 2013 when he was only 4 days old. He was so young that his eyes were still closed. In just those 4 days of life, though, Mercury found himself in a great deal of trouble when he lost substantial portions of his front legs (and most of the toes on a back foot) in an apparent weed whacker accident. An injured infant didn’t stand much of a chance out in a world full of predators, so he was lucky to have been rescued and taken straight to a local veterinarian who was able to clean and patch his wounds. He was taken in as a foster by a family who has loads of experience caring for tiny kittens who need to be bottle fed and given lots of specialized attention. A year later, they had fallen in love with the special little guy and officially adopted him into their family. As you can see from the video, this rambunctious and playful little guy doesn’t let his lack of front arms get in the way of fun!
#5 – Honey Bee
Honey Bee is a blind cat who spent most of her life in Seattle but has recently relocated with her human and furry family to the Caribbean. This adventurous kitty loves adventures and exploring the world on leashed walks. She loves sitting in windows too– even without eyes, she can “see” the world through all of the smells and sounds. Honey Bee sometimes serves as a mentor to blind kittens and cats who haven’t quite learned how to make the best of their situations. Her advice to them is to “Always be brave. Don’t be afraid to discover your own way of doing things.” I think we could all learn a lot from that lesson.