Manfrotto had his hind leg amputated when he was a kitten. Does that make him a liability? Quite the contrary. He’s one of our precious pets. He learned to run fast, sideways like a crab to compensate for his handicap. He lies in wait for crows on the balcony and jumps up to frighten them. The crows are kind enough to act like they’re scared. A kitten like Manee would be at great risk on the streets. Without a second hind leg, he would not be able to climb a wall fast enough or escape an attacking dog.

Thambi was born with a defective eye. When he was old enough, his vets performed a surgery to remove the dead eye and suture up the socket to prevent infection. Thambi lives in a home for rescued cats, funded by an animal lover, and having one eye does not prevent him from being one of the naughtiest residents there.

Most recently, a kitten called Tripod was rescued on the IIT campus with a badly injured leg that couldn’t be saved. Naturally, he could not go back to his campus and struggle for survival minus one leg. Luckily for him, a kind soul called Teresa Mitchell adopted him. “Tripod (now renamed Baxter) is very special to us because he embodies the spirit of survival” says Teresa.

Our friends in the USA tell us it’s a matter of pride to adopt a handicapped animal from a shelter. What a wonderful thought – if all the Manees, Tripods and Thambis were safe in homes, their lives would be bliss. And their human families will have the joy of knowing they made a difference to one animal with special needs.

Teresa sums it up best -“Despite Baxter’s handicap, he does everything a four-legged cat does. He still trusts people despite being maimed. Every time I hold him, I am reminded that one's attitude to adversity makes all the difference”!

The author is founder of the Cattitude Trust, Chennai.

(For advice on how to care for a handicapped animal, email cattitudetrust@gmail.com)

TAKE ME HOME

A couple of healthy, intelligent female Indian puppies are ready for good homes. Call 9283390693

Cookie is a friendly, Indian female dog who has been spayed and is in great health. Her foster parent is looking for genuine, affectionate people who will adopt her and love her. Call 9677022970

Hero of the week

Priya nominates her son V. Adhithyan for picking up an orphaned baby pigeon and taking care of it for a month. After it was healed, he released it in a place where pigeons are fed and it continues to live there.

Hold my paw

Hi, I'm the trustee of Animal Welfare and Protection Trust. Our rescue van met with an accident and was towed away. We're using a hired vehicle for rescues and costs have hit the roof. To donate a second hand vehicle or offer any other support, call us at 22781381 or 9962968265.

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Health & LifestyleSeptember 24, 2010