It takes a special person to adopt a homeless pet, but those who devote themselves to animals with special needs deserve even more recognition.
Cairistiona Flatley has always been an animal lover. So when she saw a social media post about a two-legged cat in need of a family, she had a feeling that she was the perfect person to take Rexie Roo in.
Rexie Roo is a young tuxedo cat who was brought to a shelter in rural Utah back in January 2020. Both of his front legs were badly broken when he was found, and his rescuers assumed that he’d been hit by a car. Unable to treat his injuries, they sent the feline to the Best Friends Animal Society in Salt Lake City.
There, vets realized the cat’s legs were too mangled to be repaired. Amputation was their only option, so they went ahead and removed his front legs to give him a second chance at life.
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Despite his pain and having to adapt to getting around on his hind legs, Rexie Roo was always loving and affectionate with everyone around him.
After doing well with two different foster families, he was ready to go to his forever home. The only problem was finding someone who was willing and able to permanently take in a pet with special needs. That’s when Cairistiona came to the rescue!
She adopted Rexie Roo and got right to work making him feel at home. She quickly discovered that he’s very food-motivated, so she uses wet cat food to entice him into doing his at-home “physical therapy” sessions.
She’s also using him as a positive example for other would-be adopters, who might hesitate before taking in a pet with disabilities.
“When people tell me I’m so kind for adopting a special needs cat and that he is lucky to have me, I can only think about how lucky I am to have him in my life,” Cairistiona said. “I love him so much, and he has brought me a lot of peace and joy in a chaotic and uncertain year. He loves to snuggle and eat, and so do I, so we’re a good match.”
“I think he can teach people a lot about patience, resilience, and love,” she added.
Cairistiona is constantly impressed by how he refuses to let his missing legs keep him from playing, running, and bringing joy to his family. She now considers herself an advocate for animals with special needs and uses Instagram to raise awareness.
“All animals are deserving of love regardless of appearance or needs. I hope his story inspires others to adopt animals that may look or move a little differently. I wouldn’t change a thing about him,” she said. “My life is better because he is in it. I tell everyone he is the light of my life. It’s incredible how your heart is capable of expanding even more than you thought was possible.”
This seems like a match made in heaven! Cairistiona’s care serves as a great reminder that love is blind and that every animal is worthy of love.
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