Near Chicago, a kitten named Stockings was born with a severe birth defect — his hind legs were backwards, meaning he could neither walk nor stand.
According to Houston’s KTRK-TV, Dr. Steven Neihaus, a surgeon at Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center in Lincoln Park, saved Stockings’ life by correcting the cat’s hind legs.
“Within the first few days with the cast on, he was walking on his own,” Neihaus told KTRK-TV. “He was a little clumsy for the first few weeks, then once the cast came off after six weeks, he just started running around like he had them his whole life.”
Stockings had been rescued from a hoarding situation and was brought to Treehouse Humane Society. He was also suffering from internal parasites and upper respiratory infections.
“This is a great story of how veterinarians go above and beyond to help save any animal even when the odds are against them,” says Larry of Philadelphia Animal Hospital. “It is easy to understand why veterinarians are the second most trusted profession in America – nurses being number one. We hope this kitten does well and gives great joy to his new owners.”
According to Dr. Neihaus, it will take another four to five months to tell if Stockings, who isn’t yet fully grown, requires any more surgery or procedures.
Stockings has also been adopted since the surgery, according to KTRK-TV, and lives in a much better environment than the one in which he was born.
“It was one of my nurses that adopted him, so she tells me every week how he’s doing, she sends me videos just to see the progression from this little tiny cat who couldn’t use his back legs,” Jenny Schlueter, director of the Treehouse Humane Society, said. “Most of the time a cat like Stockings at a shelter would just be euthanized, so what we really wanted to do was not give up on him, especially because he had such a strong will to live.”