Rescuers have never seen a feline quite like Gumby, an 11-week-old kitten in Massachusetts. The cute black and white boy gets around well despite hind legs that stretch far out to the sides and back. Like so many kittens we’ve seen, he’s incredibly resilient and manages ameowzingly well, not knowing he’s any different.
At his young age, Gumby has seen quite a lot, traveling by airplane from an overcrowded SPCA in Texas with over 50 other cats. His destination was the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA-Angell). The rescue’s Rebecca Fellman explained that in all her years, they’d never seen a kitten like Gumby.
Gumby is One-of-a-Kind
This little fellow is an extra-unique kitten with extremely splayed legs. Gumby may have an extreme case of Swimmer Syndrome, which varies in degree and which legs are affected.
“We’ve never seen a cat quite like this,” said Fellman. “Both of Gumby’s back legs are severely deformed with muscle contracture that limits his joint mobility, but he still manages to get around—often on all fours.”
As you can see in the video below, Gumby walks around and also uses the litterbox. But he can’t jump and go up stairs. Like other kittens with mobility issues, he needs some accommodations to keep him safe and happy.
Remarkably, he’s doing great, and specialists say it doesn’t look like surgery will help his condition at present.
“At this point, he isn’t developing any sores, and it looks like surgery may not significantly improve his mobility, so it doesn’t make sense to put him through what will be a painful process at this time,” Fellman added. “Instead, we’re looking for special adopters that can accommodate his needs as he is.”
Here’s Gumby in a video from MSPCA-Angell:
A Regular Playful Kitten
What is Gumby like? A regular kitten who likes to enjoy himself, the rescuers say. We’re not surprised in the least because we see disabled kittens tackle life with gusto every day.
“Gumby acts like a regular kitten,” said the MSPCA’s Erin Morey. “He loves attention and can be a little mischievous. It’s really remarkable how well he’s learned to function with his limb deformities. He doesn’t let anything get him down!”
Gumby Found a Home and New Name
On Instagram, she said she was honored to adopt the little guy, who got quite a lot of interest!
“Our boy Gumby (now Noodles) has found an amazing home!! We are happy to share he has been adopted and will get all of the forehead kisses he deserves forever. You can follow him on Instagram at @heisnoodles,” MSCPA-Angell shared.
Incredibly, Noodles already has nearly 2K followers on Instagram! After going home, he’s been doing great in a “pillow fort” and playpen area. Gradually, he’s meeting new dog and cat siblings, and taking in all the sights, and sounds.
“This little guy stole the hearts of so many people,” said Danielle, explaining there were hundreds of adoption requests from as many as 35 U.S. states!
Caring for a Disabled Kitten
What does the purrfect home for kitten like Gumby/Noodles look like?
Given his ongoing medical needs, adopters should expect visits to the veterinarian for routine checkups. As he grows, his medical needs may change, and he will likely benefit from physical therapy and other forms of therapy.
We’ve shared many stories about “wobbly kittens” with cerebellar hypoplasia who similarly need some simple accommodations. For example, they need things like an enclosed and soft, carpeted area to help them avoid injury. Often, they benefit from a modified litter box and feeding station for easier access.
But above all, they need love. Congratulations to Danielle, Noodles, and all the rescuers who helped give this kitten the chance for a long, happy life as a pampered house cat! It’s inspurrational to hear that so many people wanted to open up their homes and hearts to this beautiful kitten.