One of the genuine positives to come from widespread access to and use of social media is all the incredible stories we get to be apart of as they unfold, and there could be few better examples than animal rescue, especially special needs cats! The animal rescue, foster, rehabilitation, and adoption industry is doing great work and social media has most definitely assisted along the way.
If you’re feeling doubtful, look no further than Pinocchio. Pinocchio is a peculiar kitty who has overcome intense obstacles and taken quite the roller coaster ride with medical complications but he’s still living his best cat life thanks to Friends for Life Rescue Network.
In the summer of 2020, Jacqueline Santiago of Friends for Life Rescue Network saw a photo of a kitten with obvious congenital defects.
At first, they weren’t sure what was wrong with the kitten entirely but the rescue organization took him in. At the time, Jacqueline shared, “He came malnourished, dehydrated, and infested with fleas.”
At the time, Pinocchi was already 3 months old but he was still the size of a 5-6 week old kitten! Some of the medical complexities the kitten came to FFLRN with inclued, “a massive umbilical hernia that will require surgical repair, a crossbite causing his canines to jab into his lower jaw (will require removal), deformed nose, and potentially hydrocephalus.”
Realizing how much medical care and rehabilitation the kitty would need, Mel Lamprey stepped up to foster the kitten. Mel is an experienced foster mom, having taken in some long-term, medically complex fosters before, and has basically been non-stop fostering for over 3 years straight.
Pinocchio, or Poke as they lovingly refer to him often, will someday be adopted. However, because of his complex medical needs he’s not currently up for adoption.
Friends for Life and Mel have both explained quite a bit to curious followers that Poke needs to not have so many medical needs, and COVID related obstacles have definitely slowed down progress. BUT, when he’s healthy and ready for his forever home, he will leave Mel and Friends for Life.
In the meantime, he’s genuinely loved by Mel and her partner and he’s obviously a happy, adorable, sweet kitty, unhindered by the complexities life has thrown his way.
Some of the medical issues Pinnocchio has dealth with in the last year alone include:
“Gastrointestinal issues, Enlarged heart, Heart murmur, Collapsed lung lobe, Tented skull, Deviated septum, Chronic upper respiratory infections, Eye issues, Dental issues, and Possible neurological issues”
Still Mel says, “he’s a really happy guy who loves everyone — other people, other cats and dogs.”
In an interview with The Dodo, Jacqueline said:
“He runs up to anyone who enters the room and climbs up to their shoulder to perch. He rubs on you, loves to play and bounces around.”
“I can’t believe how much this strong boy has been through, and he still has his ‘I’m great, I can do anything attitude!’”
Pinocchio may look different and have some health obstacles to overcome, but it’s also pretty clear he’s just as much a cat as any other cat, and it’s great that Friends for Life and Mel have been able to provide updates to his adoring fans and spread awareness and support for the highs and lows of fostering medically complex cats.
Mel writes, “We call this Pinocchio’s ‘Fraggle angle.’ And if you don’t know what a Fraggle is, I’m sorry you missed that.”