This New Cat Mom Adopted A Special Needs Kitten, and They’re Adorable Together

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Facebook: @5_Star_Strays

When one woman saw a stray cat looking for food, she stepped in to help at once. She had no idea that the cat was pregnant, though—or that her feline parenting instinct would come in handy in adorable fashion.

One hungry mama

One day, Shelly spotted a beautiful ginger cat she later named Coral wandering around a local shopping center, scrounging for food.

Shelly has a big heart for strays and animals in need, so it’s no surprise that her home was already full of cats. But she couldn’t leave Coral alone to fend for herself—especially after discovering that the young feline wasn’t just trying to feed herself.

Coral, Shelly realized, was pregnant!

“She was a young mom, I would say six months,” Shelly explained. “Being so young, [cats] can struggle to give birth.”

Coral found the perfect human to take her in! / Facebook: @5_Star_Strays

So Shelly decided to take Coral home. She created a cozy, safe environment for the pregnant cat, where Coral was given food, water, and plenty of blankets. “She was so happy,” Shelly said.

Shortly after nestling in, Coral gave birth to a litter of healthy kittens.

Welcoming Wonky

Around the same time, Shelly saw on Facebook that a woman who fosters cats could no longer house a little kitten named Wonky, who was born with Swimmer Syndrome.

The disease is a congenital condition that affects the development of ligaments in newborn puppies and kittens. It causes their legs to splay, often resulting in mobility issues.

Cuteness. Overload. / Facebook: @5_Star_Strays

“I’ve always loved animals, but working with street animals has made me more aware of the animals that are suffering out there without help,” Shelly said. “It’s taught me a lot.”

Just like when she found Coral, Shelly’s compassionate heart wouldn’t allow her to turn a blind eye to Wonky. Having experience caring for other cats living with leg issues, Shelly was confident she could be a great human for the special needs kitten.

So she adopted him too.

Chosen family

Wonky fit right in at home and living with Swimmer Syndrome didn’t slow him down one bit. “He was happy in that position,” Shelly said, noting that the vet confirmed to her that his bones had already fused, so physical therapy wouldn’t yield results.

Sure, the way he got around looked different from his fur siblings, but still, “he was walking absolutely fine.”

One unexpectedly adorable development at home, however, was the bond that quickly blossomed between the special needs kitten and the new cat mom.

“Coral went straight up to [Wonky], sniffed him, licked him,” Shelly said, “and the next day, I caught him suckling on her in bed. She just took him on.”

And the award for Cat Mom of the Year goes to…Coral! / Facebook: @5_Star_Strays

That’s right: Coral didn’t bat an eye treating Wonky as one of her own.

Watching their cat mom-kitten son dynamic grow has been such a special experience, Shelly explained. It epitomizes why she does what she does.

“I can’t explain it; it’s a really strange feeling,” she said of her commitment to taking in animals in need. Until she’s no longer able to get around herself, “I’ll still be doing it.”

Follow Shelly on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to learn more about her rescue stories.

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The editorial team consists of experienced veterinarians, behaviorists, and other cat experts who are all dedicated to our mission of providing cat owners with the safest, most reliable information.