CHICAGO --Grumpy cat may be the most popular trending cat, but there's another cat that created a lot of press due to his severe birth defect.
When Stockings was born, he was unable to walk or stand because his hind legs were backwards. A vet saved his life.
"He was dragging his back end, he was all of about a pound or two so he was a tiny guy," said Dr. Steven Neihaus, a surgeon at Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center in Lincoln Park who saved Stockings.
"Within the first few days with the cast on, he was walking on his own," Neihaus said. "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 was found in a hoarding situation and brought to Treehouse Humane Society. Director Jenny Schlueter remembered when he came.
"As soon as we saw his back legs, we knew he had a very severe birth defect, so we decided to first stabilize some of his other health issues," Schlueter said. "He had upper respiratory infections, internal parasites, the usual things that cats often have from the streets or from hoarding situations."
Stockings' first surgery took place in January.
He developed another congenital problem where his kneecaps would pop in and out of place, so he had another operation three weeks ago to correct that," Neihaus said. "He's still not fully grown, so we're not going to know about another four to five months when he finishes growing if he is going to need any more procedures."
"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," Schlueter said.
The best news of all -- he now has a home.
"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," Neihaus said.
Treehouse Humane Society deals with many cats with special needs. For more information visit www.TreeHouseAnimal.org or www.ChicagoVeterinaryEmergency.com.