This Sassy Paralyzed Cat Travels With Her Human for Work and It’s a Delight

Share Email Pinterest Linkedin Twitter Facebook
Instagram: No_Ordinary_Housecats

Instagram: No_Ordinary_Housecats

Kelly Duer of Virginia adopted three special needs cats, each with a personality as unique as its challenges. But one of their stories, in particular, is tugging at heartstrings everywhere.

‘I Don’t Think I Can Do That.’

When animal rescue organization Nova Pets Alive took in a kitten with an especially heartbreaking story, they had one big-hearted volunteer at the shelter in mind to call: Kelly.

The kitten, named Java, not only had an upper respiratory infection and a fever coat, but her hind legs were paralyzed, resulting in mobility issues and incontinence.

Don’t count Java out! / Instagram: No_Ordinary_Housecats

Don’t count Java out! / Instagram: No_Ordinary_Housecats

When Kelly was presented with Java’s challenges, which included expressing Java’s bladder several times a day, she wasn’t sure if she could handle that level of care.

“I will never forget the cold finger of fear running down my spine,” Kelly said. “I was like, ‘I don’t think I can do that.’”

But learning how to express her bladder was much easier than Kelly had anticipated. And, funny enough, it was Java’s no-frills, diva personality that immediately won the cat mom over.

“For the first 24 hours, [Java] absolutely hated me—like, passionately, passionately hated me,” Kelly said with a laugh, “and it kind of made me fall in love with her.”

Java Sees the World

Kelly was excited to make her house Java’s forever home. There was just one inconvenient problem: Kelly’s job requires her to travel a lot, making the near-constant care Java needs almost impossible with her schedule. Kelly’s partner doesn’t travel as much, but Kelly felt it unfair to push the burden of Java’s health regimen solely onto him.

So she listened to a friend’s advice and decided that the most obvious and easiest way to address the problem was to simply bring Java along.

Clearly, Java doesn’t struggle with public speaking. / Instagram: No_Ordinary_Housecats

Clearly, Java doesn’t struggle with public speaking. / Instagram: No_Ordinary_Housecats

According to Kelly, Java loves life on the road.

“She gets along great,” she said of her “sassy” cat, noting that Java refuses to let her paralysis slow her down. “She is really fast scooting around. We got her a wheelchair—she hates it.”

But it’s the impact Java has on the people she encounters when traveling the country that’s been a big deal for Kelly.

“One of the coolest side effects of her traveling with me is that she’s able to open peoples’ minds about cats with disabilities just by being in the room,” Kelly told Meow AF. “Nearly every time we travel, someone in sheltering or rescue tells me how they’ve been told that incontinent or disabled cats need to be euthanized for quality of life and that seeing Java so happy has changed what they believe.”

Three Peas in a Pod

Java doesn’t just love life on the road. Back home, she fits right in with her two special needs fur siblings too. Paco was rescued after being kennelled during his prime socialization months as a kitten, and Tiny was born with a clubfoot.

Nowadays, however, the three cats are thriving under one roof.

Java’s fur siblings: Paco (left) and Tiny (center) / Instagram: No_Ordinary_Housecats

Java’s fur siblings: Paco (left) and Tiny (center) / Instagram: No_Ordinary_Housecats

“Tiny is like the sweetest, most affectionate little dainty princess,” Kelly said. “She never does anything wrong. She’s always, always friendly.” And she’s especially taken with the always energetic, never-not-playful Paco: “I always find them cuddled up somewhere.”

For Kelly, the benefits of parenting cats with special needs far outweigh the challenges that come along.

“They have changed my life in so many ways,” Kelly said. “I’ve had a lot of pets and had a lot of very close relationships with pets, but the bond between me and my special needs cats is so strong. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”

Help us do better! Was this article helpful and relevant?
What can you say about this article?
I am completely satisfied, I found useful information and tips in this article
Article was somewhat helpful, but could be improved
Want to share more?
Thank You for the feedback! We work to make the world a better place for cats, and we're getting better for you.
Avatar photo

About Editorial Team

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.