Posting an article I wrote in 2004.
Ebony licked her little kittens proudly. “What a fine lot I have!” she said as she purred with delight. Cuddled around her were 5 kittens, four of them a beautiful ebony black just like her and one tortoise shelled one called Buttons. She looked at Freddie, feeling a little worried. “Why are his hind legs bent that way?”, she wondered. “Well. I love him just the same and he will be fine” she purred, as she licked him.
Pammi, Ebony’s human mom was also concerned when Freddie was born. She realized that Freddie was born with deformed bent hind legs and she would sit every day for hours giving him physiotherapy hoping that his legs would become normal. As the days passed both Ebony and Pammi realized that Freddie would always have deformed hind legs. Pammi felt very sad and wondered what the future would hold for her little Freddie.
Well, Freddie did not know what all this fuss was all about. Yes it was great that his mommy and human grand mommy were giving him much more attention than his brothers and sisters! He could hardly wait till he was grown and strong enough to begin venturing out of the cozy room that he lived in. How exciting the world beyond his bed looked all waiting to be explored.
So one morning to the great surprise of Pammi and Ebony,Freddie raced out of the room. Ebony gave a surprised mew and ran after him.. “Freddie! come back, come back…Oh dear!” she said, “he will fall!…he cannot walk!…Oh Pammi mom please help” she mewed. Pammi was looking at Freddie with amazement. “Look Ebony,” she said, “How cleverly he is using his bent hind legs and is hobbling along. Don’t worry Ebony dear, your son will be just fine.”
The days passed and Freddie soon outraced all his friends, brothers and sisters. It was a delight to see him fly up and down the stairs with no problem at all. Freddie of course had no idea that he had a deformity. As far as he was concerned, his legs were just fine. He was very clean and tidy as all cats are but what is so noteworthy is that all during his toilet training he never dirtied his bottom though it was very difficult for him to climb into the litter box. All his brothers and sisters had dirty bottoms. “Can’t you be like Freddie?” purred Ebony to her other kittens as she cleaned smelly dirty bottoms “Have you ever seen him dirty like all of you?”
It was on one such day that I visited Pammi because I am quite cat crazy and Pammi being as cat mad as me has lovely Persians Ebony and Freddie included. “Look at Freddie.” Pammi said…..and I saw a little black fur ball fly by. “Oh he is so adorable!.” I said. “How fast he is”. “Yes,” Pammi agreed ,“but look his legs”. It was only then that I saw that Freddie had bent hind legs. “Oh poor thing!” I said… “No No” Pammi said. . “he is just fine”…, “look” she said. “He has no idea he is disabled, and he is doing fine, so don’t worry about him”.
I asked Pammi if I could adopt Freddie and she gave it a thought and agreed. I was so delighted. I took Freddie home and introduced him to the cats at home. Krishna and Khushi were nearly the same age as him and they became pals instantly. Leela my dog was completely bowled over by him and would take any chance she got to nibble and clean him up.
Today Freddie is 6 months old and he is a very handsome cat. He is on the run all day .He races with the other cats and can give Formula-1 a lot of competition. He also loves to cuddle up and purr on the lap, but will be gone in a flash if something more interesting than your lap catches his eye. Leela whines and drools over him and is the happiest when he after a long day at play, goes to sleep next to her. He is totally fearless and is ready for any adventure and has been the cause of my heart stopping because of fear several times. All my fears being unfounded of course because Freddie knows what he is doing, no matter how dangerous it looks to me.
Animals like Freddie teach us that a disability only exists if we look on something as a disability. All of us, Pammi, Ebony and me were worried how Freddie would live in this big dangerous world but Freddie has no fear. His super confidence in himself makes me believe in him totally and I know he can look after himself. If Freddie says he is not disabled, I agree with him.