A kitten named Macaroni has many toes. He’s found a kind person to help him so he can run around like other kittens someday.
Macaroni the kitten
Jacqueline “DeAmor” Santiago, president of Friends for Life Rescue Network, was apprised of a tiny orange tabby with an abnormality in his front legs. With her experience working with special needs kittens, she immediately offered to help.
The kitten, Macaroni, was polydactyl and had contracted tendons which caused his front limbs to appear “twisted”. He came into Jacqueline’s care when he was four days old, giving him the best advantage.
Newborn kittens have “exponentially better” chances of correcting their twisted legs.
He was born with polydactyl paws and twisted front legs
“This is often caused by either polydactylism (extra toes) or by a small mom with not enough room in the womb for the legs to stretch,” Jacqueline added. Macaroni has extra toes on each paw, adding to their size.
“Their legs get stuck in the same position during development and need to be stretched over the course of weeks to help them grow correctly.”
Jacqueline started physical therapy on Macaroni through massaging and stretching. The tiny ball of fur whose eyes hadn’t opened, took everything in stride.
He was a champion eater and so brave with every massage session and leg stretching exercise.
By the time his eyes opened wide and ears unfolded, Macaroni was ready to bust out of his cozy nest to explore, even with his wobbly gait. He was fearless and inquisitive, trying to paddle around with his big mitten-like paws.
With daily treatment, over time, his front limbs have shown improvement and are not as constricted as before.
He was tiny but mighty
“The stretches have helped prepare him for splinted wraps (which shouldn’t start until at least four weeks old) by stretching and lengthening the tendons to maximize success,” Jacqueline shared with Love Meow.
Macaroni has gotten into a good rhythm doing treatment multiple times a day, between daytime feedings. He loves to be waited on and soak up all the attention.
“His legs are just a little stubborn, so the splints are done for a few days to get him over the threshold and get his paws under him. As he grows, his weight will finish straightening the rest.”
Macaroni is on his way to getting his legs in the right position.
The tabby boy is getting more active and playful each day. He relishes the company of his foster mom and the resident cat, Wolfie. His personality is emerging.
“Mac is a big purr machine and loves to play already. He enjoys flailing his legs and trying to bite with his tiny teeth. He’s still ultra snuggly. We are hoping that once his paws are under him, he will start running around.”
In the weeks that follow, the sweet kitten will be able to put his legs to good use as he enters the boisterous kitten phase and navigates the worldaound him.
With the timely rescue, little Macaroni is making great strides and ready to conquer the world with his endearing personality.