Disability is not a death sentence for a cat. Instead, Aoife, a 2-year-old paraplegic kitten, is showing the internet how to overcome hurdles to lead a happy life.
Her social media has grown in popularity, with one video of the paralyzed puss gaining 73.3 million views.
Forty-five-year-old fitness coach Sabrina De Matteo and her husband, James, rescued Aoife during the COVID-19 pandemic in November 2020. The couple from Los Angeles, California, came across the critter on an animal rescue’s Instagram page and fell in love.
Aoife has a hilarious, fun, and feisty personality, and she is the boss of the house,” Sabrina said
The moggy was only two weeks old when she was first found, and her owner believes it’s a miracle she’d survived that long without help.
Aiofe is a fulfilled disabled cat
To provide the best care possible for Aoife, De Matteo and James worked with her foster mother. In this manner, they learned how to cater to their paraplegic pet’s needs.
The cause of the cat’s paralysis is unknown, although it is likely genetic. Furthermore, this condition comes with a few caveats.
Since Aoife’s lower body is numb, she cannot urinate or perform other physiological functions. As a result, her owner has to manually empty the cat’s bladder and bowels twice a day.
De Matteo explained in the NY Post :
“She is unable to use the litter box, so she wears a diaper, and we have to manually express her bowels and bladder twice a day,”
The Californian acknowledged that she struggled with this task at first. In fact, Sabrina doubted her ability to succeed, but with regular practice, she finally got the hang of it.
Due to Aoife’s complete lack of belly sensation, the process, fortunately, causes her no discomfort. First, Sabrina assesses how full the kitten’s stomach is by palpating the area; then, she presses to empty the bowel.
The fitness coach is convinced that it’s no more unpolished than another cat using a litter tray.
De Matteo wants her feline videos to show that a disabled cat can still live a quality life without having to use its back legs. Considering Aoife’s foster mom had an online presence before the couple adopted the feline, de Matteo felt obligated to keep up.
“Through the videos, people have been able to see just how loved, and well looked after Aoife is,” she said.
Still, not everyone is so sympathetic; some claim it’s harsh to keep Aoife alive. To these critics, Sabrina gladly reminds that Aiofe’s needs may be different, but her life is just as worthy as any other pet.
“Aoife is not in pain – she is very happy. You just have to look at the videos to see that,” Sabrina argued.
While Sabrina and James share their house with five other cats, they agree that Aoife has the best personality.