When Molly Lichtenwalner endured a serious car accident which left her with some difficult anxiety, she decided to look for a companion to help her cope. She wanted to find a special needs animal, considered less adoptable. That’s when she found a sweet white cat who had lost both of his ears due to a condition called Otitis externa. He had been named Otitis due to his condition.
“I grew up on a farm and always had animals around me that gave me so much happiness. I helped train my parents’ deaf Old English Sheepdog, and when I came across Otitis, I just knew he was meant for me. I always wanted to adopt an animal that was older and had some special needs; the ones the least likely to find a home (unlike kittens),” Lichtenwalner told PEOPLE Pets.
In an effort to inspire others to consider giving homes to traditionally less adoptable animals, Lichtenwalner started an Instagram for Otitis. The @adventuresofotitis account now has over 16,000 followers who all adore his unique look and sweet personality.
Lichtenwalner also has a Kickstarter campaign, the funds going toward creating a children’s book about Otitis’s journey and how his differences make him special and beloved. Through his story, Lichtenwalner hopes to help others learn to embrace their differences.
About Otitis, Lichtenwalner says, “He has been nothing but amazing. He immediately adjusted to his new home with me and he truly saved me from my own anxiety. He loves to play and snuggle, and nothing is better than coming home to him and experiencing true unconditional animal love. I didn’t rescue him, he rescued me.”
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