Meet Madeline – A Sweet Survivor Cat

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When Madeline first arrived at the Animal Rescue League of Boston‘s Dedham shelter, her fur was so thickly matted that she couldn’t walk. Thanks to immediate medical attention, grooming and the dedication of shelter staff she has regained the ability to walk. The video below shows Madeline’s remarkable progress in learning to walk again with the help of her devoted caregivers.

Madeline was brought to the ARL’s Dedham, Massachusetts shelter a couple of months ago by a woman who found the  severely matted 8 year old kitty in her back yard, where someone had left her. Madeline’s fur was so densely matted she couldn’t move her back legs.

The Animal Rescue League tells the story of Madeline’s recovery and rehabilitation, writing:

“Her sweet temperament and soft, steady purr touched the hearts of shelter veterinarian Dr. Kate Gollon and all the Dedham staff as they worked to make her comfortable with pain medications and by shaving off the mass of tangles on her lower body.

“Dr. Gollon determined Madeline had nearly 4 inches of mats over 70% of her body.  … The twisted condition of her coat had clearly forced her to go to the bathroom on herself and likely prevented her from walking for some time. Even after shelter staff shaved her fur, she couldn’t walk on her very weak back legs.

“When diagnostic tests including x-rays and bloodwork did not provide a more definitive reason for the weakness in her back legs, Dr. Gollon prescribed a regimen of daily physical therapy to help Madeline recover her strength and mobility. Staff gave Madeline time post-shave to recuperate and get to know them before carefully and caringly beginning to work with her to get her walking.

“At first, staff gently moved her back legs for her, three times a day. Gradually, they helped her stand by placing her in a sling to support her weight while getting her up on all fours. Once her ability to support herself improved, staff worked with her on walking across the floor and maneuvering changes in elevation. To give her some added traction on the polished cement floors at the shelter, staff would place a touch of Vaseline on her paw pads.

“Everyone at the Dedham shelter felt as proud as mamma cats watching Madeline’s amazing progress as she confidently strolled to them and maneuvered up carpeted steps for the first time!”

Madeline has spent some time in foster care with a volunteer who has helped her to re-acclimate to living with people.

See Madeline learning to walk again:.

Madeline is ready for adoption now and is available through the ARL Dedham shelter. Her adoption fee is waived until June 29, with the cost covered by Scotties Facial Tissue. The shelter feels Madeline would do best in a carpeted home with a layout that can accommodate her needs, as she will likely continue to be unsteady on her legs and is better off not having to climb stairs. You can see Madeline’s PetHarbor adoption profile HERE.

In the words of Dr. Gollon: “Madeline is a special cat and quite a survivor! The family who adopts her will most definitely fall in love with her as much as we have at ARL.”



You can read Madeline’s full story at the ARL website HERE.


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