Willa: Rescue of a Special Needs Kitten

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Beautiful Willa, as she appears now

Willa was found in the parking lot of a bar in Saline County, in Southern Illinois, earlier this month. She is a special needs kitten with paralyzed hind legs.

On August 11, local rescuer Lena Morsch posted the kitten’s photo, seen below, at the Willow Facebook page run by Wendy Matthews in honor of her very special special needs kitty Willow. The Willow page not only celebrates it little namesake but is a hub for networking and rescue for other special needs kitties.

Gina Morsch added this information in comments:

“I caught this kitten and it is now safe and sound in a big clean cage. I estimate her to be 6-8 weeks old. She is very small so it is hard to gauge.

“I was able to catch her tonight as she was trying to crawl over a log and her little legs were hung up. It appears this kitten has two siblings and a mama cat. One thing at a time.  At any rate the kitten was obviously stressed from being caught and the car ride, so I didn’t do too much to her tonight. It appears she is incontinent. I cleaned her a little with pet wipes, gave her kitten fancy feast and replacement milk, put her in her cage with her new toy mice and blanket. I also put ointment on leg wounds. Kitten is very alert and does not appear to be in any pain. Back legs totally paralyzed and she appears to have no feeling.

“I have seen her under the dumpster all week playing with leaves and batting at bugs…so she is lively. I think I am probably her first human contact. She is so special, I hope there is help for her and chance to live a good life.”

That very evening, Elizabeth Frick of Tenth Life Cat Rescue of St. Louis, MO, which gives priority to special needs cases, was working on lining up a foster home in order for Tenth Life to take the kitten and provide her with experienced care. A couple agreed to take the kitten, and she officially became a Tenth Life kitty. The organization will provide updates on Willa at their Facebook page.

We presume that any decisions about therapy, surgery or a wheelchair cart will be made after further assessment, and as Willa grows. At this point, living in the comfort of a home and having people to care for her are still new experiences for the girl whose life has changed dramatically in a few short days.

The kitten was named Willa in a nod to Willow.

The original photo of Willa posted online after she was rescued from the bar’s parking lot.


Willa scooting around and playing, in a video uploaded yesterday.

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