Each year, thousands of animals come through our doors. Some are lost and reunited with their owners, some have never known what a family feels like, and others need help finding a new home. We take in all animals, regardless of breed, size, history or health. Many animals arrive in need of urgent medical care and receive treatment through the Animal Compassion Fund (ACF). Rex is just one of hundreds of pets who benefited from our donor-funded Animal Compassion Fund last year. When Rex arrived as a stray, his front right leg was severely broken, and we feared there was nerve damage that would prevent it from healing. His best chance at living a pain-free life meant we would have to amputate his leg. After surgery, Rex spent time in one of our volunteer foster homes, where he was adopted. Rex’s new mom, Rachel, shares a little of this journey.

Rex is the most extraordinary cat I have ever met, and I have met a lot of cats while fostering for YWAC. When I brought Rex home, he had already had one of his front legs amputated, and we were monitoring the other front leg. At first, Rex didn’t do much besides lay in his cat bed. Then I brought home an older foster kitten, who pestered him until he would get up and play. She would not allow him to just sleep all day. It seemed being around other cats made him happy and helped him open up. When I brought home a group of young kittens, Rex was in love. He quickly became a dad to those kittens. He groomed them, played with them, and basically taught them how to be cats.

He tried to get around with these kittens, and after watching him carefully, I could tell his left front leg, which was a little deformed and not very strong, was just getting in his way. The decision was made by the Young-Williams Animal Center vet team to amputate his other front leg, but this did not slow Rex down at all. In fact, it seemed to energize him! He quickly learned how to move with just his back legs, and before I knew it, he was jumping up on everything. Embracing this new dynamic, he started to play a lot more and showed me that being a double amputee would not stop him. Rex is a completely different cat from the one I brought home as a foster.

Pretty much everyone I know told me I would “foster fail” on him, meaning I would be the one adopting him. I was very adamant that I would not. Over the years, so many great fosters have come through this house, usually babies with no mommas. Each foster is special, but Rex is my favorite. Fostering is hard, and at one point when I needed a mental and emotional break, I tried to find him a new foster. I cried all the way to the shelter and that’s when I knew I had to keep him.

Over these last couple of months, Rex has really come out of his shell. He is full of personality. He plays with toys, climbs on everything and absolutely loves being around foster kittens. He is extremely headstrong, meowing at me all the time when he needs something, when I don’t do something right away or when I don’t let him have his way, and I wouldn’t change a thing about him. He’s the happiest cat I’ve ever seen and is living his best life now thanks to the foster department at YWAC and donations to the Animal Compassion Fund. I can’t imagine my life without him.