Help Hope Walk Again!

This is our cat Hope. She's Paralyzed.
Please don't tell her, she doesn't know.
Hope’s story begins with a bit of mystery. We do not know what the first four or five weeks of her life were like. We do not know what happened to her mom, or her litter mates. What we do know is that Hope was alone much earlier than any kitten should have been.

A very nice lady was driving down a lonely road in Cumberland County, North Carolina when she saw a little gray and white blob moving on the shoulder. She pulled over and saw a little kitten - not older than five weeks - literally dragging herself down the shoulder by her two front paws.

While this kitten had no visible external injuries, she was completely unable to use any part of her body from the mid-spine down.

She was hurt, and scared, and had a coat full of road gravel and fleas.

The woman immediately picked the kitten up and brought her to the Cumberland County Animal Services shelter. This kitten, as sweet as she was, was a candidate for euthanasia.

The shelter simply did not have the time or resources to care for a cat in this condition. The extent of her injuries was completely unknown. There was some serious trauma, and the kitten had no feeling or reflex in her hind paws, but x-rays didn’t show any broken bones. She was bleeding internally, but it wasn’t clear if it would heal on its own, or if it would require surgical intervention.

And even assuming she regained some function, the bleeding stopped, and by some miracle, she lived to the end of the week, how on earth could a municipal shelter find and vet an owner for her? The shelter was already so packed with cats that they were giving them away for free, and there would be no way to make sure that whoever adopted her was ready for the responsibility.

There were no available animal rescues to take her on, either. She was going to be months and months of work. Rehabilitation, physical therapy, acupuncture, and possible surgeries. And all this just to get her adoptable - to say nothing of the ongoing care that a paralyzed kitten would require.

Her only real option was to be humanely euthanized. It just made the most sense.

Except I got to meet her. And I fell in love.

I convinced the shelter, against all advice, to let me take her home for a day or two. If nothing else, I just wanted to give her a few nights of love, a warm bed, and some good food. If all I could do was ease her suffering for at least a few days before she passed, it was enough.

This sweet little kitten decided to take the opportunity to worm her way into our hearts. We spent the next few days doing a lot of research, a lot of reading, and a lot of worrying.

At first, Hope was not very mobile. We could not get her to play or do much of anything other than sleep and eat. But she had a huge appetite that never really faltered, so we were optimistic.

Inside of two weeks Hope began peeing on her own, she was eating and drinking well, and getting more active. We found some toys she liked and made sure she had plenty of opportunities to play.

We learned how to make diapers out of socks and sanitary pads so that she could come to bed with us at night, and have more freedom during the day.

It was around this time that we noticed major improvements with this brave little kitten! She had endured many baths without much protest, was beginning to try and play with the older cats, and was learning how to scoot around the house.

After so much improvement physically, and emotionally, and after weeks of physical therapy, she started moving her legs. We noticed that as she would crawl around she would kick her little legs behind her. I promise you when we first saw her moving her legs, we both nearly cried.

It was at this point that my wife decided we should name her Hope. Because she had so much of it and had encouraged so much of it in us.

After 3 weeks of fostering for the shelter, we went ahead and pulled the trigger and adopted her. Realistically, we would never be able to find a home for her. Special Needs cats are very hard to place. Besides, we love her to death.

Where She Stands Today
Hope has outgrown sock diapers and now wears small-sized pet diapers and onesies.

She has regained feeling, and a nearly full range of motion in her hind paws and she even has control of her tail!

We do physical therapy with her every day and try our best to put her on her back paws as much as possible. She's also recently started B12 Aquapuncture with our veterinarian, Dr. Krivit.

Recently she's begun to take a few hesitant steps on her own when you set her on her feet.

What We Need From You
We currently have at least 3 more acupuncture appointments scheduled for Hope, with the potential to do 3 more after that if we see improvements.
Those appointments are $80 a piece.

We also would like to get her a therapeutic wheelchair for pets. This will enable her to stay up on her back legs and begin using them in a controlled way so she can learn how to walk on her own.
This is a $300 piece of equipment.

We will likely have ongoing medical expenses with her, as well. While we don't expect the world to help us pay for this cat, and we were prepared for these types of costs when we adopted her, we would love to have your help and support.

Taking care of special needs cats is difficult, but it comes with its blessings and brings with it so much joy.

If Hope has made you smile and you would like to help her recover, please consider giving.

Either way, we'll keep providing cute pictures and videos.

Thank you for reading, we love you all so very much!

~ Remy, Samantha, Gracie, Fide, and Unstoppable Hope


Remy Sheppard
Fayetteville, NC

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