updated 01/24/2014 AT 6:00 PM ET
•originally published 01/24/2014 AT 12:40 PM ET
Once upon a time, a walk in the park was anything but easy for Stockings the kitten, who was born with a deformity that resulted in his hind legs being turned inward and fixed into a “W” shape, like a pretzel.
The kitten, who was rescued from a suspected hoarding situation, was brought to Chicago’s Tree House Humane Society last year, where veterinarians embarked on a challenging form of treatment involving multiple surgeries. “A traditional shelter would most likely have viewed Stockings as a lost cause and simply euthanized him,” reads the shelter’s site. “We, however, believe that Stockings truly deserves to have a chance at a long and happy life.”
The society’s Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Lynda Ewald, and an orthopedic surgeon devised a plan in which Stockings’s tendons would be cut, allowing his legs to extend and straighten as they heal. His feet would also be properly aligned. The complicated surgeries occurred over several months, and Stockings required additional operations thereafter, but in the months since, the work has paid off.
“It is unbelievable to watch him wriggle and work to stand,” continues the update on the Tree House Humane Society’s site. “Stockings has blossomed into a rambunctious, lively, and energetic kitten.”
The furball has learned to stand on his hind legs and is now capable of pulling himself up onto a couch – a couch that happens to be inside of his new forever home. Stockings’s foster mother fell in love with the kitten during his recovery, and has made him a permanent part of her furry family.
Though he is on the mend and improving daily, the shelter is cautious but hopeful for Stockings’s future. Those who want to lend a hand to his continued rehabilitation, and to the many other cats the Tree House Humane Society treats, can donate by clicking here.