An abandoned black cat with two missing back legs was rescued and flown from New York to Ohio to begin a new life as a therapy cat for disabled veterans and others who are amputees.
The extremely friendly cat was abandoned on the streets of New York. He couldn’t walk because of missing back legs. When Mary Tschinkel of Friendly Ferals heard about him, she was determined to help. She commented about the negative stereotypes about black cats:
“I can’t tell you what a wonderful cat this is. He’s gorgeous. Black cats – people should be inspired to adopt a black cat – they are wonderful there’s nothing better than a black cat! Superstitions are stupid.”
His video shows a sweet, cuddly black cat who adores attention and being petted. He’s a cat with an amazingly gentle and affectionate personality. After meeting him, Tschinkel was more determined than ever to get him to safety. She named him Bruce Willis and posted his information on Facebook.
Juanita Mengel from Ohio has been looking for a cat with missing limbs for a while. When she heard about Bruce, she contacted Tschinkel. They shared information, and after Mengel’s adoption application was approved, she flew from Ohio to La Guardia Airport in New York to get Bruce. It appeared to be love at first sight.
Mengel is an amputee and very involved in helping others with missing limbs. She told Shelter Me:
“We go out and visit new or older amputees and also do activities each month depending on season – playing cards, kayaking, skiing, (the) main thing we do is help other amputees. We are there to help them, so they don’t fall through the cracks. The first thing when you visit an amputee – what I’m looking for with Bruce – he has a wonderful personality – being a therapy cat and taking him with me when I go to visit new amputees or groups or schools.”
Mengel mentioned how important it is to break the ice when meeting someone new, and with Bruce, she would say, “Gee, look at him and he’s doing great.” Her prosthetist has made prosthetics for several different animals including dogs and llamas.
Not only is Bruce missing both his hind legs below the mid-joint, his ears are also misshapen from an old injury. Either he suffered frostbite or someone cut his ears. How his legs were injured will remain a mystery. One veterinarian thought he might have been born that way while another was convinced that his legs were cut off.
Whatever happened to Bruce, the mystery might truly be how he is still so very friendly and affectionate in spite of any mistreatment. Mengel plans to have him certified as a therapy animal once he has a chance to settle in.
She is waiting to let him settle in before she brings him to her veterinarian. “His legs need to heal before I take him to be checked for prosthetics,” she explained.
Friendly Ferals is a small group of dedicated New York animal lovers who are determined to spay and neuter as many feral and stray cats as possible. “We take in the kittens for adoption, if we can,” explained Tschinkel. They try to trap and sterilize all the cats in a specific area so that eventually, the population will decrease naturally as the older cats die.
Tschinkel also wanted to dispel the notion that ferals are not friendly. Many ferals will get used to their caretakers and become affectionate. And those ferals who are not able to be socialized will remain at a distance or not approach humans at all. Those who think that feral cats are waiting to attack people are simply wrong. Ferals who have not been around humans at all stay hidden just as any wild animal would. If the feral approaches humans, it’s probably because it’s not feral at all, but more likely a stray cat who has been abandoned to fend for itself.
Bruce Willis is a lucky black cat. In spite of his handicap — in fact because of it — he is on the brink of a life that will be filled with helping humans who, like him, are missing limbs. Donations can be made to his Paypal account: BruceESockets@gmail.com. Visit his Facebook page, Bruce E. Sockets, for updates!