Meet Hope! Hope was born with a condition called Congenital Tarsal Hyperextension. The reason why she was born that way was because she did not have enough room in the womb to properly develop, although her three siblings turned out just fine.
She and her siblings were found at three weeks old in a feral colony in South Philly. It didn’t take long to discover that Hope was just a little bit different. At a quick glance, her hind legs appear to bend backward at the knee, leaving her unable to use her back paws. Since there wasn’t quite enough room in the womb, her hind legs were compromised, leaving them bent backwards at the ankle.
While she has no function of her ankle/foot, she doesn’t let that hold her back. Hope is a playful, loving kitten who loves to run, jump, and climb. Despite her playful personality, it was obvious she was in pain. She had difficulty walking on hard surfaces and would often lick at her legs to relieve pain. In an effort to create a better quality of life for Hope, she began physical therapy under the supervision of a specialist. Her foster family does exercises with her three times a day to help extend the muscles and tendons in her legs. She also has a pair of braces that were custom made to fit her throughout her physical therapy process. The ideal outcome is her legs to be straightened with physical therapy, but it will be a lengthy 6-9 month process with zero guarantee of success.
After months of therapy, Hope has been officially given a clean bill of health, Although aesthetically she will never look exactly like every other cat, she now has a better quality of life.