Furr-Ever Thankful Series: Scooter’s Story

Meet Scooter.  Scooter is a long-term shelter cat that has defied the odds and is thriving at TAPS.  Scooter was walked into TAPS on October 4, 2017 by two local firemen.  They found Scooter in the bushes outside of the firehouse on 14th Street in Pekin.  Scooter was only 3 – 4 weeks old.  

Shortly after intake, Scooter was diagnosed with spina bifida.  We were told there was nothing we could do and we should euthanize him.  We obtained a 2nd opinion that said the same thing.  By then, we were attached to him and couldn’t bear the thought of saying good-bye.  Scooter does not have control of his bowels or bladder and doesn’t have use of his back legs, but that doesn’t stop him from enjoying life.  

Because of his inability to control his bowels or bladder, we made the decision early on not to adopt him out.  We were afraid that someone would get frustrated by the on-going need to clean him and simply put him outside, where he would not survive.  Early on, Scooter was placed in two foster homes and both returned him due to the level of work it takes to keep him clean.  We decided to keep Scooter here as a shelter cat.

Scooter has his own room and he alternates his time between lounging in his room and scooting around the shelter.  When he’s out and about, he requires a diaper and socks on his feet so he doesn’t rub them raw as he scoots around.  When he’s in his room, we take his socks and diaper off.  Scooter receives a daily bath to clean his back end.  He eats prescription food to keep his stool soft.  We have to watch him while he’s out because he likes to convince shelter visitors that he belongs in the Open Cat rooms and heads straight to the cat food.  

He has such a sweet and sassy personality.  He loves attention as long as you aren’t trying to put a diaper on him but he will squirm and wiggle to get away from a diaper change.  As long as he knows you aren’t going to change his diaper, he’ll snuggle into your arms for attention and purr.  If he thinks you are going to change his diaper, he scoots away as fast as he can go. He loves to hang out in the Vet Tech room on his days out too.  

We recognize that Scooter would not be able to live in a traditional home environment but he is a part of our TAPS family and he is dearly loved.  

Spina bifida cats typically have a shorter life span due to secondary infections.  Scooter has defied the odds and at 3 years old, he is still doing well. Shortly after we took Scooter in, we took another young cat in named Abe.  Abe also had spina bifida.  Initially, when we put them together, Scooter was a little grumpy but they quickly became best friends.  Sadly, Abe passed away at just under 2 years old due to a secondary infection.  We miss him greatly but are grateful for the time we had with him. 


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