Swechha began in 2000 as a young people’s campaign to raise awareness about pollution in India's River Yamuna and on youth participation and active citizenship.
After losing the senior cat she and her family had adopted from Pet Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Janine Randolph’s husband and children returned to the rescue near their home in Norwalk, Connecticut, to see the animals who were available for adoption.
“My family — on a whim — went to PAWS and they fell in love with Madeline,” says Janine. “I love to adopt and teach my kids to adopt the ‘unwanted’ and needy.”
Consequently, it’s no surprise Janine’s daughters were smitten with Madeline, a two-legged tabby kitten, who was most likely born in September 2017.
“She was found by a little boy who didn’t speak English and was trying to find someone to help him help her,” explains Janine. “He ended up going to his pastor and they brought her to PAWS.”
When Madeline was discovered, she was already missing her hind legs, indicating she may have simply been born without rear limbs, although it’s possible she suffered some sort of injury before she was found.
While Janine’s daughters wanted to adopt the young special needs cat, they knew they needed their mom’s approval, but she didn’t take much convincing.
“I’m an animal lover and my two girls are as well,” says Janine. “I always feel something for the ‘un-adoptable.’ Senior animals, handicap-able — often they not only need the most love but give the most!”
After meeting Madeline for the first time, Janine knew the adorable two-legged kitten would be the perfect pet for the Randolphs, and the family officially adopted the unique cat on April 12, 2018.
While the Randolphs were prepared to make special accommodations to ensure Madeline’s happiness and safety, this cute two-legged girl quickly proved to her new family that she’s not that different from a typical four-legged feline.
“Besides not being able to get to certain places other cats can, Madeline is like every other cat!” says Janine. “We let her get around all on her own with the exception of taking her up the flight of hardwood stairs.”
Aside from not being able to go up and down the hardwood stairs on her own, Madeline can’t jump very high, which means she’s unable to get up onto the kitchen counters, although that’s a bit of a blessing in disguise.
However, other than these rather minor limitations, there isn’t much this energetic feline can’t do. “She chases the other cats and plays like all young kittens,” says Janine. “Sometimes I come home and she’s on something and I wonder, how the heck did you get there?”
Madeline also enjoys cuddling with her family, and Janine believes this sweet girl and other special needs cat like her more than make up for any extra help they may need by being incredibly affectionate. “They give as much love and are not as hard to take care of as many people think,” says Janine.
It’s been more than two months since the Randolphs adopted Madeline, and this family has already formed a very special bond with this feisty two-legged kitten who was found on the streets all by herself.
“We love that we rescued her and can take care of her so she has a good loving home,” says Janine, “And we love the joy she brings to us.”
Janine, who has helped raise two daughters who love and adore animals as well, especially those with special needs, is also very grateful for the opportunity Madeline has given her as a parent to show her girls the importance of kindness and empathy.
“I love that she helps me teach my children compassion,” says Janine. “She means a ton to us.”
A version of this story previously appeared on PAWS CT.
PAWS is a nonprofit, no-kill organization founded in 1962. We will do whatever we can, however long it takes, to find loving homes for the animals in our care.Learn More
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