Extra Love Needed: Meet Lennie the Miracle Cat

How old are you now Lennie?

 I am 20 months old!

I'm 20 months old! Yay! ~Lennie
I’m 20 months old! Yay! ~Lennie

Where did your name come from?

My Mama named me after the character Lennie Smalls in the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck because of my big feet, sweet personality, and simple look at life as a special needs kitty.  I got the moniker of miracle kitty from the vets who treated me.  None of them could believe that not only did I survive with all my issues, but I thrived!  My favorite vet, Dr. Sherrie O’Brien at The Pet Hospitals of Memphis said it was a miracle!

I read you beat pneumonia twice, you brave little guy, do you think it was all the love and snuggles that helped?

I definitely think that all the love and snuggles helped me with my illnesses.  Mama never left me alone!  She would force me to take my medicine and eat when I just wanted to lay down and sleep.  Mama never let me give up and she never gave up on me!

May I ask what exactly is sternal exvacatum? And how is it you have a severe case of it?

Sternal excavatum is more commonly called funnel chest.  It is a birth defect.  My vet told Mama that kitties who have external deformities like extra toes often have internal deformities as well and I have a few!  The vet told Mama that it was the worse she had ever seen, even in her doctor books!

Do you take an medications for it?

I do not have to take medicine for my chest.  It is just something that is a part  of who I am.  I get winded prettily easily and Mama has to watch my breathing but that is all!

I'm an avid Mama watcher, especially when she's outside ~ Lennie
I’m an avid Mama watcher, especially when she’s outside ~ Lennie
Do you need any therapy?

I do not need any therapy.  There are some surgeries that can be done to repair the deformity but with all my other issues the vet was concerned that it would do more harm than good to operate.  Also, the most common procedure for sternal excavatum is a shunt that slowly pulls the ribs into the correct position- kinda like braces for your teeth.  The vet said that it was painful and may not work.  Mama decided she did not want to put me through it.

Do you live with any fursiblings? If so, who?       

Yes, I have lots and lots of siblings!  I live with 6 other kitties permanently and fosters are always coming and going.  I have two sisters, Magnolia and Isabella and 4 brothers, Tennessee Jed, Tobey,  Reggie, and Bo.  If I get my way we will be adding little Pip to that mix as well!

What is your favorite toy?

My favorite toys are Mama’s pantyhose and socks!  I love them!  I grab them whenever I can and I fight with them, sling them around, and carry them around the house.  She thinks she hides them from me, but I always manage to find some when she isn’t looking!

Where do you like to sleep?

When Mama is home, I love to sleep wherever she is sleeping or sitting.  If she is not home, I love to sleep on the back of the couch so I can watch what everyone else is doing.  Sometimes, Reggie joins me on the couch and cleans my face for me.  That is nice.

Cat nap time ~ Lennie
Cat nap time ~ Lennie

Is there anything you or your mom would like to add about yourself or your condition?

Mama says that there are a lot of things wrong with me, but there is way more right than wrong!  I may have a snotty nose most of the time because of my deformed nasal passages and have a hard time playing with the others a lot because of my limited lung capacity, enlarged heart and liver, and deformed front legs but Mama says that I am the sweetest, friendliest, most fearless kitty she has ever met!

Is there anything your mom would like to say about pets that need extra love & care?

11.   Mama says that special needs kitties are extra special and need extra special people with extra special love.  It takes patience and a lot of faith to take on the responsibility of a kitty that is not “normal” but it is so worth it! Mama says I am the cutest kitty ever!  She thinks that the more people who see my sweet face and the great life that I have despite my challenges may take on the challenges and rewards of other kitties and doggies like me!

Pfft to those that don't understand I just need extra love ~Lennie
Pfft to those that don’t understand I just need extra love ~Lennie

Thank you for being interested in me and my story!

Dedication:

This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Little Louie.

Mama fought hard for him too and was heartbroken when he passed.  Mama said that he was not as strong and fearless as me.  Even the vet said that I was a fighter!  Mama wishes that Louie was with us today.

Lennie & Louie, Fly free little Louie, you will always be loved
Lennie & Louie, Fly free little Louie, you will always be loved

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Lennie for letting me interview him. Pictures were used with permission. You can find him on his facebook page Lennie the Miracle Kitty.
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