Amy Hunt, a veterinary tech assistant at VCA Canada Island Animal Hospital in Nanaimo, fostered and adopted Lemon, a stray kitten, who suffered paralysis in his back legs after a dog attack. (Karl Yu/Nanaimo News Bulletin)

VIDEO: Disabled Vancouver Island feline teaching foster kittens ‘how to cat’

Life goes from sour to sweet for Lemon, an adopted cat from B.C. SPCA Nanaimo

While life was initially sour for a stray kitten in Nanaimo, it has sweetened significantly after the cat was adopted by a veterinary hospital employee.

Lemon was brought to the B.C. SPCA facility in Nanaimo last summer after suffering paralysis in its back legs from a dog attack. Amy Hunt, a veterinary tech assistant at VCA Canada Island Animal Hospital on Bowen Road, fostered and subsequently adopted the orange cat, which is receiving treatment and seeing a good quality of life.

After the cat was surrendered to the hospital, staff knew it was paralyzed, as X-rays revealed “a gap in his spine,” said Hunt. Dr. Jamie Wintemute recommended laser therapy and acupuncture and the cat underwent rehab at Applecross veterinary clinic with laser and acupuncture at Seaside veterinary clinic in Parksville from Dr. Cheyenne Knight, who Hunt says Lemon adores.

RELATED: Saving Hope: how a tiny island community rallied around abused dog

RELATED: More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

Hunt says acupuncture and electro-acupuncture regenerates nerve-building and gets nerves that would normally be dormant “to fire,” while laser therapy increases blood flow.

“Initially he had no movement up his tail and now he actually does. He can move his feet, he seems to have all his localized reflexes. It would be very unlikely for him ever to walk again [but] he’s adapted very well. This is all he’s really known, so he’s very happy,” Hunt told the News Bulletin. “He can move around probably as fast as any other kitty and he doesn’t think he’s any different than any other cat really.”

Lemon even had the chance to pay it forward, acting as a surrogate sibling to a pair of orphaned kittens, Leo and Oliver, who were surrendered in June and who Hunt took on as fosters. She refers to the pair as the tangerines, as they are also orange.

Hunt said Lemon has taught Leo and Oliver “how to cat,” according to a press release from B.C. SPCA Nanaimo branch, as orphaned kittens are sometimes “a bit wild,” with no grooming skills or how to partake in responsible play, and Lemon has taught the two kittens just that.

“Lemon, initially, was kind of jealous I think, having little babies in the house, but in about a day, he decided that they were his babies,” Hunt said told the VI Free Daily. “So he wanted to be with them every chance he got … If he’s eating or anything like that and hears them playing or ‘meowing’ or just being kittens he needs to be right there.”

The kittens will be heading to their adoptive families on Wednesday, Aug. 12 and Hunt refers to it as both happy and sad.

“These guys actually have adopters lined up and they’re going to fantastic homes,” said Hunt. “If you didn’t foster, they probably wouldn’t be here today, so you’re saving lives. I have two other cats at home and we’re at capacity … I’ll probably shed a few tears, but it’s a more happy day.”

However, it’s “kitten season” says Hunt, and she’s sure Lemon will have more fosters to “play with and baby.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

Animals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yellow Point Drama Group puts on socially distanced production of Grace & Glorie

There will be seven performances: three evening shows, and four matinees

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school trustees receive assignments for year

School trustees appointed to Nanaimo-Ladysmith-area schools

Vancouver Island under a thunderstorm watch tonight

Environment Canada forecasts downpour and possible thunder and lightning

B.C. Greens hurrying to get candidates in place for provincial election

No candidates announced yet in Nanaimo, Nanaimo-North Cowichan or Parksville-Qualicum

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Island Corridor Foundation launches survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail

“ICF remains 100 per cent committed to the restoration of full rail service on Vancouver Island”

Island RCMP remind drivers not to text after 19 tickets handed out in 90 minutes

The $368 fines were handed out Tuesday on Norwell Drive and Old Island Highway in Nanaimo

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Nanaimo RCMP seize firearms, ID, portable debit machine as ‘prolific offender’ arrested

Austin Carlson-McPherson, 24, accused of crimes in Nanaimo, Duncan, Port Renfrew and Sooke

Three years for serial bank robber who hit southern Vancouver Island branch

Lucas Bradwell was wanted for robberies in Abbotsford, Sidney and Vancouver

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Most Read