Entrant's First Name
Asheville My Story
I’m a veterinarian and Joy was brought to me in December, 2016, at the young age of 4 weeks old. Her rear legs were paralyzed, likely as the result of trauma from being dropped by a bird of prey. This little kitten was such a fighter from day one, when she appeared in my office soaked to the core with a large wound near her spinal cord region! I knew I had to do everything I could to help save her life. Since that first day, she and I have been inseparable. She came home with me and I first provided the medical attention she needed to thrive. Next, she and I tried everything to get her to regain function to her rear limbs but all failed. Accupuncture, water therapy (when she tolerated it), Assisi loop, physical therapy, IV drugs, the damage was too far gone. I felt as though I failed her, that is until I took a hard look at her. She was truly unphased by her disability. To her, life was perfect and she loved everyone and everything in it. So I shifted my focus instead to celebrate her life. Joy comes everywhere with me and she’s a remarkable traveler. We have hiked, visited local breweries, strolled in her stroller to cities, festivals and animal sanctuary events where she has interacted with children, horses, goats, pigs, dogs and adults. Wherever we go, she’s always the life of the party. Children flock to her, adults ooh and ahh over her and she happily lets everyone get their chance to pet her and give her love. Once she even had a group of children at a cherry blossom festival perform a puppet show for her. She calmly sat in her stroller and watched. The children were elated and the parents took hundreds of pictures! Her name is perfect for all these above stories; she literally brings joy to everyone around her. She teaches us that it’s okay to be different, but also not to let those differences stop us. Joy comes to work with me everyday at the ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance where we practice and preach controling the pet population with spay/neuter techniques to decrease the number of pets surrendered to shelters. I like to think of her as our embassador. We participate in walks to raise money for shelter animals, farm sanctuary animals and once we even supported autistic children in a charity event. Joy will soon be registered as a therapy pet so she can help more seniors, adults and children open up to her. The amount of love she gives just amazes me everyday. And to see her move around effortlessly on her front limbs warms my heart. I know she is happy and enjoying life to the fullest. Now if only we could all learn from her!
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