Why did you decide to rescue?
I’ve always rescued pets. How can anyone not? We moved to a new home, and realized that not only could we now have a pet, but we needed someone to complete our home.
Please tell us your story with rescuing.
I followed Odd Cat Sanctuary on Facebook (you can find all their info there), and saw her post, and applied that night.
I've actually coached a Special Olympics team nearly every Saturday since I was 12, so I’ve got a huge love and respect for people with disabilities. I saw on the Odd Cat Sanctuary’s FB page that Maya had a chromosomal abnormality akin to Down Syndrome in humans (which a lot of my athletes have), and felt an immediate connection.
Then her post had gone semi-viral, and it was a pretty competitive process. It took around 6 weeks with a ton of interviews and even a home visit. But Odd Cat Sanctuary is great and always makes sure their pets go to the right homes.
We met her at the foster and took her home that day.
We do not know much about her past. But we’re thinking she’s about a year old. Maybe a little older, maybe a little younger. She’s pretty tiny (8 lbs tops), but she’s got huge feet and whiskers.
She’s a bit finicky sometimes (likely due to her past), but that’s just like any cat. She has slight vision issues (she is cross-eyed, after all), and due to her nasal structure she tends to get stuffy a lot. It’s actually adorable. Every time she gets out-of-breath, she sneezes like 15 times in a row. She’s of smaller stature, and some think she will be more kitten-like forever (developmentally). But she is not shy, talks a ton, doesn’t always like to be pet, and is super playful. Typical cat!
What was your biggest fear with rescuing and how did this fear play out once all was said and done?
Just whether or not we’d get along and she’d adjust. But she’s definitely adjusted now :)
Would you rescue again?
What would you say the most positive part of rescuing is?
Being able to give an animal a better life. And being able to complete one another.
What would you like everyone to know about this topic?
First off, it’s a commitment. No matter what health issues arise, you’ve got to be there for them.
And then there are two other things:
The first is that she’s just a normal cat. Like all disabilities, those living with them are doing just that—living with them. She’s more than her disability—even if it does make her look adorably different.
The second is that a chromosomal abnormality is not a disease. We get comments all the time like “I hope they find a cure” or “I am praying for her”. There’s no need to pray for her. She’s happy, she’s healthy, she’s very well-loved, and she doesn’t know any different.
Disability might be limiting in some ways, but it’s also a beautiful thing. She definitely wouldn’t be this adorable and well-known if she was like any other cat! (And we 100% were not expecting her to become this popular! We created this Instagram because she had so many fans when we got her who wanted to see updates. And since then, it’s been crazy!)
Follow sweet Maya on her Instagram page! (@meetmayacat)