It was a task experienced foster mom Liz had accepted again and again--tame a feral kitten and get him ready for adoption. So she took in tiny Clyde, a barn baby who had been trying to fend for himself and began the process.
Alternately referring to him as her "hissy brat" and "wild child," Liz coaxed Clyde out of his shell and saw him begin to scamper around the house and interact with the resident animals and people.
When he had calmed down enough, Liz finally performed a head-to-toe exam. What she discovered shocked her! It turns out that Clyde was missing a foot! The bones of one of his front feet had fused together, and the toes, pad and most of the fur were absent.
Liz was upset with herself at first. "I have been fostering for years," she said, "and I never missed a health issue like this." Of course, the kitten had been able to run and play like he had four good feet. "Clyde didn't know anything was wrong, so why should I?"
Liz whisked Clyde off to the vet, where he received a mixed prognosis. The doctor wrapped the leg to give the foot a chance to heal, but he warned Liz that amputation might be needed. The vet told the foster mom to watch for infection and pay attention to the kitten's comfort level.
Not much slowed Clyde down. He tolerated the cast for about a week, then ripped it off every time Liz tried to treat the foot and wrap it back up. Clyde learned to climb the couch and even scale the counter tops! His foot seemed none the worse for wear, and no one who came to visit could tell anything was different about Clyde. He had blossomed into a cuddly, lovable kitten, delighting everyone with his charming kitten antics.
Clyde even found his own family. On a return check up visit to the vet, Clyde spotted a couple he wanted to check out. He climbed up to the man's shoulder and settled right in, ready to hang out and watch football. Of course the guy and gal were smitten with Clyde and his story. Who wouldn't be?!