This orange tiger street tomcat in South Korea was as friendly as could be. But he had a problem. He had radial hypoplasia, a condition that affects the radial (forearm in a human, foreleg in a cat) bone.
With this congenital condition, the radial bone may be foreshortened or missing entirely. Such cats may be known as "squittens." Some cat breeds are even intentionally bred with shortened legs, since the condition is genetic.
Radial hypoplasia is not a fatal or even painful condition for a cat living an indoor life. But for this sweet ginger boy, it would have led to a very short and probably miserable existence.
By the time some kind local women found him and began feeding him in late 2016, he was already developing sores on his elbows from having to walk around on them.
He was in danger of developing an infection. He also would have had trouble defending himself from other cats or predators, or avoiding fast moving vehicles.
Fortunately, he was very friendly.
The women feeding him were able to coax him into a carrier and take him to the vet. The vet made some guards for his legs that prevent his elbows from rubbing on the pavement. At first, he was confused by the padded guards, but soon got used to them.
In the end, a young woman took him in to foster and introduced him to her four other cats.
He has been on South Korean television and is now an internet star. Not bad for a street cat who's all elbows!
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