Genevieve, The Princess With Three Legs


I met this adorable little furball while working at a friend’s clinic.  A woman approached the counter carrying a cardboard box.  Inside lay a newborn kitten missing one of its back legs.  She said she found the kitten behind a dumpster and wanted it euthanized. 

When I opened the box, I saw a newborn kitten covered in blood and dirt.  Her body fit in the palm of my hand.  The exposed muscles of her right back leg glistened under the bright hospital lights.  As I examined the bloody stump, Genny tried to wiggle away.  She opened her mouth to complain, but did not make a sound.  She was too weak to even cry.  I hypothesized that the placenta had stuck to her back leg.  The queen probably chewed her foot off in an effort to clean up her baby.  I could not put Genny down just because she was missing a leg.  So I asked the woman if I could try to raise the kitten.  Gratefully, the answer was yes.  

On July 1, 2008, Genevieve turns 16 years old.  This little hard luck kitten grew into a beautiful cat with silky fur and wonderful tortoise shell markings.  While small in size, like many torties Genny has an oversized  attitude.  When she lived at my clinic, she loved to walk in front of cages and remind the hospitalized animals that she could roam as she pleased.  I think she considers herself more human than cat.  She wants things her way and on her schedule.  If I don’t comply, she voices her disgust in a most unladylike manner.  Yes, she is a spoiled little princess but also affectionate and loving.  At night, she rests her head in my hand and purrs.  Raising an orphan is a mixture of work and reward.  Please consider becoming a foster parent if you have the chance to raise an orphaned animal.  The rewards are far greater than I could have ever imagined.   

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.