Inspired by a speeding kitty

Published 9:37 pm Wednesday, August 17, 2011

When I was sent out to the Animal Clinic at Eagle Harbor to meet a cat in a wheelchair, I had no idea what to expect.

I’d seen dogs that used wheels to get around, and while it is a surprising sight at first, the shock wears off pretty quickly.

It seemed to me dogs would be more likely to welcome the wheels because they usually are a little more accustomed to constraints that limit their movements, like leashes and harnesses.

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As someone who has owned cats in the past, I couldn’t imagine a cat being tolerant enough for his people to place him in a confining and foreign apparatus every day, even if it would help him walk.

But Funyun proved me wrong.

As soon as hospital manager Ellen Norris opened the door to let the kitty out, he zoomed past me in a fury of orange and black.

With a colorful Mohawk shaved between his ears and a mischievous personality, Funyun is like any other cat, just with a little bit of extra baggage in the back.

Although he has a tragic story of spending the first eight months of his life crippled in his owner’s garage, you would never know it by the way the now-2-year-old kitty prowls the halls.

Norris told me most people react sympathetically to Funyun and want to pity him, and while Funyun might dig the extra attention from his adoring, he doesn’t need anyone’s pity.

Watching him run, play and even jump, it is obvious to me Funyun doesn’t take his ability to get around for granted.

Funyun doesn’t use his wheels as a crutch, rolling lethargically through the office; instead, they are an extension of him.

One thing Norris said really stuck with me. She said the kitty in a wheelchair might confuse animals initially, but it takes only moments for the other cats and dogs to forget (or maybe accept) Funyun’s condition and treat him like any other animal.

This is something I think we humans can afford to learn from our furry friends. It’s clear Funyun doesn’t care that he’s different, so why should anyone else?

It also goes to show that animals don’t have the same mental blocks that humans have that tell us we can’t or shouldn’t do something.

The comeback cat’s story is an example of letting go of the past and enjoying the day you have in front of you.

I’m sure our little orange friend doesn’t realize he’s doing it, but by getting into his wheels and speeding off every day, he’s an inspiration to forget the past and burn rubber into the future.