CLINTON — Not quite a year old and Wheelie is already becoming quite the cover cat.
The orange tabby who became a resident of Clinton Pet Vet Rescue and Sanctuary on Dwight Avenue when he was surrendered back in August because he had no use of his hind legs and couldn’t use his litter box on his own, continues to thrive, but needs additional care.
And now there’s a way for the entire community can get involved.
Mare Clarey, director of operations at CPV Rescue & Sanctuary, said the rescue is selling calendars for $20 featuring photos of Wheelie taken by volunteers since the rescue became his home.
“Every year the rescue does a calendar as a fund-raiser, and for this year we decided to do an additional calendar just featuring Wheelie,” Clarey said. “He’s been doing very well, but he has completely outgrown his chair, which is actually holding up his recovery a little.”
CPV also has a calendar for sale featuring all the felines at the rescue. Both calendars are available exclusively at the shelter, located at 60 Dwight Ave.
“Brodock Press in Utica printed the calendars for us, at no cost, and 100 percent of the proceeds go to the rescue, then with Wheelie’s calendar, 100 percent of the proceeds go toward him and his care,” Clarey said.
Staff at CPV don’t know how Wheelie suffered his injuries while just a small kitten, but he needed immediate attention and treatment once he arrived to the rescue. Because he was physically incapable of using a litter box, Clarey said Wheelie was wearing
a soiled preemie diaper when they got him, which caused some injuries to his skin besides his physical disability.
Wheelie has been receiving laser, water and physical therapy in hopes he can regain at least partial feeling in his hind legs again. He’s gone from total immobility in August to being able to twitch his legs and tail, particularly when he gets excited and is playing, Clarey said.
Staff purchased Wheelie a small wheelchair online as they began his treatment, but he has since outgrown it. In October, students in Lisa Davis’ Zone for Imagination, Innovation and Inspiration program at Westmoreland Upper Elementary School, visited the feline for the first time. They learned of Wheelie’s journey, what he needs to improve his health, and agreed to help design and produce a new chair for Wheelie to get around in.
Clarey said Davis sent her a photo before the holidays of the chair’s wheels that were designed and made by the students, which featured paw-shaped cut-outs.
CPV Rescue and Sanctuary is always in need of volunteers and donations. Frequently needed items include Purina dry cat food, bottled water, scoop-able cat litter, cat toys and cat beds. For more information, contact the rescue at 315-381-3605.