Falling in Love with a Feline: The Heartwarming Story of a Foster Mom and Her Hydrocephalic Kitten with a Malformed Leg.

Alaina, a foster parent who takes care of neonatal kittens, received an email from Austin Pets Alive! regarding Picklin, a small tabby cat that the organization had rescued recently. She felt a strong urge to assist the four-week-old kitten. Alaina recalls that Picklin was a scrawny and undersized single orphan who was discovered alone. He had an apparent deformity in his right limb, as well as indications of irregularities in his head and facial features.

Alaina was curious to know more about Picklin when she stumbled upon his diagnosis of hydrocephalus, a neurological condition that causes fluid buildup in the brain. Despite being an experienced fosterer, she had never taken care of a cat with special needs before. But that didn’t stop her from bringing Picklin home from the shelter on September 6, 2021, and he thrived under her care in Round Rock, Texas. Alaina fell in love with Picklin’s resilience, as he made the best of every situation and never let his condition hold him back. By November 5, 2021, Alaina knew that she could not bear to part with him, so she adopted him. However, a few days later, she witnessed him having a seizure for the first time, which prompted her to seek veterinary care.

Alaina shares that Picklin has been diagnosed with several health conditions, including spinal deformities, hydrocephalus, muscular dystrophy, leg weakness, and a possible rare genetic abnormality. Despite these challenges, Picklin is a joyful and energetic dog who loves the company of other animals, particularly his feline brother. Alaina notes that he gets excited when other cats come over to groom him. Picklin enjoys spending time alone as well and likes to sunbathe to feel energized and at peace. Alaina plans to take him outside more often once the weather becomes warmer. While genetic testing has not been done yet, Alaina believes that there will be no exact treatment for his conditions.

According to Alaina, who has been dealing with her own health issues, Picklin, her remarkable son, provides her with love and strength that she has never received from anything else. Although people might assume that Picklin benefits more from their relationship, Alaina considers herself equally lucky. She hopes that more individuals will open their homes to animals like Picklin through fostering or adoption because special needs pets often do not receive the opportunities they require. Despite the fact that they deserve to live and experience life to the fullest, Alaina admits that taking care of Picklin has not always been easy. Veterinary medicine is not as advanced or readily available as human healthcare, and there are not specialists in every city.

Healthcare, particularly for pets, can be extremely costly, especially when dealing with neurological or genetic conditions. Fortunately, Alaina was able to raise funds through the generosity of donors to cover Picklin’s medical expenses. Despite the challenges they faced, Alaina and Picklin have developed a deep bond, which has strengthened with each obstacle. Picklin has been a source of inspiration and comfort for Alaina, especially during her own health struggles. Alaina believes that if Picklin can find strength and happiness daily, she can too.

For those interested in getting to know this cute little feline, be sure to check out Picklin’s Instagram account!

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