In August of 2020, an Arkansas woman discovered a kitten with an unusual quality.
She soon realized this kitten was unlike any other kitten she had ever seen…
Keep reading to discover how this special kitten surprised everyone with her rare feature!
A Special Guest
Jen Grayston, founder of Jen’s Kitty Rehab in Fort Smith, Arkansas, had been regularly feeding a group of stray cats near a nursing home when something strange caught her eye.
“I got there Thursday and saw a couple cats that I had seen before and planned on trapping,” Jen shared with National Kitty. “But I didn’t have a trap with me that day. I just had a carrier.”
This time, the cats were not alone.
Eating alongside them was a kitten Jen had never seen before.
A Difficult Decision
The three cats walked up to Jen and started eating.
Having a single carrier, Jen had a difficult decision to make.
“My first thought was if I can only take one, which one do I take?” Jen recalled.
Jen quickly realized the kitten belonged to one of the adult cats who was eating. The kitten looked just like her mom.
After taking a closer look, Jen realized something wasn’t right.
“I noticed that the kitten had green gunky eyes and what looked like a damaged tail,” said Jen.
Knowing the kitten urgently needed medical attention, she scooped her up and placed her in the carrier.
The Moment of Truth
Jen took the kitten home where she was cleaned up and given a name: Penelope.
Penelope quickly warmed up to Jen and felt safe in her company.
She purred and waited patiently as Jen trimmed her nails and gave her a bath.
Penelope was taken to the vet the next day where Jen waited with fingers crossed.
The vet estimated that Penelope was around 10 weeks old.
Penelope was underweight for her age, and her tall stature made her look even skinnier.
However, there was some good news.
“The vet said Penelope’s bent tail was a congenital birth defect, not an injury,” said Jennifer.
Once Jen knew that touching Penelope’s tail would not cause her pain, she felt more comfortable assessing Penelope’s tail.
It was then that Jen made a shocking discovery…Penelope had a curly tail!
A Painful Reminder
“Once I realized that I wouldn’t cause her any pain, I felt around on it,” Jen said. “It’s curly! She has a curly tail and it’s so cool!”
Penelope was putting on weight and her eyes were healing from the treatment.
Jen was feeling very optimistic! Penelope was on track to be a healthy, happy cat.
Penelope’s curly tail makes her quirky and unique, but Jen is concerned by how people take advantage of these qualities.
“People don’t understand that ‘cute’ features like extra toes or a curly tail are a product of inbreeding,” Jen shared. “Which is not good!”
Jen wants to make cat lovers aware that a cat’s health and well-being should never be compromised for “cuteness”.
“Breeders are notorious for taking advantage of these birth defects for profit,” said Jen. “This is why you must spay and neuter!”
Even without the risk of breeders, Jen warns that sometimes birth defects can shorten a cat’s life or cause their mothers to reject them.
Jen stresses how important it is to get special cats like Penelope spayed and neutered before adoption.
Otherwise these kittens could end up in the wrong hands.
Safe and Sound
Penelope loves all the attention she’s getting from Jen’s family.
Having spent her first 10 weeks of life on the streets, she’s not used to being held by humans.
“She doesn’t like being held, but she will let me swaddle her like a baby,” Jennifer shared.
Soon, Penelope will be spayed and receive her next round of vaccines.
Jen has also made arrangements to return to the nursing home and TNR (trap, neuter, return) the remaining cats, including Penelope’s mom.
Jen is confident Penelope will find the perfect home – she’ll make sure of it!
For now, Penelope can rest easy knowing she is safe and loved in the comfort of her rescuer’s home.
About Our Hero
Jen’s Kitty Rehab is a nonprofit located is Fort Smith, Arkansas.
The organization consists of Jen, her family, and a network of local fosters.
They specialize in rescuing and rehabilitating neglected cats and kittens with severe medical needs.
Jen and her volunteers are relentless in their mission to give abused, overlooked, and neglected cats a second chance.
However, they are entirely self funded.
They rely on the generous donations of kind hearted individuals in order to continue their life saving missions.
Please consider donating food or supplies directly to Jen’s Kitty Rehab through their Amazon Wishlist.
If you would like to donate toward a kitten’s medical treatment, please click here.