Nearly 4 years ago, Carmen Bernard spotted a tiny kitten struggling across a Florida Highway. Her tiny legs and tail appeared “twisty” as if she had been hit by a car.
When Carmen’s vet examined the kitty she received the shocking news that not only had the 5-week-old Seal Point been born with severe deformations of her rear limbs; she was also blind.
Knowing that the kitten’s special needs put her at high risk for euthanasia in a shelter, Carmen decided to adopt her. She named the little cutie Pretzel in honor of her twisted rear limbs. Having been born feral, Pretzel’s birth defects were likely a result of being exposed to Feline Distemper in the womb.
Aside from her physical ailments, the little kitten had some emotional issues to contend with early on. She puffed up, hissed and swatted at anyone who came near her. Taking into account her blindness, limited mobility and feral nature, can you blame her?
With patience and gentle reassurance from Carmen, Pretzel came to understand that she was safe, and her sweet personality came to the surface.
Inspired by Pretzel’s strength of spirit, Carmen started the Facebook page, The Little Kitty That Could and began sharing stories, updates and photos. To her surprise, people from all over the world sent messages of support and donated money to help with mounting veterinary expenses.
Since Pretzel was born without the tissue that connects the retina to the optic nerve, her blindness cannot be corrected. However, veterinarians at the University of Florida believed that they could help her by performing surgery on her rear limbs.