Corky the Cradle Cat: A Beloved, Lucky CatPublished April 27, 2012
Corky the Cat: Courtesy of Cradle Cat/Gail Ventzke
Corky the cat, an eight month-old tabby and white kitten, was born with a congenital deformity called Bilateral Arthrogryposis of the Tarsus; a condition where his back legs were backwards and crisscrossed, resembling a corkscrew.
The plucky, courageous young stray kitty was found by a little boy dragging himself along a sidewalk in Moorhead, Minnesota. After he was picked up by animal control, the kitten was brought to the Moorhead Pound. Due to the severity of his disability, he was scheduled for euthanasia.
Corky the cat may just be the kitty that gives credence to the myth that cats have nine lives. Whether it was a miracle or just a coincidence, when Kathy from the Pound called CATS Cradle to let them know she had a very special third kitten they had to see, (Gail Ventzke and Carol Stefonek and Amber Schaffer, the Co-Founders and Directors of CATS Cradle were about to go pick up two adult cats whose time was about up), their curiosity was aroused.
It was at that very moment that the wheels of fortune were set in motion. The minute they saw him, it was love at first sight. Gail knew immediately that the young feline was “their guy.” During our interview Gail told me that “the kitty was sent to them for a reason. Since he held his body in a cradled position, with Cradle cats the name of their shelter, she knew for certain that this kitten was sent to them, meant for a bigger purpose”
While CATS Cradle’s compassionate intervention saved Corky’s life, it was obvious that complicated and highly skilled veterinary surgery was needed to help him. Corky was taken immediately to the Casselton Veterinary Service, placed in the capable hands of Dr. Dan Burchill who, after a thorough exam and x-rays, agreed to perform a series of corrective surgeries. Dr. Burchill’s goal was to help the crippled kitten to walk on all four legs. The skillful veterinary surgeon described Corky as a "happy, healthy, engaging, fun cat who dragged his back legs around."
During the heroic four-hour surgery in which the kitten’s rear legs’ anatomy was drastically re-arranged, his Achilles tendons were also severed to relax his curled up toes permitting him to walk more correctly. Corky received pain control medication to keep him comfortable. But several surgeries lay ahead for this amazing cat, to improve his mobility. As part of his rehabilitation Corky also receives acupuncture, and hydrotherapy.
When I asked Gail to describe Corky’s disposition, she said he is one of the sweetest and calmest cats she has ever met. He never complains or gets aggressive. He seems to intuitively understand that what he is going through will help him. Dr. Burchill and his staff are blown away by Corky’s patient cooperation during some very painful procedures.
There have been an overwhelming number of folks wanting to adopt Corky the cat after he has fully recovered, but Gail strongly believes that this wonderful cat has a powerful mission in life. Her dream for Corky's future is for him to eventually be a therapy cat, visiting hospitalized children, bringing them his message of courage and hope.
I will be checking in with Gail soon to follow up on Corky’s progress, but for regularly posted updates in the meantime, visit Corky’s Facebook Page .
Costs for Corky the cat's surgical, medical care and hospitalization are rapidly mounting. All donations, no matter how small will help Cradle Cats pay for his care and are gratefully welcomed. Folks wishing to contribute, visit the secure donation link on the CATS Cradle Facebook Page . Checks may also be sent to CATS Cradle Fund, 9 Ninth Street, South Fargo, North Dakota, 58103
“Meet Corky” by watching the touching video uploaded to YouTube by Gail Ventzke.
Leave “get well soon” wishes for Corky the cat in a comment. He is truly a brave and purrfect kitty.