‘Viral’ cat on wheels paves the way for adoption of special-needs pets

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NEWARK -

The new owners of a partially paralyzed cat say that they are using his fame to bring attention to other pets with special needs that need to be adopted.

Rocky is a young cat whose hind legs were paralyzed when his mother dropped him off a high loading dock in Newark and left him for dead.

Dawn Firestone tells News 12 New Jersey that her husband Benjamin found Rocky and brought him home. She says that she fed the cat from a bottle until he got his strength back, but says that his legs never recovered.

Firestone says that she fashioned a wheelchair of sorts for Rocky so that he is able to get around.

“I’ve built a bunch of stuff before. I found him his first set of wheels. I got him a second set of wheels and they are a tiny bit too big. So we’re waiting a little bit to put him in it,” she says.

The harness allows the cat, now dubbed “Rocky on Wheels,” to get around and even move his back legs a little bit as a form of physical therapy.

“Rocky on Wheels” has also become an internet sensation. Videos of him have surpassed 25 million views and he has 18,000 followers on Instagram.

Firestone says that she hopes that Rocky’s fame and story help inspire other people to consider adopting special-needs pets.

“Every one of those people can tell their friends, and if…someone goes to adopt a cat and sees a special-needs cat, they’ll say, ‘Oh I follow Rocky. It’s not that bad,’” Firestone says. 

“It literally kills me to think that [Rocky] would have been put down. Or that other cats that can be that amazing would be put down,” says Firestone.

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