Paralyzed kitten given second chance

You may not be the type of person who finds a picture of a kitten at an animal shelter particularly touching, but once you know the story of this kitten’s incredible life, you might be.

Meet Selena. She was born around Thanksgiving in 2015, and, for the most part, she was a happy, healthy Siamese mix kitten. Then, the unthinkable happened. She sustained an injury that caused her to become partially paralyzed and then she was abandoned by her former owner. Luckily, a Good Samaritan rescued Selena and brought her to the Humane Society of Adams County.

Amanda Cantrell, Director of the Shelter, personally overtook Selena’s care to ensure she was given the best chance possible for a positive outcome. Veterinarians ran tests and x-rays to locate the origin of the paralysis. On paper, Selena was a happy, healthy kitten, but in reality, she was paralyzed from the mid-back down. All she could do was drag her useless legs and tail around behind her.

The vets were afraid that Selena would never move on her own again, and they discussed euthanizing her to relieve her of her suffering. Ultimately, though, the vets and Cantrell couldn’t let this young cat die.

Although she didn’t have control of her rear leg muscles, Selena could feel, so Cantrell focused on strengthening those sensations. She researched rehabilitation techniques and pushed Selena to challenge herself. Eventually, after a lot of hard work on both Cantrell and Selena’s part, the kitten began to show little movements.

Those little movements continue to become bigger. Slowly but surely, Selena is learning to use her body once again. “She’s a fighter,” Cantrell said.

As Selena’s body grows stronger, so does her spirit and her desire to heal. “From here, we are hoping she will be able to transfer into a wheelchair,” said Cantrell, “Currently, though, we do not have the funds to afford a wheelchair for her.”

Cantrell uses toys and food to encourage Selena to move herself across the ground. It is a lot of work, but it is not a wasted life. The Humane Society hopes that Selena’s story will inspire people to give their pets a second chance, especially when the animal has no other hope.

If the right adopter comes along who understands and can provide for Selena’s special needs, she may go home to a family of her own one day. Until then, Cantrell will continue Selena’s rehabilitation at the Animal Shelter in West Union.

With this story is a picture of Selena. To the viewer who doesn’t know her story, the photo may seem commonplace. It shows a blue-eyed kitten relaxing on the floor. But now that you know her story, that photo may just mean a little something more.

To help the Humane Society cover the cost of caring for special needs pets, as well as helping buy a wheelchair for Selena, please send donations to HSAC, P.O. Box 245, West Union, OH 45693. Be sure to write “For Selena” in the memo line. You may also donate online at

Selena is working her way back from being paralyzed. is working her way back from being paralyzed. Submitted photo

Staff Report