Three tiny kittens, Pretzel, Oliver Twist and Curly Sue, were abandoned at birth at the Kitten Rescue sanctuary in Los Angeles. Why? Because of their physical defects, reported The Dodo.
Covered in amniotic fluid and still attached to the umbilical cord, the kittens had just hours to live. Their humans gave them to the centre to be put down.
But the volunteers at Kitten Rescue thought differently. In the words of one volunteer, Laura Hawthorne, "just because they're not perfect doesn't mean they can't have a chance at a happy life."
When she heard their energetic meows of hunger (for food, and for life), Laura and her little niece decided to welcome the three kitties.
Sadly, Oliver Twist died during the night. 14 weeks later, it was Curly's turn to go.The loss of her siblings was hard on little Pretzel, who found herself all alone.But again, a powerful will to live took hold of her. Laura says:
You could see it. Pretzel was a real fighter. She wanted to live at all costs.
The instinct was strong enough to overcome her physical handicaps - the bones in her paws aren't properly formed and her pelvis is badly misshapen.
However, Pretzel behaves like any other cat. "She has no clue that she's different", says the volunteer.
Her adoptive human paid no attention to her differences.
At the beginning of May, eight months after she was born, the adorable white cat found a forever home.
Whilst looking for a feline friend to adopt, Michelle Harrison noticed Pretzel in a video. She was so moved that she decided to go and visit her.
Michelle was immediately won over by Pretzel's shy gentleness.
The young woman could not have found a better friend:
She must be the most affectionate creature in the world.
For the first time, I understand what it means to take care of an animal who really needs you. [...] It's been the most rewarding challenge of my life.
Watch this video about Pretzel's incredible life and fall in love.
Thanks to the caring community of pet lovers, Pretzel and her human have been able to buy a wheelchair to help her get around! If you want to help with her medical costs, you can donate on this page.