Have you met Rexie the paralyzed cat? He is an Instagram rock star with more than 20k followers who is enjoying life to the fullest. Thanks to the beautiful photos taken by his pet mom, Dasha Minaeva, animal lovers everywhere can keep track of this feline running around town in his custom wheelchair, playing in his apartment in Yekaterinburg, Russia or hanging out with his best buddy Keanu, the ferret.
Rexie’s story is part of the magic I see every day in handicapped pets. They don’t sit around feeling sorry for themselves; instead they adapt and celebrate their “handi-capable” lives. I love Rexie’s story and thought other pet parents of paraplegic dogs and cats might like to know more about him. I reached out to Dasha to see if she would share some of those details and below is our exclusive interview.
Here is a bit of history about Dasha and Rexie’s background. Rexie joined the family in 2015 when he was a kitten. Dasha adopted him from friends who were giving away a litter of kittens. She brought him home and introduced Rexie to her four year-old ferret that Dasha rescued from terrible conditions at a local pet shop. Rexie and Keanu became instant friends.
Rexie became paralyzed when he was left with some family members to babysit him. The children in the home played too rough with him and Rexie’s spine was accidently broken.
How old was Rexie when he was injured?
He was almost 5 months old when he lost the use of his hind legs.
Did Rexie need surgery?
Our veterinarian said surgery wouldn’t fix his back because the injury was too bad.
I got Rexie a wheelchair a few months after his rehabilitation. I was determined to give him a good quality life so I took him for rehab. He began to take tiny steps with his front legs, but his back legs remained paralyzed. He is also incontinent. I used the wheelchair as physiotherapy. (Frakishtak is the name of the company that made Rexie’s cart. They are located in Kyiv, Ukraine and sell a variety of products for paraplegic and incontinent pets.)
Tell me about Rexie’s daily routine and the kind of help he needs.
Rexie is pretty much like any normal cat. He walks and runs and plays. Most of the time, he prefers to just chill. He plays with his ferret pal when Keanu wakes up (ferrets are heavy sleepers and can sleep up to 16 hours a day). The only thing Rexie needs help with is using the toilet because he can’t urinate on his own. He needs to have his bladder expressed several times a day. Other than that, he can do pretty much everything himself.
The pictures you take of your pets are beautiful. Are you a photographer?
Well, I would call myself an amateur photographer, but I’m the one that takes pictures of Rexie and Keanu.
Tell me about Rexie’s personality.
Rexie is a very loving and tender cat. He likes being petted and he always wants to sleep with me in my bed. He won’t stop meowing until I pick him up and put him on my bed beside me. He’s not bothered by being disabled; he just lives without knowing he is so. Because being disabled doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy little things that every cat does: bird watching, chasing insects around, playing with toys and being loved.
You can keep track of Rexie and Keanu on Instagram.
Keep up with other amazing special needs pets on our Handi-Capable Pet Videos Page.
Photos courtesy of Dasha Minaeva.