When a Wisconsin man decided to adopt a cat, friends pointed him towards Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary, a shelter and cat café in downtown Green Bay.
Indeed, when Robert Bartel arrived at the cage-free shelter, he quickly found his perfect companion animal. Paneer was a rescued orange feline missing one back leg–-just like Robert, who was born with only one leg and gets around with a prosthetic.
“I took a look at her description, and I saw that she was missing one leg like me,” Robert told the NBC 26 Green Bay. “So I thought, ‘oh, I definitely want to meet her.'”
Disabilities aside, Paneer and Robert seemed suited in other ways. According to her description, Paneer was looking for a quiet home with just 1-2 other people. Robert lived by himself, which is one reason he’d come to the shelter in search of a new feline friend.
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And similar to Robert, who comfortably navigates his disability with the help of a prosthetic leg, Paneer doesn’t have any trouble getting around. Once Robert brought Paneer home, he discovered the 3-legged cat could navigate the stairs with ease. And the rescued cat never lets her lacking appendage interfere with a good cuddle.
“I did feel a connection with Paneer and because we’re both really similar in that regard of only having one leg, that drew my interest,” said Robert, who hopes Paneer’s adoption story will encourage other people to give disabled shelter pets a chance. “Even if they’re missing appendages or anything like that, they can still be a really loving cat and part of your family,” he said.
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