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Paralyzed Cat Brings Joy To The Community

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- "Ooh! Come here, big guy."

Scooter gets a boost from his loving owner, veterinarian Betsy Kennon, as she lifts him into the customized "wheelchair" that enables him to walk.

The Northview Animal Hospital veterinarian was working at the Harts Run Clinic, four years ago, when someone brought her a tiny kitten, delivered to him by his dog.

"He was paralyzed from the waist down, and in shock," Dr. Kennon says. "But there was not a mark on him. There was not a bite wound, there was not a puncture, there was not a bruise, there was nothing. So I was able to tell him, your dog didn't do this. Your dog actually saved the cat. Most people would have probably said, put him to sleep. That was the logical thing to do. But a little voice told me 'don't do that.'"

Harts Run clients collected more than $300 to pay for Scooter's cart. The little guy's been paying dividends ever since.

"Readers Digest" told readers of Scooter's work as a therapy cat, visiting patients at Harmar Rehabilitation Hospital.

Like a stroke victim, who never spoke.

"We put Scooter up onto her bed," Dr. Kennon says, "and he snuggled right up to her. And don't you know, she pet him, she opened her eyes, she was talking to him. And I thought that's really cool. And when I turned around and looked, the recreational therapist and nurse were both in tears."

Scooter's next stop is New York City. The brave little cat from Natrona Heights will be honored by the ASPCA as America's "Cat of the Year."

Dr. Kennon thinks the patients that he visits would agree.

"He brings them a little bit of happiness, a little bit of joy, and a little bit of hope that things are going to get better," she said.

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