Henry the kitten has three legs up on a happy future
Humane society's "warrior kitten" adopted by the people who found him on side of highway
Henry the kitten was the star of his very own news conference on Monday.
Seemingly oblivious to the rapid-fire click of camera shutters, the three-legged celebrity squirmed, nipped at fingers, chewed knuckles and shirt buttons, tugged on a gold necklace. At one point, he tried to eat a shoulder microphone.
He will now go home to live with the Rempel family.
"He's been our social media star," said Jocelyn Wade, communications co-ordinator for the Edmonton Humane Society. "He's even received special care packages in the mail, addressed to Henry the Warrior Cat."
Over the course of his convalescence, Henry's GoFundMe campaign raised more than $8,600 to help pay for his care. The $3,000 left over will now go to help other injured cats and dogs.
A grey ball of fur
Henry's long road to recovery started on the side of a highway, about 10 kilometres south of Red Deer. Clint Rempel was driving home from meetings in Calgary in late May when he passed a "grey ball of fur" on the shoulder of the road.
He was on the phone with his wife, Tamara, at the time.
"What should I do?" he asked her.
What he did was drive five miles up the highway, found a place to turn around, went back and picked up the severely injured kitten who was likely hit by a car.
"You hope he just wandered onto the highway," Rempel said Monday. "That somebody didn't throw him out of a car or something like that."
He placed the little cat on a jacket on the passenger seat and drove home to his family.
'Can we keep him?'
The minute his children, Erin and Samuel, saw the kitten, they said what any kids would say: "Can we keep him?"
Rempel said he wasn't sure the kitten would live through the night. The family took the little guy to the after-hours emergency veterinary clinic, where he was bandaged and put on IV.
Because he was a stray, he was transferred to the Edmonton Humane Society. Staff there looked at his injuries and wondered whether he would survive. They named him Henry, just in case.
The kitten was "flat out" when he arrived, Wade said. Which, in humane society lingo, means he was in grave danger.
Henry had a gaping wound and exposed tendons on one of his back legs. His left front leg was badly dislocated. He had head trauma.
The humane society veterinary team went to work. The Rempel family kept up with their progress through social media.
"When we heard that he made it through the night, and through a couple of days, there were some pretty happy faces with the kids," Rempel said.
'Everybody wants a piece of Henry'
As the days passed, local media did stories about Henry. Word spread. Money came in. Henry became a celebrity. Wade said the humane society was contacted by at least 50 people who fell in love with Henry without even meeting him.
"There's so many people who want to take him home," she said. "People are asking us if they can have a lottery, if they can bid. Everybody wants a piece of Henry."
Because they found him, the Rempel family got more than a piece of Henry. They got all of him, minus one leg, of course.
On Monday, they showed up to take the little tripod home, where he'll have two other cats to play with.
"He's already a member of the family," Rempel said, "before we even get him."
Anyone for a three-legged race?