Not all cats are created equal. There are cats whose ears are too large, cats with wimpy, rat tails; odd body shapes; or an un-attractive face. Some cats have too many toes, a crooked tail or odd eyes. There are cats with bright luxurious coats and those with coarse short fur. Remember Grumpy Cat? She was not the prettiest cat on the block.
Some cats are born deformed. I saw a picture recently of a two-faced kitten. Some cats are born without limbs or without the use of one or more of them. Cats are no different from any other species when it comes to the occasional unfortunate genetic or birth defect.
Some people are drawn to special-needs cat and give their life to care for one or more of them. Some love the polydactyl cat—as did Earnest Hemmingway who seemed to tap into a line of cats that bred polydactyls—and he evidently wasn’t much for birth control. At last count, there were still forty or fifty polydactyl cats at Hemmingway’s home in Key West, Florida.
In many cases humans have caused, created, and fostered what started out as a defect or a mistake—look at the Munchkin and the hairless cat, and the curly-furred cats, not to mention the extreme flat-faced Persian and extreme svelte Siamese.
Most of us who have admired cats for any length of time have our favorite types and styles of cats. In fact I have several and they all boil down to the kitten-faced cat with plush fur and, of course, a sweet disposition.
But not everyone prefers the sweetie pie cat. I know people who delight in cats like Rags (in my Klepto Cat Mystery stories)—a more challenging cat. They adore the cat with tons of confidence and a mind of his own. Some prefer the lanky sleek-fur cats. I know people who collect black cats of all sizes, shapes, and fluffiness.
And there are those who go for the underdog. They know no one else will adopt the disabled, special needs cat, so they take on the responsibility and pour their love into the cat. Bless them.