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Winona couple seeks help for foster cats with rare condition

WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) – Some cat foster parents in Winona are hoping to raise enough money for a life changing surgery for their feline friends.

The siblings have a rare genetic disorder and with some help of a local business, that procedure could happen.

Starla and Blade will turn two years old this March, but life hasn’t been the kindest to the pair, even though they try to hide it behind their cute and fluffy faces.

Starla hiding in cat house.

“The humane society put out a video about their condition and my husband’s heart just melted,” said foster mom Vanessa Mattson Normandin.

It stared off as slight limps for Starla and Blade and at just a few months old the vets determined the siblings have a severe form of a rare genetic disorder called Medial Patellar Luxation with Quadriceps Contractor.

The disorder means their knees move out of the correct position in their joints, limiting mobility their back legs.

“The thigh muscles have kind of permanently shortened up, especially on Starla,” said Mattson Normandin. “Her symptoms are by far the worst and her legs are kind of crunched up into her body a little bit.”

Blade playing with feather wand toy.

For now, Starla and Blade are still able to do normal cat-like things.

“It’s just effecting their mobility so far,” said Mattson Normandin. “As they get older though, we’ve been told that its eventual that they will get very painful arthritis because of this. So we are taking steps to try and reduce the amount of pain they’re eventually going to be in.”

Vets determined Starla is a purr-fect candidate for surgery that would correct the issue with her knees, giving her a better quality of life.

“She won’t be 100% normal but she will be walking a lot more normally and will probably be able to jump and things like that,” said Mattson Normandin.

More than $1,000 of the required $5,000 has already been raised, which means Starla can get an MRI and consultation.

“We are really hoping by the end of spring/early summer, we can get the surgery scheduled,” said Mattson Normandin.

Starla and Blade enjoying playtime with foster mom Vanessa Mattson Normandin.

Blade’s situation does not require surgery just yet.

JimmyJams Comics Cards & Games in Winona will be hosting a couple events this month to help raise money for Starla’s surgery including one that took place Friday night.

The next event is a family board game night on January 26th from 6 p.m to 9 p.m. You can learn more about this event by clicking here. Entry for this event is $5 per person with proceeds going towards the $5,000 goal.

If you are interested in learning more about Starla and Blade’s story or making a donation to help in their recovery, click here.

Kevin Millard

Kevin Millard-Social Media Digital Content Manager for WXOW.

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