A kitten came into a rescue with just three paws, but he showed an amazing fighting spirit.

tripod kitten
Flex the tabby kittenJin’s Bottle Babies

A two-day old kitten was brought to a local shelter in Phoenix, Arizona, in need of help. He was missing a paw as one of his hind legs was found tangled in straw.

The shelter didn’t have the resources to keep the kitten, so volunteers sent out a plea for help. “I saw a post on Facebook calling for a rescue to pull the kitten from the shelter,” Shelbi Uyehara, founder of Jin’s Bottle Babies, told Love Meow.

She dropped everything and rushed to pick up the kitten. After an hour drive to the shelter, the tabby was brought to safety just in time.


Jin’s Bottle Babies

“He was in really bad shape when we first got him. By the time I got him back home, he was quite lethargic and dehydrated, and not able to regulate his body temperature very well,” Shelbi said.

With a severely infected leg and barely any energy to suckle, they weren’t sure if the kitten would make it through his first night. Despite being so frail, he let out a few tiny squeaks when he was petted, as if to say he wanted to live.

flex the kitten, 3-legged kitten
When he was rescuedJin’s Bottle Babies

Shelbi and her husband began tube-feeding the kitten every two hours around the clock. They took turns to care for him and tried everything within their power to save him.

“I woke up at 3AM to feed and was shocked that he was still alive. Overnight he started flexing a bit and was trending up,” Shelbi shared with Love Meow.


Jin’s Bottle Babies

They took him to the vet over the weekend to have his leg treated. The kitten perked up, started eating on his own and purring like a champ.

He was named Super Flex “because of the markings on his nose, making him look like a super hero. After surviving that first night, we knew he’d flex on any and all adversities.”


Ava the resident dog watched Flex as he practiced walkingJin’s Bottle Babies

“He is super cute and active, and started to purr about two days after we got him,” Shelbi told Love Meow.

When Flex opened his eyes to see for the first time, he was so curious and insisted on waddling on his three paws, trying to check out the world around him.


Eyes openedJin’s Bottle Babies

Around that time, a preemie kitten named Star came to the rescue for a chance at a better life. Just like Flex, she was very underweight and had a lot of growing to do.

Flex quickly took the little one under his wing when she was ready to join him.

special needs kittens
Flex and Star cuddlingJin’s Bottle Babies

They cuddle through every nap, and Flex’s purrs constantly permeate throughout the room. “They both are special little kittens born into this world and surviving against all odds.”

The tabby’s favorite thing to do is stare right at his human with his big sad puppy-dog eyes.

puppy kitten eyes
Those puppy eyesJin’s Bottle Babies

At almost four weeks old, Flex is still tiny but mighty at heart.

He is getting stronger each day. When he is big enough, he will need a full amputation on the injured leg to ensure the best quality of life. Cats and kittens are very adaptable, and can adjust to a three-legged lifestyle remarkably well.


Flex is getting bigger and strongerJin’s Bottle Babies

Flex has come so far and is well on his way to a happy, healthy, purr-filled life.


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Related story: Kitten with Strong Will Transforms from Palm-sized Wonder to Sweetest Shoulder Cat

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