The 6-legged cat that stole people’s hearts is recovering well after surgery

Jul 16, 2015 at 4:16 p.m. ET

It’s not uncommon for cats to be born with a few extra toes, but in Pauly’s case, the extra toes aren’t just piled on one foot. He does have more toes than normal, but that's because he has two extra legs between his front and hind legs, connected to his sternum.

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An Edmonton rescue organization, Little Cats Lost, posted Pauly’s story last week, and an outpouring of support started to roll in. The feline, who is about 7 years old, was seen roaming around an Edmonton neighbourhood, struggling to walk. In addition to his extra legs, Pauly also has hip dysplasia, which could explain the discomfort while he moved around.

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Dr. Tamer Mahmoud, owner of Oxford Animal Hospital, where Pauly is being treated, told Edmonton Journal that a condition like this is rare. “Most likely there were two kittens (in utero), and this cat absorbed the extra,” he said. Pauly also has an extra small kidney.

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To live a normal, pain-free life, Pauly will require a surgery to remove the extra legs and an additional surgery to fix the hip dysplasia. A fundraising campaign was launched to help pay for Pauly’s care, and the goal was not only met quickly but is now more than double the original goal. The organization says the extra funds will be used for its spay-and-neuter program.

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Pauly had his first surgery to correct the hip dysplasia, and is recovering well. Yesterday he was moved to Edmonton South Animal Hospital, where he will continue to heal and receive therapy for his hips. Once he is stabilized, he'll have the second surgery to remove the additional legs.

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The stray cat, who likely hasn’t had a lot of human contact, is on his way to becoming a very spoiled, four-legged cat. Once his surgeries are complete and he is fully healed, he'll be on the hunt for a new home. Follow his progress on his Facebook page, Pauly's Journey.

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