Paralyzed cat loved and guarded by loyal Dachshund

Dog protects paralyzed cat

Dog protects paralyzed cat. Photo via Facebook

This is the love story between Idgie, a dog, and Ruth a paralyzed cat, who formed a very special bond after being rescued together back in October.

Here’s a two minute video of Idgie and Ruth together.

At the end of a driveway next to a busy road in Seminole County, Florida, Idgie, a 2-year-old Dachshund was found standing guard over 7-month-old Ruth, who is a paraplegic.

They were in good shape when they were rescued, not malnourished or dirty as typical strays would be. Diane Gagliano, program director for Seminole County Animal Services believes Ruth is suffering from a birth defect. She also believes the two had a good home at some point in their lives, despite the fact no one ever came to the shelter to claim them.

Idgie and Ruth, who were named after the Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison characters from the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, now have a permanent home at Hollywood Houndz, a doggy Boutique & Spa, located in Lake Mary. The boutique owner has adopted both of them, and a pen is set up for the two near the front of the boutique, where people stop by to visit the loving pair and to bring them gifts.

The shelter did their best to help Ruth and were assisted by nonprofit Together Every Animal Receives Support (TEARS), who paid for a series of steroid injections, as well as acupuncture. Although the shots and needles were unsuccessful, Idgie and Ruth don’t have a problem with Ruth having to get around by dragging herself by her front legs. Idgie plans to always be there to protect Ruth, and makes this fact clear by barking and growling if another dog approaches his cat friend.

At the moment, no one knows how long Ruth will live. It’s unclear whether her condition is degenerative, or whether she still has a long life ahead of her. Regardless of what the future holds, Idgie has made the decision to protect Ruth for life.

Hollywood Houndz employees provide excellent care to Idgie, who is moved and fed daily. The rest of Ruth’s time is spent hugged up with the best friend a disabled cat could ever have-a wiener dog. The two are very unhappy when separated from each other.

The story of Idgie and Ruth just goes to show how friendship should be based on love, and these two have enough love to last a lifetime. Idgie just cautions other dogs to leave his cat alone or they’ll have to deal with him.

There are a lot of dog-cat love stories being told on the internet. This is the first I’ve seen where the cat suffers from partial paralysis. Idgie and Ruth share a true love of each other, as well as a forever friendship. Good dog, Idgie!



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Paralyzed cat loved and guarded by loyal Dachshund — 13 Comments

  1. A magical relationship and something really good that was created between animals.

    Well done Hollywood Houndz for creating a home for them.

    I’ll now play devil’s advocate: are Hollywood Houndz using this popular and highly publicised relationship as a promotional tool?

    Answers in comments, please!

    Thanks for the article Elisa.

    • I don’t believe Hollywood Houndz started out trying to get publicity. It just happened after social media started reporting about it. At least it’s good publicity.

      • I think you’re right, Elisa. I think the clientel went went nuts over these two and the word spread.
        It’s hard not to live in Central Florida and not hear about Hollywood Houndz. They have a decent reputation and perform a number of services.

        • Dee, Florida seems to be one of the states where cats are particular well liked. Am I right? If so, is it because there are more than the usual percentage of retired people living in Florida?

  2. I saw what appeared to be voluntary movement of her back legs. Is she actually paralyzed or is it profound ataxia, with the back legs more affected than the front? Even the movements of her front paws seem uncoordinated. If it is ataxia instead of simple paralysis she may not be able to benefit from any type of wheelchair, as some cats can use when their back legs don’t work. It looks like hers work, but aren’t functional. It seems to be neurological, probably originating in the brain, rather than in the spinal nerves. My guess is if you put her in one of those little carts she’d tip herself over, or if she could stay in it, she would have only slightly more mobility. Her right front paw keeps tucking under, like she can’t bring it forward properly to take a step. I’ve seem video of paralyzed animals drag themselves along, and she seems to be having more difficulty than she should be. I’d agree that it probably is congenital or something happened to her causing permanent brain damage. Luckily, she has people who attend to her needs and a friend in that little wiener dog, who seems to understand how helpless she is.

  3. I noticed that too, Ruth, especially her right rear leg. She does struggle, but it looks like she succeeds in getting where she wants to be for the most part. Her vet says that there are more tests to be run on Ruth, but she believes that she has a degenerative muscle condition that may progress. I hope not.
    Such a sweet pair.

    • I hadn’t thought about muscle weakness, rather than just being uncoordinated, Dee. Perhaps because I didn’t want to think of it. Degenerative diseases of muscles are often very bad, whereas a neurological issue probably would not shorten her life. If it’s something like polymyositis in humans (literally, inflammation of many muscles)that would be fatal eventually. Are the muscles of breathing and the heart muscle affected? That’s the scary part. That little cat may have a very short life ahead of her. But at least she is loved– by humans and by a dog.

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