Ruth the Paralyzed cat and Idgie, her loving Dachshund guardian: Featured stars on Nat Geo Wild

Early last year the inspirational and heart-touching story about a sweet, partially paralyzed tuxedo kitten named Ruth and her devoted Dachshund side-kick puppy named Idgie went viral. The two were almost “glued at the hip” companion animals were named after two characters in “Fried Green Tomatoes”, the popular 1991 comedy-drama film based on the Fannie Flagg novel “Fried Green Tomatoes at The Whistle Stop Café.”

partially paralyzed tuxedo kitten named Ruth and her devoted Dachshund side-kick puppy named Idgie
Partially paralyzed tuxedo kitten named Ruth and her devoted Dachshund side-kick puppy named Idgie. Photo credit: Hollywood Houndz Facebook page
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

In January 2014 Pictures of Cats introduced readers to this “odd couple” in this article.

Today, these furever, now two-year-old four-legged, furry friends happily make their home in Lake Mary in Central Florida where they are both adored and tenderly cared for by their loving adopter, Jackie Borum who owns the Hollywood Houndz Boutique and Spa.

Ruth and Idgie also receive a huge amount of pampering by the menagerie of Hollywood Houndz staff that also cares for them. The odd couple certainly love hanging out in the store’s front window, where they attract many visitors who think they are the “cat’s pajamas.”

And that is a good thing; because Hollywood Houndz Boutique also has a variety of companion pets up for adoption. Over the years, Hollywood Houndz has already found wonderful permanent loving homes for 1400 companion animals. The establishment welcomes folks to come in and check out their spectacular pets who are ready to be adopted. In fact they receive visitors who travel from afar for the opportunity to meet Ruth and Idgie.

Hollywood Houndz is a fabulous boutique and spa where grooming and primping of fur- family members are done in style by experienced groomers. They also offer boarding services and an array of high quality pet products.

I was deeply moved when I first read Ruth and Idgie’s story. But they both became more personal to me while I was watching “Unlikely Animal Friends” featured last Friday night on Nat Geo Wild. In an extraordinary coincidence, the dynamic duo is also under the care of our wonderful veterinarian, Dr. Erin Holder who owns Florida Wild Veterinary Hospital.

Dr. Holder graduated with honors from the University Of Florida College Of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. She is a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the American Association for Zoo Veterinarians, and the Audubon Society. She has been an animal lover since early childhood. Her life is dedicated to care for a wide variety of animals including dogs, cats, birds and small mammals. Her mission is teaching pet guardians about the joys and values found in the mutually nurturing pet-guardian relationship.

In my interview with Dr. Holder I asked how she met Ruth and Idgie and what special care Ruth is receiving. She told me that she has known Jackie for many years and after Jackie adopted them, she brought both of them to Florida Wild. They have been her patients since February, 2014.

Since Ruth needs specialized care, Dr. Holder works mostly with her. Ruth visits the clinic every other week where she receives acupuncture and other special treatments as needed. Dr. Holder’s associate, Dr. Lisa Mason provides Ruth with physical therapy. However since Idgie is a happy, healthy Dachshund, he only needs his regular veterinary visits.

Dr. Holder had a cart built for Ruth, but she said that

“She absolutely hated it. This kitty is so strong- willed and determined. It’s a shame that she didn’t like the cart. Some cats do well with them- too bad for sure.” I asked her if Ruth would ever walk again-even with limited motion. She said, “I doubt it. But she is stronger than she was when we first saw her.”

Jackie and the Hollywood Houndz Boutique crew agree strongly with Dr. Holder’s findings.

While being owned by special-needs pets requires many extra responsibilities, the relationship and bond that develops between these animals and their guardians is truly extraordinary. So many of these extraordinary pets need and deeply deserve permanent loving homes.

Do you have a special-needs cat and if you don’t already have one, would you consider adopting one? Tell us what you think in a comment.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

10 thoughts on “Ruth the Paralyzed cat and Idgie, her loving Dachshund guardian: Featured stars on Nat Geo Wild”

  1. What a touching story. When I see a dog and cat form this kind of relationship, it makes me hope that more humans, those who think they have “natural enemies” can learn from our 4-legged friends.

  2. I remember this story from last year. I am so glad that they are still together and doing well. Special needs cats are dear to my heart. We have had several and adored them all. Sending love to Ruth and Idgie. >^.,.^<

  3. What a great, heartwarming article. It is so nice to see a positive story starred by such caring people who give so much attention to these special animals, and tend to their needs.

  4. Although I unfortunately do not get NatGeo WILD on my satellite plan, I would love to see Ruth! Thank you for sharing her story with us, and much gratitude to everyone involved in both her loving care and that of the other cats in their care.

  5. Linda,

    Thanks for stopping by. This was such an exciting story- and the update is so heartening.

    It must be great to see Ruth on regular basis and see how well she is doing.

  6. Mike, Thank you for spotlighting that. I know Jackie personally and I work for Dr Holder. It was such a thrill to have this piece done and on a National TV show! Jackie is a wonderful person and I can’t praise her enough. She has a loving and giving heart and especially to our four legged friends. Our hospital does rescue on a small scale when clients can’t take care of their animals and need to surrender them we take them in, get them well, and find loving homes. Most of our staff, including both Doctors, have adopted some of these animals but many of our clients step up to the plate and adopt into loving homes as well. We are first and foremost
    a Veterinary Hospital but we have a big heart for the unfortunate. I was so happy to open my email tonight and see you had featured the show!

    1. It is a pleasure to highlight these stories. They are positive and beautiful. We need both in the world. Thanks for commenting. I can how it must have been wonderful to be on national TV. Not many achieve that. Well done.

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