‘Turbo Joe’ gets moving with kitty wheelchair

TIGARD, Ore. (KOIN) — A kitten in Tigard is getting around on two legs and a snazzy set of wheels thanks to a little help from his human friends. Now, he’s ready to find a permanent home.

A good Samaritan found “Turbo Joe” last fall, noticing the kitten dragging himself by his front legs. It turned out that Joe had some sort of accident months earlier that paralyzed him from the waist down. He was taken to Meow Village, a nonprofit that works to treat and rehome feral cats, and placed with a first-time cat foster parent.

Sheila Burdick said she already had two cats with one eye, so she was naturally drawn to help another kitty with special needs.

Back on Track Veterinary Rehabilitation Center, located in Southwest Portland, outfitted Joe with a custom wheelchair to help him get around easier.

“He definitely needs practice because he needs a lot of core strength,” Burdick said. But the wheels help him keep up with her other cats. “Except when they jump up on something,” she added. “(Then) he’s like, ‘Oh man. How dare you.'”

Joe is affectionately called a “village warrior” and just went up for adoption this week. He has been very popular among the village, even getting his own Instagram page. Joe is looking for a family that can provide a little extra attention and care.

“The cat doesn’t know they’re special,” longtime volunteer Pam Cyr said. “They have just as much to provide if not more. They kind of tug at your heartstrings.”

In 2019, Meow Village said it adopted out 475 cats and relocated 460 feral cats.

“You see them succeed and then you place them in a home … it’s truly rewarding,” Cyr said.