CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — One Corpus Christi feline rules her home at a well-known cat shelter with grace, perseverance and fashion.
Princess Cecily is a white and gray lynx point Siamese mix that lives at The Cattery — a cat shelter that specializes in rehabbing or finding “forever homes” for abandoned, abused or homeless cats.
The shelter was founded on October 2007 and relies on good Samaritans to bring in stray or pet cats.
That's how they found Cecily.
“We got Cecily in April of 2018 (when) she was only seven weeks old,” Katie Hatfield, social media manager for The Cattery said. “A Good Samaritan had found her and her two brothers. Cecily was noticeably different right away (…) but she was still such a sweet little cat.”
Cecily was born with Manx syndrome, a condition that causes a shortened spine and improper bladder and bowel development.
Her back legs were also deformed and it left her paralyzed. Cecily eventually had to have those legs amputated.
However, Cecily isn’t defined by her disability but by her playful personality and fashionable outfits.
”(The outfits) started almost right away,” Hatfield said. “Cecily needs to wear a diaper because she can't control her bottom half, and the only way we've found to keep the diaper on is a full body harness. (So) she's been wearing clothes her whole life and we decided to make them cute and fashionable because she had to wear them anyway.”
Cecily’s story and style is shared through her connection to The Cattery, but also through her social media presence.
Her Instagram page currently has 16.7K followers.
“Cecily's social media took off because we have a heavy focus on being positive and overcoming challenges,” Hatfield said. “Cecily is inspirational in the way that despite her disability.
"She still lives a normal life, is very fashionable, positive, sweet girl who loves to snuggle, chase her friends and play," Hatfield added. "People seemed to really connect with that image we helped create for her online.”
In addition to rescuing and finding homes for cats in the community, The Cattery has a low cost spay and neuter clinic for both pets and strays.
Hatfield said that the shelter is privately funded, which allowed them to have a no-kill policy for all their furry residents.
The Cattery also has a walk-in wellness clinic every three weeks to help cat owners keep up with vaccines, flea/tick prevention, microchips and more.
Thanks to Cecily’s social media popularity, The Cattery is able to also spread their organization’s message to potential cat owners and rescuers.
“(Cecily) has helped us reach even more people in many ways, including a feature on the Hallmark channel during Kitten Bowl VIII,” Hatfield said. “Also, growing our reach has helped us find more supporters and people who love cats and want to help us save them, which people can do from anywhere since we started growing our social media accounts.”
To learn more about Cecily and The Cattery, click here for more information