When Jacqueline Santiago first glanced at a picture of Pinocchio, she saw something wasn’t quite right.
She didn’t know how unique he was until she saw the tiny little cat with the large blue eyes and snaggletooth.
“I couldn’t really make out what was going on with his face until he arrived,” Santiago, owner of Friends for Life Rescue Network, told.
Pinocchio was born with a cranial abnormality, giving his face a twisted look. Due to his misaligned jaw, he’s only able to eat wet food. He also had a large umbilical hernia that needed an operation. Luckily, the rescue often specializes in special needs cases since they have a vet in-house.
When Santiago met the 4-month-old kitten, he seemed completely unaware that he was any different.
“He was very, very sweet upon first meetings,” Santiago said. “He purred right away.”
Pinocchio is incredibly gregarious and makes friends with everyone he encounters, including animals. Pinocchio isn’t a bashful guy, said Santiago. “He meets everyone nearly quickly and is quite self-assured.”
She said, “He runs up to anybody who walks into the room and jumps up to their shoulder to perch. “He loves to play, bounce around, and rub on you. He is a really joyful person who adores everyone, including other humans, cats, and dogs.
While being cared for at a foster home, Pinocchio started having some medical issues and underwent corrective surgeries to fix his umbilical hernia and his sternum placement.
The medical staff fell in love with him and made him a Superman wrap to protect his stitches. At his next check-up, they added a little red cape to match.
Pinocchio is healing nicely but due to his medical issues he likely won’t be adoptable until he’s closer to adulthood. “During treatment, we don’t accept any apps or inquiries as we don’t yet have the full scope of what his later needs will be,” Santiago said. “We know what his needs are now, but as he grows and changes, those could change as well.”
Pinocchio will require a particular family that will accept him for who he is after he has been given the all-clear for adoption. He has a lopsided grin thanks to the kitten’s crooked face, and Pinocchio won’t stop grinning no matter what.