ASPCA Happy Tail: One Quirky Kitty

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 2:30pm

Stephanie of the East Village shared the following story with us about meeting a very quirky kitty named Mr. Snaggles at the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan, and how he seamlessly became a part of her family:

Many months after our cat passed away, I surprised my husband on his birthday by taking him to the ASPCA to adopt a cat. He had no idea where we were going, and was actually grouchy at first because he thought I was dragging him to a museum.

We spent all day looking at cats. We had such a pleasant experience at the Adoption Center. It is immaculate and has a friendly and well-informed staff. 

My husband noticed him first—he was the one cat that was really responsive to us—a sweet, sad looking orange tabby with saucer-shaped eyes.

“He’s only got three legs; no one will ever want him,” I thought. 

During his stay at the ASPCA, veterinarians tried to correct an extensive injury to his leg, but when his injury would not heal, they had no choice but to amputate it.

Once we brought him home, we followed the suggested procedure of confining him to a smaller room at first to let him get acclimated to his new surroundings. My husband, the new cat and I were all stuffed in our tiny bathroom. He immediately jumped into my husband’s lap and started purring, so we decided to let him out into the rest of the apartment.  He sat between us as we watched a movie and slept at the foot of the bed that night.

We named him Mr. Snaggles, homage to his less obvious but cuter flaw, his missing canine tooth.

A new amputee, he took some time getting used to his lack of leg.  For about a month, he would forget it was missing and attempted to scratch with his phantom leg by stretching out and wiggling his stump. I was conflicted between laughing and crying when I first witnessed this, but now I just brush his side. 

Finally accustomed to his predicament, Mr. Snaggles is the most affectionate, loving cat I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He has excellent grooming habits, cleaning himself as soon as he uses the litter box. He is a valued and fantastic new member of our family.

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This very special "happy tail" has lit up my face, my heart, and my life. Stephanie, you gave your husband the greatest of presents for his birthday. No store-bought gift can compare with the love and fun and devotion that this gorgeous, sweet, smart pussycat will give you both. The fact that Mr. Snaggles is a special-needs pet with a lopsided grin makes me admire and love him even more. Thank you for giving this beautiful cat such a loving, new home and thank you for sharing this delightful story. Blessings to all 3 of you!


I adopted a cat from a "no kill" group that went in to shelters and got the cats out that were up for euthanization. She is orange and missing a canine tooth. I named her Snagglepuss because of that...this so reminds me of my girl. Love your story and bless you for saving him and giving him a loving home :-)


loved your story!


Mr. Snaggles is a very handsome fella and he is really happy to have a new and beautiful family. I remember adopting my cat years ago. She is no longer with me but she was the best cat ever. She would have loved Mr. Snaggles, I see he is her type! Orange and good looking! Good luck!


My three legged cat was the love of my life. He ran played and was the most lovable grateful cat I ever owned. Sadly, he had a heart murmur and died at age 7. His picture is still on my desk. Enjoy your enormous 3 legged gift. He will bring you nothing but joy.


i adopted a tripod/snaggle-toothed male cat from the same aspca in NYC! he is also pure magic...


We have a "tripod" at home too! His name is Norman, and he is a punk. We think he has some kind of ESP. If you are sitting and just thinking about getting up - not actually getting up, mind, just thinking about it - he will invariably jump in your lap. Uncanny. Sounds like Mr. Snaggles and you were lucky to find each other. Great story.


Your story brought a smile to my heart. I wish you, your husband, and Mr. Snaggles a wonderful life together. What a sweet looking lil guy.

Felix's Mom

I adopted a cat who had to have all of his teeth pulled - except 3 of his canines. He also is a 'snaggletooth'. So happy for Mr. Snaggles' happy ending - he is adorable! >^..^<

Sandi Tambini

My beloved Earl lost a rear leg from injection site\ induced carcinoma feline months before I adopted him. He did very well, but never lost the urge to scratch with his phantom leg. So it became my job, and I was more than happy to oblige, to scratch whatever area he seemed to be aiming for; behind the ear, chin, side of head, shoulder, wherever. He always gave the most appreciative grunts and afterwards the look of satisfaction was all the "payment" I could ever possibly ask for.

Eventually, the poor guy with some of the worst luck in the world developed another inoperable, quickly growing tumor in an area that simply couldn't be operated on... it would have required removing his entire jaw. Not gonna happen. So when the mechanics of eating became too much and I decided that force feeding would require more discomfort that my Beautiful King had ever deserved, so I helped him to pass quietly and peacefully with no pain or fear and with those who loved him more than their own lives.

And I almost lost my own out of the black hole of emptiness that followed.

But the giving and loving are returned 100fold. We just have to remember that when it's time to return that gift at the end with one of the most difficult, but selfless, decisions that we ever have to make.

But I digress! A special needs animal friend is no different than a special needs YOU! You're not a different person, you just have a few things that may operate a little differently than the majority of the population --- and you deal! That's it!

Oh sure, there are families that want that "perfect" animal, fully intact, ideal markings, symmetrical, ideal stance, "correct" height, sometimes even a show piece. Ugh. I have no problem with those animals themselves at all... in fact, it's usually the owner who seeks out that type of animal exclusively that I have a problem with.

But my mom, rest her well-loved and remembered soul, who I learned a lot from...she taught me to remember the underdog (or cat) who'd be overlooked by the perfection seekers. She asked me to imagine what it would be like being that "imperfect" creature in the cage, going from adoption event to adoption event, just waiting for a family from a potential forever Forever Home to notice me and fall in love despite my scrambled fur, crossed or blinded eyes, missing limb, skin condition, allergies, psychological issues or special diet.