Puppy mills are often mentioned when discussing the reasons it’s best to adopt rather than buy a pet. But kitten mills aren’t as heard of. Sadly, they exist and the conditions are just as bad. It’s the same concept — the cats are used for breeding repeatedly, kept in small wire cages, and their health is always at risk because it’s really all about profit. This is evident in the story of Cricket the cat. Cricket was born with a crooked jaw, cleft lip, and missing eye. The breeder was going to kill him because she didn’t think she could sell him.

Megan Boehm writes: “The breeder claimed she was going to kill the kitten because it wasn’t ‘going to sell.’ She also didn’t want her buyers to know her breeding cat had genetic issues or that she was having too many kittens without a recovery time in between litters. Because this kitten was born different, the breeder decided she was going to kill him the next day.”

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Fortunately, someone reached out to Boehm and her mother. His life was at risk and she just had to save him. She says she fell in love the moment she saw him, and since then, over 98,400 people have fallen in love with him too — that’s how many followers he has on Instagram!

Cricket may be a special needs cat but he deserves just as much love as any other beloved family member. He and Boehm were just destined to be family. She feeds him a special diet that is mostly soft because of his cleft lip and crooked jaw, and she plays hide and seek with him because it’s his favorite game.

She explains: “Cricket doesn’t have that many problems and he isn’t much more work than any other cat! Some special needs kitties require a lot of time and labor and it is always worth it, but Cricket isn’t even a whole lot of work. I honestly didn’t know a lot about special needs animals before Cricket. He opened my eyes to a whole different world that deserves more attention. I have taken care of animals my whole life, but I never knew what a different form of love a special needs cat could bring.”

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She’s right! Special needs animals can give you an entirely different kind of love and your bond with them will be all the more special. Similarly, a woman named Tedi rescued a paralyzed dog from Iran named Pani and they are happy as can be!

Although Cricket made it and has a loving home, there are many kittens who don’t survive the terrible ordeal of breeding. If you’d like to see an end to kitten and puppy mills, sign this petition calling for an end to the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores which is how breeding mills are fueled.

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