May 3rd is National Specially-Abled Pets Day and Rexie Roo the two-legged cat is using the opportunity to raise even more awareness about all the amazing special needs pets looking for homes

May 3rd is National Specially-Abled Pets Day, a holiday created to encourage animal lovers to foster and adopt special needs pets — and tuxedo cat Rexie Roo is a prime example of what can happen when you give a specially-abled pet a chance at a happy ending.

Before finding a forever home, Rexie Roo traveled some rough road. The tuxedo cat was brought to a rural Utah shelter with two broken front legs in January 2020. Unable to help Rexie Roo without assistance, the shelter posted on social media that the feline needed immediate emergency medical treatment.

According to Best Friends Animal Society, the animal welfare organization's Utah team saw the shelter's post and reached out. Best Friends picked up Rexie Roo from the rural shelter and brought the cat to their lifesaving center in Salt Lake City.

After arriving at the center, vets determined that Rexie Roo's front legs were too damaged to save and would need to be amputated. After the surgery, the affectionate feline quickly went to work mastering life on two legs and impressed his two foster homes with how fast he adapted.

Animal lover Cairistiona Flatley saw videos of Rexie Roo conquering two-legged life on Best Friends' Instagram and knew she was meant to be the kitty's forever home. She decided to adopt the cat and create an Instagram page (@t.rexie.roo) just for him and his inspiring story.

"When people tell me I'm so kind for adopting a special needs cat and that he is lucky to have me, I can only think about how lucky I am to have him in my life," Flatley said in a statement about the special needs pet she adopted during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "I love him so much, and he has brought me a lot of peace and joy in a chaotic and uncertain year. He loves to snuggle and eat, and so do I, so we're a good match." 

Flatley isn't the only one who feels charmed to know Rexie Roo, his new owner says the cat has left an impression on her friends as well, many of whom have only seen the cat on his Instagram.

"I think he can teach people a lot about patience, resilience and love," she added.

Flatley also hopes that Rexie Roo's passion for living, playing, and giving love encourages others to offer a home to a special needs pet, so they can experience a friendship like the one she has with Rexie.

"He has not let his differences stop him from being the best boy. He has also made me an advocate for animals with special needs. All animals are deserving of love regardless of appearance or needs. I hope his story inspires others to adopt animals that may look or move a little differently. I wouldn't change a thing about him," she said.

Rexie Roo and Flatley have been together for just over a year now, and during that time, the feline has continued to make "literal strides" towards fully adapting to life with two legs and has completely won his owner's heart.

"My life is better because he is in it. I tell everyone he is the light of my life. It's incredible how your heart is capable of expanding even more than you thought was possible," Flatley said of the impact Rexie Roo has had on her.

Best Friends Animal Society is a place of second chances for many special needs pets. The animal welfare organization is dedicated to providing care and finding homes for all shelter animals and helps match hundreds of specially-abled animals with families each year.

For those interested in adopting or fostering a specially-abled pet, Best Friends Animal Society has a library of resources to help pet parents learn more about the care and commitment involved.