When I was growing up my dad always said, “Life is short. Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

As we enter a new year, I find myself contemplating how much time I waste doing just that – sweating the small stuff. In the midst of my ponderings, I think of a little kitten named Jabber who recently came to Palmetto Animal League.

When Jabber tries to walk, his paw collapses, folds back and he ends up walking on his fuzzy little knee instead. With severe nerve damage, it’s a debilitating condition to say the least, but Jabber is determined to live his best life, taking his disability completely in stride.

“He doesn’t even know it’s an issue,” said Ford Howell, Adoption Center vet technician. “It doesn’t slow him down one bit.” At 3 months old, Jabber had a rough start in life, but the caring staff at PAL is determined to help him overcome his disability so he can live a full and active life – starting with a custom-made splint created by Schon Gross at Phoenix Design Solutions.

The young kitten also is undergoing physical therapy, which includes rotating his leg and brushing it four times a day in an effort to stimulate the nerves back into working order.

Jabber’s sweet disposition, adorable face and will to overcome has secured him a special place in the heart of PAL Volunteer adoption assistant Lee Sidorick. “While helping him with the rehabilitative process, everyone at PAL has grown very attached to Jabber,” Sidorick said. “We are all pulling for the little fellow because he is a sweet little trooper with such a great ‘cattitude.'”

All those positive vibes paid off and Jabber has now been adopted. “His beautiful markings are initially what drew me to him,” said Jabber’s adoptive mother, Patricia McMorrow. “As soon as I held him, he started purring and that’s when I knew I wanted to bring him home and care for him.”

Jabber’s adoption was a happy moment for Sidorick, though he found it difficult to say goodbye to this special kitten. “I went into the room to meet Patricia and picked Jabber up one last time,” Sidorick said. “He cuddled around my neck and started purring. I will never forget it. I don’t think I will ever forget him either.”

I challenge you also to remember Jabber as you go about each day. Perhaps we can all learn a lesson from this tenacious little kitten and strive to live life with a little more positivity, a little more confidence, a little more “cattitude.”

Palmetto Animal League, located in Okatie’s Riverwalk Business Park, is a private, nonprofit, no-kill animal rescue organization. For more information, and to dopt, foster, donate or volunteer, visit PalmettoAnimalLeague.org.

Lindsay Perry is the marketing coordinator for Palmetto Animal League.