They noticed the cat when they were passing the rescue center. He was adorable, but there was something unusual about him that caught their eye. Suddenly, they realized what it was, and they couldn’t believe their eyes; to them, though, it only made him more appealing.
In 2015 a little stray kitten with a very unusual defect was discovered wandering the San Francisco streets. Subsequently, his rescuers – the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF SPCA) – called him Lobstah. He was no more than four months old.
Despite his deformity, Lobstah behaved like a healthy and energetic kitten at first. However, the SF SPCA realized that there was something else wrong with him. “Staff noticed that he’d stopped eating, pooping, and had trouble breathing,” the group wrote on Imgur.
The group went on to explain that this was worrying behavior in a kitten. As a result, they rushed Lobstah in for a medical examination and found something incredibly troubling. The kitten’s chest wasn’t firm like a normal cat’s; the veterinary team described feeling “something squishy” instead.
An x-ray revealed just how severe the problem was. Not only did Lobstah have a visible defect, he had an internal one too… and it was life-threatening. As if that wasn’t serious enough, it was also a rare condition that baffled even the SF SPCA specialists.
“It turns out that Lobstah had been born with an underdeveloped diaphragm and pericardial sac,” SF SPCA explained. Essentially, Lobstah was missing the sac that protected his heart. As a consequence, his intestines had moved too close to his heart and become entangled with it.
In fact, the situation seemed so dire that staff said their goodbyes to little Lobstah before his emergency surgery. It was up to vascular specialist Dr. Margo Mehl and Dr. Jeanette Goh to try to save Lobstah’s life. Although they were accomplished experts, they were going in blind.
SF SPCA wrote: “In a matter of minutes, it was all over. They discovered that they [could] reconstruct a chest wall for [Lobstah] using connective tissues and muscles in his body. The surgery was unprecedented and… [it was] a total success!”
Even though the odds were against him, Lobstah beat them all – he even recovered from surgery quickly. Furthermore, in no time at all, he was ready to find a “furever” home. The cat was transferred to the SF SPCA adoption center, and that’s where the Bigelows saw him.
“[Lobstah] had the cone of shame on,” John Bigelow told Barcroft Animals on December 1, 2016. “He’d just had surgery and he was trying to press his nose against the window.” Leda added, “He was making muffins,” referencing Lobstah’s love of kneading his paws.
No doubt this made his visible defect a little more obvious. Lobstah was born with an extra paw on his foreleg that gave him a “claw” just like his namesake. The Bigelows had previous experience looking after kitties with special needs and couldn’t resist Lobstah’s charms.
The couple took Lobstah home with them, and they’ve been his humans ever since. But there were big things in store for Lobstah when his parents introduced him on social media. The internet went crazy for his story and couldn’t get enough of his claw-like paw.
Lobstah’s crooked tail and the unique way he uses his paw have made him an online sensation. It’s fascinating how he catches things between his claw or uses the oversized limb to bat his toys around. Indeed, the cat even uses the extra appendage as a climbing aid.
In fact, Lobstah’s claw only seems to have made him more lovable. To date, he has amassed an Instagram army of over 18.5k followers. It seems his fans have all fallen for the crustacean-like kitty, as their comments on his social media posts prove.
Moreover, it’s not just his claw that makes Lobstah special, either – he has some unusual eating habits, too. “He loves to eat. Loves it!” Leda told Barcroft Animals. “He’s particularly oddly fond of greens… arugula or spinach.” She added that Lobstah also loves green beans.
All those greens must be good for him, since Lobstah continues to go from strength the strength… literally! “He’s super-duper strong,” Leda said. John agreed, saying, “It’s kind of shocking, given what he’s been through, how agile and strong [he is].”
The Bigelows have embraced all of Lobstah’s eccentricities, and the kitty rewards them with his love. “He’s a very affectionate and amorous cat,” Leda said, “he likes to kiss us on the nose.” John concurred, pointing out that Lobstah “loves the head bonks.”
As for the SF SPCA, well, it’s overjoyed that Lobstah has found a loving home. Pam Floquet was the volunteer who was playing with Lobstah when he was adopted. She explained on Imgur just how much it means to her to see the cat happy.
“It was one of the most gratifying adoptions I’ve done,” Floquet recalled. “This is such a special kitty with such special needs, and his adoptive parents are experienced and so perfect. I felt the connection immediately.” Lobstah certainly has a great life now.
When he’s not enjoying the fame of an Instagram star, Lobstah lives like any other young cat. He enjoys ambushing his humans’ feet and playing with his many toys. But he never forgets to shower his mom and dad with lots of Lobstah love for accepting him the way he is.