Local teen's contraption helps cat born with neurological condition

- A cat was born with a condition that keeps him from standing up, but instead of giving up on the cuddly creature, one woman introduced a local teenager to the feline -- in hopes of saving its life.

FOX 29’s Lauren Johnson says this fell right into her lap, thanks to Sue Serio.

A long, long time ago, Sue met a cute five-year-old. Now, he’s 17 and getting ready to head to college.

Recently, she got an email about something Danny did to help save a cat's life

Animal lover Sue asked, "Are You KIDding Me?"

So Lauren went to meet Mr. Kite. He's a cat born with a neurological condition.

Danny remembers, “I felt really upset. I felt really bad for him.”

Lauren was there as Mr. Kite tried to walk.

“It’s very severe and he basically can't walk on his own,” Danny explained.

The part of Mr. Kite’s brain that controls motor skills and coordination was underdeveloped at birth. The condition is called cerebellar hypoplasia, or CH. 

“Just because you're born different doesn't mean that you should be thrown off into a corner,” Danny believes.

Lindsay Condefer is known to have a soft spot for special-needs animals.

The woman who runs a Northern Liberties animal rescue saved Lentil, the French bulldog born with a cleft lip and palette. That dog gained national attention for bringing awareness to children with craniofacial injuries -- kids like Danny.

“I was born with a craniofacial condition called Saethre-Chotzen,” he explained.

It’s a genetic condition that causes the plates in your head to fuse together too soon.

“It won't let your brain grow properly, so they basically had to take it apart and put it back together,” he described.

Doctors have performed these delicate procedures only six or seven times now. Danny’s first successful surgery happened when he was only seven months old.

“Did you ever let that stop you at all?” Lauren asked. “Or make you feel like you couldn't do anything different than anyone else?”

Danny simply said no. His "can do" attitude is why Lindsay tapped him to help her help the struggling kitten.

“He has such an amazing mind,” she learned. “He wants to be an engineer one day.”

Together, his mechanical mind, huge heart and helping hands all worked together.

“The prototype took about three hours,” Danny showed. “That itself took about a week to build and to strengthen.”

The gadget -- made up of PVC pipes, glue, and a few adjustable bands -- had to be wide enough to allow Mr. Kite access to a kitty litterbox.

“I'm just so impressed with his ideas and what he was able to build for this little kitten,” Lindsay complimented.

It wasn't always easy and did break apart. Danny had to perform his own surgeries to get it perfect.  

“Did you ever get frustrated and think ‘I can't do this?’” Lauren asked?

Danny said occasionally, but he was building stuff and likes that.

Now, it’s working wonders -- helping the kitten sit up, stand up for some periods, and scoot along.

“What kept you going? What made you say, ‘I have to figure this out?’” Lauren asked.

“One, building stuff. And two, I have a big heart,” Danny said.

He also has a big scar: a reminder of his own strength and journey. 

“He is just as special as I always thought he was,” Lindsay concluded.

A life that hasn't always been easy, but certainly rewarding.

If you're interested in adopting Mr. Kite, contact the Women's Humane Society in Bensalem, Pa., at 215-750-3100.

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