Since then, an employee said, Mac has become an unexpected poster child — of sorts — for Massapequa Pet Vet, which is trying to raise money for his ongoing medical care.
Medical personnel are working to rehabilitate him, hopeful that — because he still has feeling in his legs — he may gain use of them. They have been posting updates on his personal Facebook page and Twitter account.
“We do this for all of the animals when our funds allow us to,” Donna Terris, manager at Massapequa Pet Vet, told The Washington Post about Mac’s specialized treatment. “The only reason he became a special case is because he became an overnight sensation. We certainly did not expect that to happen.”
Indeed, Mac has become quite the Internet celebrity.
Massapequa Pet Vet staffers posted a video on YouTube last week showing the furry feline running — perhaps for the first time — with help from a miniature wheelchair made from K’NEX, a toy construction set that was widely popular in the ’90s.
“Some of our very dedicated technicians went digging through old toys they had and made him a makeshift wheelchair that allows him to finally run,” they wrote on Facebook. “We love this little guy and can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.”
The video shows Mac cruising down a hospital hallway.
“Oh my god, she’s motoring around,” someone exclaims.
Terris noted, however, that the wheelchair was only a temporary fix, and Mac has not used it much since because his caretakers want him to work to try to use his hind legs.
His caretakers are also exercising his mind — using a virtual mouse game on an iPad.
Terris, the manager at Massapequa Pet Vet, said it’s unclear what exactly is preventing Mac from using his hind legs, but, because he still has feeling in them and because he is very young, his veterinarians are hopeful he will be able to use them with proper medical treatment.
“He’s an active little guy,” she said. “He’s rambunctious and funny and spoiled.”
Terris said the animal hospital has been requesting that donations be sent to the Long Island Wildlife and Animal Rescue, a nonprofit organization run through the hospital, to help cover Mac’s medical costs — including his current physical therapies and diagnostic testing as well as his future care, including vaccines, neutering and microchipping.
One such request came straight from the superstar.
“Soooo many people keep asking where they are able to donate,” animal hospital staffers wrote in Mac’s voice on Facebook earlier this week. “My moms say it has to go towards my medical care. I keep telling them to buy catnip.
“The hospital that has taken me in has a PayPal account that can receive donations. Any and all donations will go to my care and hopefully a new set of wheels in the future.”
Terris said donors can specify whether they want the money to go toward Mac or to the hospital for all of the animals in need.
“It’s great if we get donations for the other guys, but he needs medical care,” she said.
So far, she said, donors have raised about $300 to help cover Mac’s medical expenses.
Terris said Mac has become an unintended advocate for the animal hospital, saying: “Hopefully he’ll help his kitty friends.”
Mac has not been put up for adoption. Veterinarians are continuing to treat him and assess his condition so that he can be placed with a family that best fits his needs.