Battered and barely clinging to life, Klaus was only 4 months old when he was brought to the attention of the Dumb Friends League San Luis Valley Animal Center. His original owners believed the severely wounded kitten had climbed into one of their truck engines the week before. Outdoor cats and other small animals will often seek the warmth and shelter of cars in the winter months, with some unable to escape from the engines of moving vehicles.

When Klaus first arrived at the League’s Alamosa location, staff were stunned by the severity of his injuries. Large wounds on the side of his face gave way to exposed bone, and he was missing one of his hind paws. He was also noticeably dehydrated, malnourished, and fighting the many infections weakening his tiny body. It was clear Klaus’ ailments were consistent with significant trauma, such as being trapped inside a running motor. Sadly, everyone agreed that his outlook was grim. No one knew then just how tough Klaus could be.

Ultimately, Klaus’ owners made the decision to relinquish him to our care. After being stabilized at a veterinary hospital in the San Luis Valley, he was transferred to the League’s Leslie A. Malone Center in Denver. There, he received additional veterinary care, including an amputation of his injured and infected hind leg. With each passing day, the feline grew stronger and more resilient. Not to mention more popular! The League’s Veterinary Services Team quickly fell in love with Klaus, affectionately calling him “Motors” in honor of his loud and persistent purr.

Despite the pain and trauma of his short life, Klaus kept up the fight, turned up the charm, and was soon fostered by one of the veterinarians on staff. In his foster home, he learned how to navigate life on three legs and passed each of his wellness exams with flying colors. Once he received a clean bill of health, it didn’t take long for him to find his new family. From the moment they met Klaus, adopters Robert and Ana were smitten with his outgoing, playful, and warm personality. But they were also taken by his incredible story and tenacity of spirit.

Now in a safe and happy home, Klaus is thriving, surrounded by the love of Robert, Ana, and four new feline siblings. According to the couple, Klaus only has two settings: fearless explorer or total cuddle bug. And while his curious nature keeps Robert and Ana laughing, it’s the power of his touch and roaring “purr motor” that continues to melt their hearts. “When I’m having a bad day, he comes up to me and lays on my chest and rubs his head against my beard,” said Robert. “When I hold him, he’ll just stay and cuddle.”

Help the League touch the lives of animals like Klaus by supporting our mission to end pet homelessness and animal suffering today.

As the weather turns colder, please check for cats and other animals who may be seeking warmth from your car’s engine or tires. Before starting your vehicle, take a moment to tap on your hood, honk your horn, and look in your wheel wells. These few extra steps could save the life of an animal like Klaus.