07/16/2015 10:00 EDT | Updated 07/16/2016 05:59 EDT

6-legged street cat awaits surgery, then adoption

Pauly is one tough cat.

He scratched out a living on the streets in southwest Edmonton, despite deformed hips and two extra legs sticking out of his chest. 

Every step was painful.

"When I first got the email about Pauly, I thought they meant he had six toes, which is not unusual," said Virginia Marando, president of Little Cats Lost Society.

"Then when I discovered he had six legs, it was quite amazing to see that he survived on the streets."

When Pauly was discovered, his rescuers realized he was in need of serious help and got in touch with Marando.

Pauly's two extra legs are joined to his sternum, tucked in behind his front legs. They are longer than his front legs, and X-rays seem to show they are actually back legs rotated 180 degrees.

"It is quite rare," Marando told Edmonton AM's Tim Adams. "I've never come across it before."

The legs are not functional. Pauly has to drag them.

Pauly has had surgery already to survive, but needs further surgery, so Marando started an online fundraising campaign to raise $2,000.

"It has just gone way beyond our dreams," she said. "Almost double the goal."

But that's just as well, she said, since Pauly will require weeks of rehab and physiotherapy.

For now, Pauly is recovering from last week's surgery on his hips.

"We're going to work with him to get his hips healed as best we can before we go ahead and do the actual removal of the extra legs," Marando said.