CH Kitty Club NewsletterIssue # 2 November 2010
We're here to share advice, stories and information about living with
these special kitties, and to raise everyone's awareness that there is
no reason for them to be euthanized. They can live long and happy lives.
|CH Kitty of the Month
by Jennifer Jasensky
"Lilly Grace is a perfect kitty who loves to play, loves to climb through her cat tunnels, loves to move around on the grass, loves her family - furries and human - and who happens to have severe CH. Like any other cat, when she first came to adopt us humans as her mom and dad, it took some time for her to teach us how to help her the right way. We had to stop fussing and let her do her thing. She is a very determined young lady and will be the first to tell you that she can do something herself and to simply let her do it.
Very quickly she took to going outside and using a special area for her litterbox needs. She no longer needed any pee pads or any help, she could do everything by herself. Eating her food seemed like a challenge in the beginning also, but once again, she took the time to teach us that if we simply put down a placemat and add a little water to her canned food, she could eat it all without anyone having to hold her up.
She enjoys sitting in her window seat and watching the birds in the yard, and when the time is right, she'll get herself down from her perch and into her cat tree stand where she finds her non-CH kitty friends and plays rough and tumble games with them. No kitty is safe from Lilly Grace's expert cat tail catching aim. Thankfully the bigger kitties know they have a little extra time to get away when Lilly Grace comes for their tails, but often they will wait and let her have her fun.
Like any cat, Lilly Grace has free range of the house. She is welcome in any room and it's a fun surprise to come home and find that Lilly Grace is not where we left her but instead made her way to the living room and climbed up into her cat tree for a nap. She can't walk from room to room, but will lie down and swing from side to side, pushing with her legs until she gets to her new spot."
Click here for lots more pictures and videos of Lilly Grace
|New Family Member.......Toddie
Our Special Little Girl
by Catherine Dickson
Toddie, my five-month-old orange tabby, was born in a feral cat colony that settled at my grandparents' farm this past winter. My grandparents felt sorry for the skinny,unwanted cats and began to regularly feed them. In April and May, a few litters of kittens were born in the barn. Toddie was one of the new arrivals, and once she began to walk and play with her littermates, it was obvious to my grandparents that she had some kind of impairment. She could not keep her balance when she walked around the yard and constantly leaned sideways or fell over. Toddie also had trouble eating dry and canned food after she was weaned. She rapidly pecked at the food like a bird and was unable to keep much food in her mouth or swallow it well.
When she was about eight weeks old, I visited the farm with hopes of trapping some of the adult cats to get them spayed or neutered and vaccinated at the Humane Society. The first thing my grandmother wanted to do was show me her "special kittens." Toddie was one of the special kittens because she was so wobbly yet determined to play and act like a normal kitten. Toddie continuously toddled around chasing her brothers and sisters, even though she fell over a lot in the process. She had amazingly learned to climb the stairs of the porch like her littermates and often played with them on it. At mealtime, she stayed at the food bowl longer to make sure she got enough to eat, even though all the other kittens finished long before her. What an amazing, inspiring little kitten! She was definitely a role model in determination and resilience. She had a very attentive, protective mother who never strayed more than a few feet away from her. I was so thankful for this devoted mother because she had kept Toddie safe from harm.
Instead of leaving that day with a couple of adult cats, I left with three kittens. One of them was the wonder kitten Toddie. I took her to a veterinary hospital to see why she had so many motor problems. I was also concerned because she was skinnier than the other kittens and had conjunctivitis in one eye. The other two kittens I brought with me had upper respiratory infections, which I also wanted to get treated. Two veterinarians at the hospital thought Toddie had a deformed skull and a brain injury. They had no idea if she had a good or bad prognosis. I was so worried about her! Thankfully, all three kittens were FeLV/FIV/Heartworm negative and soon recovered from their eye and respiratory infections at my home. My sister named them Curious George, Bobbie, and Toddie. Toddie was given her name because she reminded my sister of an uncoordinated toddler learning to walk. I hoped to find all of them homes. George left us first and settled at a new home in Rock Hill, SC, where he is a very loved, very healthy little boy. After George left, my family and I quickly decided that we could not part with little Toddie and embraced her as our precious new family member. We also decided to keep little Bobbie because she and Toddie had become close, sweet companions.
In early October, I took Toddie to a third veterinarian to get yet another opinion. This time Toddie had a diagnosis-cerebellar hypoplasia-as well as a very good prognosis. The vet also said Toddie had a normal skull and was very healthy. Finally, some wonderful news for little Toddie! I had never heard of CH, but I quickly learned all about it and joined the CH Kitty Club. I am so glad that there are other special, inspiring kitties like Toddie. They are all sweet blessings! In the past few months, Toddie has more than doubled her weight and has gained more strength. Now she is less wobbly and much more active. She can walk without falling over and has gotten much better at running, eating, and drinking. She also loves to jump up and pounce, but she usually falls on her side soon after. Toddie quickly learned that she has much more control over her paws, limbs, and mouth when she plays with her toys or Bobbie while lying on her side. She has a favorite blue fish toy that she has been obsessed with for almost three months. No other toy excites her as much as the blue fish. Toddie has no idea that she has an impairment and believes she is a normal kitten like Bobbie. She is just as playful and active as Bobbie, and they have become very best friends. They love to sunbathe and nap together on a window perch during the day. They are so sweet together!
Toddie is a very special, beautiful kitten, and I am so grateful to have her. She has a very sweet temperament and loves to be held and petted all day long. When we pick her up, she goes completely limp and soon falls asleep purring very loudly. She is adorable!
Everybody who meets her falls in love with her overwhelming cuteness. She is very special for having CH but also because she is one of the few orange girls in the cat world. My family and I love her and Bobbie so much, and we are so excited to share this story with everyone. Toddie inspires and encourages us every day!
Melissa B. (Missy) Green
Missy and her crazy crew!
Hi, it's me, Otter, again. Last month I introduced myself to you. I am the only CH cat that owns Missy and her boys, though she does have one other special cat named Fifi (Fiona). Well, today I am gonna talk about Fifi because she gave me my number one reason to be thankful for having CH. You see, a few weeks ago, Missy had just taken a shower (how can she enjoy that?) and the water had not drained yet. Well, Fifi was running around playing with Trouble and SPLASH, she jumped into the tub without looking first! Oh was she mad! Wet and cold and mad! So, now I am thankful that I cannot jump into something like that because I hate being wet and cold!
Also, Missy has been letting me go out in the back yard some now that the weather is cooler. I really like it because there is a fence around it and the fat cats from the front yard don't come back there and bother me! I really like sitting on the small hill to the side and watching the world go by. Such interesting things to watch!
I think Missy is kind of worried about me because I have been having these fits lately. I don't know what happens, I just go all weird feeling and blank out for a while. When I come back, I feel odd and slobber a lot and Missy will pet me and tell me everything is ok. She told me that she talked to the vet and that I will be going on medication for this soon. I hope the medicine works, especially since I think I may have hurt Missy during one of these fits. When I came out of this particular fit, she was holding her arm and it was bleeding. She kept telling me it ok and that I couldn't help it, but Tito seemed really worried. Then it got all red and swollen and she had to visit her doctor. I don't like her being sick, but I liked it that she stayed home and cuddled in the bed with me for a day or two.
Oh, yeah, before I forget, Missy gave me a real TREAT the other night! She gave me ham fresh cooked on the stove! She gave Fifi and Trouble some, too, but she gave me the most! I have never eaten anything this good before and I hope she does it again soon! Well, I have chatted long enough and must go, nap time is calling me. Talk to you next month.
by Debbie Martin
Meet "Chickadee". This beautiful traditional calico was in a kill shelter with no hope or future to look forward to. We pulled her from this shelter & love her to pieces! She has mild CH, she is about 3 years old and has been with us since she was about 9 months old. She truly is wonderful - she is very entertaining - loves to run, jump, and play, and snuggles with her foster parent at night. She lives with other cats but gets nervous if they pick on her. She has been moved from foster home to foster home, just waiting for that special someone to choose her. She is a quirky girl who has a unique personality. You must meet her to understand her! She is a sweet girl but is very vocal when she is not happy. She tested negative for FeLV-FIV, is up to date on vaccines, dewormed & spayed/neutered. For more information on how to adopt this pet please contact Amy@AngelsofAnimals.org with Angels of Animals, Inc in Clifton, NJ. To see her ad and watch a video on Petfinder on the following link. http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/12424001
Kids And Cats
By: Shannon Collar, CH Kitty mommy and writer.
In May I was blessed by the love of a kitten named Sloan. Sloan, her brother and Mom came to live with me so I could offer them some rehab until there were able to be adopted. My intention was not to fall in love with Sloan. But I did.
Sloan was very sick when she came. She had a horrible eye infection, here eyes were so swollen that at one point I didn't think she had eyes.
At her first vet appointment I was told not to get attached. The vet said she didn't expect her to live since her heart rate kept dropping. We took Sloan home expecting the worse, instead we fell into a routine with Sloan.
During the several weeks that I had the kittens secluded while they grew stronger, Drew, our three year old, started to learn how to be safe around them.
He helped feed them (watching mostly ) while I held them and they learned to eat solid foods. Drew learned to play gently by rolling balls or holding feather toys to tease them. Weeks later when only Sloan remained, Drew and Sloan grew closer. Drew had learned that Sloan was delicate and required extra care. I would often find him sitting in a chair rocking her or bringing her a toy or a snack. We joked that Sloan was our second child.
Sadly, Sloan started having severe seizures and we were unable to control them. We made the painful decision to let her go.
That day, I sat Drew down and explained that Sloan was really sick and that the Doctor couldn't make her better. Sloan was going to be getting her Angel wings and would be living in Heaven. We had talked about Angels before and he seemed ok. No other questions were asked.
My last memory of Drew and Sloan is a really sweet memory. Sloan had been laying on our bed wrapped up sleeping. The medicine she was on, left her in an unconscious sedated state. She was at peace. I had walked out to get ready and came back into the bedroom. Drew said "I gave Sloan a pillow". He had gently placed a pillow under her head.
My heart just sank. In that moment I knew Drew had a heart larger than life and somewhere along the line he learned compassion for others.
Drew has been raised in a home with CH kitties. We joke that he one day he'll be visiting a friends house and say "What's wrong with your cat, she's walking straight". A lot of people question my desire to rescue and adopt the special need cats, and think that Drew is too young to be with them. I don't think that's the case. Drew is learning to accept people who are different, and to be tolerant and patient with them. Our cats are no worse off for being loved and toted around by him. But for Drew, it has made an impression on him, it has taught him something that many others don't know how to do and that is to accept people who are different.
|Meet the Parents
Ann and Luke!
By Kristie (Riley Dean's Mom)
Luke is a 6-year-old short-haired brown tabby CH kitty who lives with his mommy, Ann Lavine, in Monrovia, California. Ann, who works with Kitten Rescue (kittenrescue.org), says that Luke "walks well and he will tumble over but he gets up fast. Usually he is good with the litterbox and eating." She has even have taught him to climb up and down stairs. He wobbles and his head bobs, but not all the time.
Luke (who was adopted at age three) is actually Ann's second CH kitty. Before she had Luke, some of you may remember that Ann was also mom to Dear Heart, who has since gone to the Rainbow Bridge. Dear Heart "was more severe than Luke" and "did miss the box sometimes...I would give her a bath daily, but she liked being clean and also liked the bath." Ann sometimes fed Dear Heart and gave her water by hand: "I let her eat and drink on her own but if she did not finish I would help her." She kept track of how much water Dear Heart needed for her weight and sometimes even squirted water into her mouth with a needle-less syringe.
Ann was lucky to have a great vet, Dr. Schwartz, who is knowledgeable about CH and was able to diagnose Dear Heart with CH right away. She recommends him to anyone who lives in the Los Angeles area.
Dear Heart was Ann's first experience with CH, and now she has Luke, along with three non-CH kitties and nine non-CH fosters. She says the other cats, "interact with Luke some. Kate will wash him and PC plays with him." However, Luke's favorite playmates are the kittens.
Ann's advice for other CH kitty parents is to "not listen to anyone who says to put (your CH kitty) to sleep. Do not see a vet who says this, and do not declaw. Definitely spay and neuter, and do not leave them outside."
by Erica Posada
CH lovers have to stick together and help each other, right? I think that is why we are all here. Well, why not utilize the many great features of our group and website. Our website has many great features...this month's feature is our Live Chat!! Where you can log on and are able to talk to one of our moderators live, be it just to say hi and chat about your little CH kitty or about those challenges you may be having with you little CH kitty as we know we all have them. When you log on our moderators receive an email and within a few minutes one of us will try to be there ready to chat or to answer any questions you may have! We also would love to get regular chat scheduled on different topics regarding CH kitties, ie. The joys of owning a CH, Litter box challenges, seizures, and many more. We would like to get chats more active and do more scheduled chats but for that we need you guys to come out and check out the website and try to come to one of our chats and check it out. Once you get on and experience it you will love it. Supporting our fellow CH lovers , network with other CH lovers, building friendships and learn more about CH kitties. Hope to see you on the live chat soon...also remember to click the ads on the page to help keep our site running and to help enhancements to our site. I know Neal and Lizzie looking for the new and improved chat.
Thank you all for being such an important part of the CH Kitty Club! Special thanks to Jennifer for helping me out with technical stuff that had me baffled. Extra special thanks to Neal, always.
CH Kitty Club
President of the
CH Kitty Club
Usually symptoms of cerebellar hypoplasia can be seen immediately at
birth in cats, but sometimes can take two months or so to become
apparent. Cerebellar hypoplasia causes jerky movements, tremors
and generally uncoordinated motion. The animal often falls down and has trouble walking. Tremors increase when the animal is excited and subside
when at ease.|