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CH Kitty Club Newsletter
December                                 Issue #3
Tardy Peebucket
Hi everyone,

Welcome to the December Issue of the CH Kitty Club Newsletter! We have some amazing articles this month, and wonderful pictures!! So make sure you read the *whole* thing, I am watching you!!

Tardy Peebucket

President of the CH Kitty Club

CH Kitty of the Month...

Matthew and McKayla

by Erica Posada

Matthew and McKayla are the cutest pair of siblings and my first CH babies. These sweet babies were rescue from a group in Bergen County in New Jersey,  but they did not have experience with CH kitties. Therefore they reached out to Angels of Animals, Inc.,  as our group  helps a lot of special needs kitties. When we took them in they were approximately 6 weeks and still on a bottle. I would say they are moderate.  As kittens they could not take more than a couple steps without falling over but they have learned to take their time - it helps them and they now can get around just fine.  They are not able to climb or jump but they know to how to get their mommy's attention when they need help. It is truly amazing to see them grow and get stronger and go from barely taking more than a few steps.  With time they got stronger and became more independent. They will now be 3 years old this coming Saint Patrick's Day. Matthew is a big baby and momma's boy while McKayla is strong willed and independent.  They are quite attached to each other and love to snuggle together and with their mommy.  When they first came home as "fosters" they were sick, but with some nurturing and some TLC, they were nursed back to health.  They sure love their mommy for taking them in and loving them. As th eir mommy, I think I am just as lucky, and I truly feel honored to be their mommy. 

We have had our ups and downs.  When they were found they had bad upper respiratory infections.  This left McKayla with some scarring on her one eye.  They  had ringworm which lead them to be in isolation for a while! Therefore they spent a lot of time as "fosters" which led mommy to fall in love and not be able to bare to let them go! My sweet little Matthew has been a momma's and picky boy since the beginning. For a long time he had his own special litter box with special litter until he decided he no longer liked that. Then we tried wee wee pads and that works for a while.  Then that did not make him happy either and he decided he should be allowed to go wherever he wants. So we have some litter box issues but I love him to death and he can do no wrong so we manage.  My best friend is my steam vac!  McKayla is the stubborn little sister who is determined to be better than her brother. She uses the litter box and is quite independent. She did give me quite a scare last Thanksgiving when McKayla got Calici virus, stopped eating. She ended up having to be hospitalized and had to be put on feeding tube and was hospitalized for a full weekend, then we hand fed her until she bounced back. She also began having seizures, which was quite scary. We discussed medication but we decided to hold off and monitor the seizures before putting her on Phenobarbital, which is used to treat seizures, but can be harmful in other ways. Thankfully she has not been having frequent seizures, and she is doing well. Wow, the journeys we have been through!  They truly have my heart!

Matthew and McKayla have even been so kind to allow mommy to adopt three other CH babies since them, Monkey and McKenzie (siblings as well) and Serenity (a singleton). Monkey and McKenzie are a bit shy and mildly affected, and Serenity is a sweet girl who is moderately to severely affected. They are truly a pleasure and I am honored to be able to give them a home and give them the love and care they need.

New Family Member...Bodie

by Jayne Whalen and Bodie xx

   I didn't even know CH kitties existed until my daughter was on placement at a vet's. She told me of a kitten who was there with brain damage and how he lived in an isolation cage and was due to be put to sleep (as we call it in the UK).
  She eventually asked if we could have him and I said, no, we had enough. We have a dog and one cat as it is, and we all work. The day came when he was due to be put to sleep, and I thought about him alot that day. Hannah came home and said he hadn't been put to sleep yet; seems even the vet had a soft spot for this little guy.
  He was called Dizzy at the time.  The next question was can we have him just for the weekend to see how we manage...no! Please...no, please mam. OK, if he needs medicine and operations then no. If not then OK. My husband spoke to the vet, no he doesn't. He wont get any better or worse...OK then just for the weekend...so home he came!  I fell in love with him when I think he was 30 minutes away from being put to sleep. I cringe, and to see him fall breaks my heart. But he is so loving, it's unreal.

  "Bodie" now has a forever home, and he is my baby forever. I'm sure he thinks I'm his mum. He cleans my face and hands and cries when I go out of sight! We have had a few problems but we are learning together.  I'm sure he is getting stronger. He doesn't like change and loud noises; but he is so loving, it's unreal.

  It's a great shame more people don't give these kitties a home!  CH is not well known in the UK. I had never heard of it until we got Bodie.  I went on the internet to get some advice. I thank my lucky stars I have been blessed to be a CH kitty mom.

Adoptable Angels...Coffee

by Debbie Martin

 "My name is Coffee.  I am a female calico where the orange is that of an orange tabby."

   Coffee has a slender build and a narrow face. She is able to walk, but falls often. She loves attention and purrs as soon as she sees us. She is very playful, but will climb into my lap when she is done so that she can rest there. She needs a home where she will be held and played with, and where someone won't mind sweeping up the litter that gets scattered as she climbs into and out of the litter box.   We still have Pepper as well, but he no longer shows any sign of disability from the CH. I think we can find a home more easily for him. We do need to find Coffee a home soon because my husband is very allergic to cats. Our other cats are outdoor cats, but Coffee can't be outdoors in the winter with her condition.

   Coffee's  mother and father belonged to the man next door to the place where she was born.
Coffee's father is an orange tabby, and her mother was mostly white with patches of gray and tabby pattern.  Her mother had two litters of kittens, both of them at the same house.  She had the first litter on the front porch in a cardboard box on a freezing cold day in February.  The people at that house moved the mother and her kittens into their garage and provided for them while Coffee's mother's owner was recovering from surgery.  He never came to get them when he recovered.  When the older siblings were weaned, Coffee's mother got pregnant right away with Coffee's litter.  The nice people still let her into their garage because she needed to have time away from Coffee's father, and her mom loved playing with her kittens.   Coffee's  litter was born on July 5, 2010 in that garage as the children of that family watched.  In a few weeks they knew that Coffee and her litter were different.  They didn't walk right away, instead they flopped from place to place.

   Coffee's new family soon learned about CH kitties and knew that they would need to find special people to care for them.  One of Coffee's brothers was only mildly affected and is now just like the older siblings. The other two siblings were both affected more than she was.  Coffee able to walk and run, although she does fall over.  She likes to climb, so her caregivers must be careful about where she might be able to climb.  She loves to play with balls and strings and dangling toys.  She loves people and purrs as soon as she sees them. Coffee's father was adopted by the family at the place where she was born.  Her mother has disappeared.  The nice people have since moved to a new home, although they took the kitties with them so they could find homes for them.  They are keeping one of the littermates for their daughter who is in college, but they couldn't keep them all because some of them are allergic to cats.  Coffee is the kitten who is still looking for a home.  If you would love a kitty who loves to be cuddled and loved, then Coffee would love to be your cat.
I took Sudoku (the other CH Kitty)  to Santa Maria, about a 14 hour drive one way, during a break from school (I am a teacher).  That trip cost me about $250 for food, motel, and gas.  I would try to get the cat as far as I could in helping someone to adopt Coffee.    However, I don't have a break except Thanksgiving and then winter break starting just before Christmas.  My husband is quite allergic to cats (although he managed the photo session in the laundry room where I keep the kitties), so I don't think he could drive the cat.

Please Contact Sherilynn Grover who rescued Coffee and her family!  Coffee needs a home and Sherilynn is willing to drive to provide Coffee a wonderful home! 


Kitty Gadgets


by Christina Brdey

"Jennifer J.'s Lilly Grace Likes to Keep it Old School."

Off the heels of a very important election year, there is one issue CH parents may never be able to agree on, the perfect CH litter box. Why? Because every CH has their own unique preference when it comes to going the bathroom. Whether you CH cat is walking, crawling or is just too tough to figure out, this is one area where our CH thinking caps come in handy. Here are a few unconventional litter boxes that work for our fellow CH parents:

1) The Great Outdoors

It might not get any simpler than putting your cat outside to do their business. However, some

downsides to this method include making your cat wait for you when nature calls, as well as bad
weather creating some minor obstacles for finding a suitable patch of land.

A possible inside solution for the cat that likes their natural surroundings is an indoor grassy litter box
such as the Rascal Dog Litter Box. This type of litter box has been a recent growing trend, and there are several manufacturers that make them. They might be on the higher end of the price range, but you can shop for a good deal online and it may be just what your CH cat is looking

2) I Have Boxes in Low Places

A litter box with a low entrance and high sides may be the right fit. Here are three unique suggestions for such that:

Purchase a rubber maid under-the-bed storage box or any durable size box and cut one side low
enough for your cat to enter into. Pad the edges if the cut makes the material too rough.

Purchase a dog litter box which has a wide low entrance way, but sides and a back to keep your
cat in the box .  Just like the dog litter box, a potting tray from your local gardening store is another great box with a low front and high sides/back

3) Wee Wee For Me

Many CH cats actually prefer wee wee pads and many parents only know the standard pads but here are
a few you might not have thought of, as well as a few products that help keep them in place:

Martha Stewart Waste Pads - These pads are quilted for extra absorption and they have
removable tape on the back to help keep the pad in place

Clean Go Reusable Pads -These pads are actually reusable

Four Paws Pad Holder - This not only helps hold the pad in place but it has sides (not the

sturdiest) to help keep your cat on the pad

Iris Pad Holder Tray - Has an outer frame to help keep the pad secured

Helpful Tips for Any Litter Box:

If using a box, use a Rubbermaid tote on the side(s) to help collect the kicked up litter

Use an inexpensive shower curtain as a protective layer underneath a litter box or wee wee pad

to help protect the floor when your cat misses the target

If the outside is preferred, put down a plastic covering before a snow storm and remove before
placing the cat outside. This will keep the ground significantly drier and will help you avoid
shoveling when you're in a rush. Read customer reviews before purchasing a litter product to get a good idea of the product's best features and flaws

A special thank you to everyone that contributed to this article especially Shannon C., Jennifer J. and the infamous Lizzie B. If you have an invention or product that you think will help other CH parents, please email Christina at CBrdey@yahoo.com.

Otter's Corner-Part 3

Melissa B. (Missy) Green
Athens, GA
Missy and her crazy crew!

Hello, again, it's me, Otter.  I am really happy this month.  First of all, Missy started me on medicine, so I don't seem to have "spells" anymore.  This is good because they really made me feel funny, and I know they scared Missy.  I also like how Missy gives me the medicine; she hides it in my soft food, so I hardly even notice it.  Jonathan, on the other hand, shoves it down my throat!  I don't like that.  But he has not been doing that lately, so I just get it in my food now. 

I also have a new favorite thing to do.  The big black doggy, Tito, is nice and warm and I really like to sit beside him and just lean on him.  It helps me feel secure and keeps me warm.  I'm not sure Tito likes it, but he doesn't move and that is all I care about.  I also like to cuddle up with Princess, the yellow dog, when on the sofa.  It is hard to get up on the sofa and often takes me more than one try.  Sometimes Missy will help me get on the sofa, especially if she sees me fall the first time.  Once up there, though, I either like to cuddle against Missy or against Princess. 

I also am happy because Missy has started getting rid of a lot of the mess in the house and keeping it gone.  I wish I could help her with this, but I cannot.  I know she yells at her boys when she needs their help, but they don't want to help her.  Fifi get's all upset about this and runs up to her and tries to comfort her.  Fifi, though, does try to help her clean.  When I use the pee pads that Missy puts down in the kitchen, Fifi will ball them up so that they don't smell and it's easier for Missy to throw away.  Honestly, though, Fifi is kind of strange.  She also will try and find pieces of paper, and use it to cover her litter box. 

Well, I guess that is all for now.  I am really happy this year because it is getting cold out and I have a nice, big, warm house to live in!  I am SO thankful I found Missy!  She spoils me so much! 

Kids and Cats

By: Shannon Collar, CH Kitty mommy and writer.

Happy Holidays from our furry family to yours. Can you believe that we just celebrated Thanksgiving? And now Christmas is a month away? Soon it will be New Years. Where did this year go?

The hustle and bustle of the Holidays will be here soon, and not only is my head swirling with Holiday plans and what presents still need bought or made, but how to baby proof the house for a three year old, an eight month old kitten with CH and possibly a three month old "normal" kitty. Yikes!

Like many of you, I love Christmas. Not necessarily the gift part, but the time with family and friends. Watching the snow fall. Twinkling lights on a tree. The food (yum!). People just seem to be a bit nicer this time of year. And all the holiday movies on tv. My hubby says that I want to be in love and live in those movies.

Even though most of the items I named are wonderful, they also are potentially harmful to our children and pets.

It seems, I spend more time shopping for ornaments that are shatter proof or made out of something other than glass or porcelain. Most of our ornies are handmade or are bells. Our kitties just love to help "angels get their wings".

Every year, Brian and I have a debate over the lights. I love white lights, he loves colored. We put both on. I prefer solid, he loves the motion. We compromise by finding something that is a slow fade, or I change it when he isn't home. Although I do enjoy the chase of the lights, I always hold my breath. Our first CH kitty, Piglet, had his first seizure around Christmas time. Our vet thought they might have been because of the motion lights, but wasn't sure. Piglet did grow out of having severe seizures. But in the back of my mind, I always worry that this might be the year he starts having them again.

Probably my least favorite thing about Christmas is wrapping presents. With small children in the family, how can I not? That's part of the magic for them.

Now that Drew is three, we probably won't put any presents under the tree until he's asleep on Christmas Eve. He's at that age, where he wants to open every box. He shares that with his sister-cat Peaches. One year, Peaches unwrapped several gifts under the tree. She's our chewer. Needless to say I wasn't very happy with her.

Peaches and Flurry both love ribbon too. Flurry (another member of our CH squad) will seek ribbon off anything and chew it up. Peaches doesn't usually swallow it, but Flurry does. We had another cat once that used to eat the icicles off the tree. We've been very lucky to have had our kitties be able to pass them, without having to have an expensive surgery done to remove them.

Although those things are common sense, some days we just get lost in the magic, and forget. I know I do. After being a mom to eight CH kitties, I've learned to compromise on what I'd like for what is best for them, and I think that has helped us be better parents for Drew, or at least help us look out for potential problems.

I know this year will be magical for us. From the handcrafted ornies and decorations to the memories made. With sincere wishes for a special Holiday time to each of you. May the magic of the season be seen in the eyes of yours pets and your children.

Meet the Parents

Anna and her Family

By Kristie (Riley Dean's Mom)

For many of us, being a CH kitty parent is a fun, sometimes challenging, and always rewarding
handful. But how about being a parent to SEVEN CH babies? This honor belongs to Anna in Portland, Oregon. She is Mommy to Flipper, Rachel, Miriam, Tango, Princess, Puck and Smiley Bob, whose ages range from eight months to nine years.

Flipper was the first CH kitty to come into Anna's life, when her friend Margo (who runs a rescue in California) called and said she had a little special kitten that needed a home. At first, Anna says. "I was not too sure...but all Flipper had to do was wrap her paws around my neck the first day and it was all over." Anna says that Flipper is her most severe CH kitty, but "very vocal and independent." Flipper cannot walk, but "rolls everywhere, and also has issues with dislocations so we have to be very careful." However, that has not stopped Flipper from being a well-traveled and well-loved kitty: "She has her very own front pack pouch. She has been to Canada back east five times, on a plane, on Amtrak all over the Pacific Northwest many times,
and she even goes to the beach with me."

Anna is actually a new resident to Portland. Before that she spent the majority of her life in Northern California (my neck of the woods), where she was foster mom to fifteen "human children" and an avid supporter of Whiskers, Tails and Ferals in Napa (check out their Facebook page!).  When she moved last year, Flipper made the trip with her.

Now Flipper has a lot of friends and adopted family. Aside from her seven CH-ers, Anna has also opened her heart and home to two blind kitties, five non-disabled kitties, six chickens, twelve koi, two birds, "And a husband." Anna, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, says her special babies, "Have helped me to cope with my MS and RA...and have given me a purpose in life."

Anna's advice for new CH parents is to, "Love (your CH babies). Honor them, respect them, be patient and stay educated." Also, "Keep a group of other CH parents in your friend circle, and make sure you get a good vet. Oh, and remember to keep a sense of humor."

Features of the CH Kitty Club Website

by Erica Posada

Member Showcase

To fully utilize all the highlights of chkittyclub website please share your stories on Member Showcase of your CH babies. This will help others learn about the dear sweet CH babies we live with, and help new CH parents learn about CH babies. Once you create and add your CH baby, and once you share their stories, you can share Pet Diaries to let us know day to day how they do, and to help others understand their kitties' needs.

Notes From Tanja
How to improve your CH cat's physical condition

by Tanja

Some of our CH cats are confined to safe but limited space when we are not at home.
  Use the time together to play and practice with your cat.

Part of the playtime can and should be used to improve cat's physical condition.  Training and well developed muscles are important for every cat, but for the CH cat the benefit is huge.  Make sure your CH kitten builds muscles - help her practice!  CH cats sometimes need extra stimulation - provide it.

Let your CH cat practice every day, at least once a day, preferably twice, at approximately the same time - recommended time is before the evening meal, but at least two hours before bed time.

** Toys, Simple Cat Tower, Staircase **

Encourage your cat to walk, run, chase the favorite toy. Use different (100% safe) toys; rotate them from time to time, so your cat doesn't get bored.

Let your cat climb a Simple Cat Tower or a piece of furniture placed on the small firm carpet, not towel, to avoid slipping.  If she is reluctant, put her front paws on the top of the Tower (or the piece of furniture), and let her try herself.  At the beginning you can help her - but don't force her - her natural curiosity will eventually do the trick.  Her claws
will do the job. Don't be sorry for the furniture, it is replaceable.

So, let her climb, let her enjoy the view - and then let her practice coming down while you are supervising.  If she can't keep her balance and land on her feet on the way down, and if you are absolutely sure she will not hurt herself falling on the floor, let her fall.  Don't help her.  Just let her get down on her own. Her performance will improve with time and practice.  In the beginning, you can place one pillow on the side where she will come down, for the safe landing. Let her rest, and make her go up and down few times, but make her practice for at least 20 minutes every day.

If you have a CH-proofed staircase, you can use the cat teaser and call your cat to follow every time you go upstairs, and then downstairs (walking the stairs is good for both of you).  If the staircase sides are not protected, pick up the easiest part of it to proof (even few steps will do), put a pillow or two against the sides to protect the cat from falling thru, and let the cat walk up and down under your full supervision.

If your cat likes treats, let her have a reward for the effort!  You can treat yourself too ;)  Enjoy every moment!

There are Simple Cat Towers you can buy, (see the photo) or you can make them yourself if you are good with tools, or use a piece of furniture that you already have.  Please make sure cat's claws will not get stuck in material.

Take photos of your cat and photos of the furniture and share them with us.

Yours sincereCATly,

Tanja & Martha

** ** **

Complete article was written based on our experience with Martha. In the beginning, when Martha was allowed to climb the Martha-proof stairs for the first time, she could climb two or three steps and then she would fall.  But she was so determined to walk the stairs, even without stimulation - she had spent couple of days going up and down on her own many times until she mastered them. Now she climbs 20 steps without falling
more than twice. She climbs the staircase at least ten times a day, following us, or on her own.

Our house staircase is proofed with hard plastic Lexan sheets.

Here you can see Martha walking up the stairs

Martha has Trixie Cat tower, see photo.

We also let her climb the Tall Cat Tree, but to get down she uses the chair that we placed next to the tree, or she calls for assistance.

Practice make purrrrrrfect!

Our Yahoo Discussion Group
by Elizabeth Holochwost

Click here for our CH Club Yahoo Group

   We all need to be able to reach out for help in new situations. I believe that is what this Yahoo Discussion Group allows us to do.

   When I adopted my first CH kitten in 1996, I was clueless, I had no idea what to do or what to expect. I went on the internet, but there was little to nothing about CH cats. This is how the CH Kitty group started, a need to reach out to see if there were other people dealing with this same new adventure that I was.

   I never expected it to lead to such a wonderful and caring community of CH parents, but here we are!

   Here is what some other group members had to say:

I found the original group after getting Jewel, and googling CH Kitty.  It helped with info for litter problems, patience, feeding, and also blocking the sudden jumps into no where!  I also had questions when she had a urinary infection, and when she was spayed.  So many helpful people, always giving great answers.


I was referred to this group from the Cats and Kitten group after Otter showed up on my porch.  I thought Otter was dying, he looked so bad and he walked like a "drunken sailor."  Someone, maybe even you, thought maybe he had CH and suggested this group.  I have since become the proud Mommy of Otter, who is a very special baby, indeed!  I also would like to add that this group has helped me tremendously with knowing what to expect out of Otter and how to make both of our lives better.

Melissa Greene
New Member Spotlight...Lamat

My CH Kitty's story


by Lamat


Cocoa, our five-month-old CH kitty, came into our lives on May 25, the day he came into this world. We had rescued Cocoa's mother a couple of months earlier, and she gave birth to her litter in our backyard.  Cocoa and his two littermates were like little furballs, who loved to eat and play.  As they grew older they would often stand near our door and meow till they were let inside. We'd let them in, after locking up our six very territory-conscious indoor adult cats. Cocoa would run up the stairs and hide in one of the rooms. It was a task catching him and taking him back into the backyard. The friendliest of the litter, he loved his tummy rubs, and after finishing his meal, he would lean against me, meow and also play with my hair.

In the middle of September, Cocoa, his mother and littermates showed symptoms of food poisoning. Cocoa and one of his littermate's condition was critical. Three days later Cocoa's littermate died, while Cocoa's chances of survival were bleak.

We would go and meet Cocoa at the vet's in the evenings. It was sad to see him. He had become half his size in less than a week and could barely meow or walk. A couple of days later we brought him back home and he became our eighth indoor cat (seventh was another kitty whom we took in around the same time).

One evening when we returned from the vet's we noticed that Cocoa's pupils had dilated and that he could not see. For those few hours, Cocoa held on to me tightly, and wouldn't let go of me. We phoned the vet who gave him a shot to reverse his symptoms. After the shot, Cocoa's pupils became alright and he fell asleep. When Cocoa woke up a few hours later, his pupils were dilated and he had lost his vision again. We sat with him all night. The vet advised us to put him to sleep in the morning. We couldn't bring ourselves to do that.

So we decided to take him to a homoeopath. We gave Cocoa a homoeopathic antidote for poisoning. It worked. Cocoa could see again.  Encouraged by the improvement in his condition we continued with more homoeopathy doses for treating his diarrhea and vomiting. We force-fed him for about 10 days, till he started eating a little by himself.

While his condition improved, Cocoa could not walk. The vet said it was due to weakness. We half-believed that theory and, as suggested by the vet, gave him energy boosters.  In the meantime, we noticed that though Cocoa couldn't walk he was very alert and loved to play. We saw Cocoa, playing with Itty, a six-month-old rescue, who had moved in with us.  Itty was amazingly gentle with Cocoa and played with him at his pace. This worked like magic for Cocoa and soon he was leaping around the room, hiding behind curtains and one day trying to chase one of our adult cats!

A few days  ago, as I wa s Googling for information on Cocoa's condition I learnt about CH kittens. I was horrified to learn that Cocoa would never be able to walk.  I checked out videos of CH kittens and I just knew that Cocoa was a CH kitty. I see his case as severe, because his latter half swings when he walks and, he keeps falling after every two steps.  But I see hope in Cocoa's case because Cocoa is fearless and has tremendous will power. 




Celebrate Your CH Kitty All Year Long

The CH Kitty Club is offering 8 1/2 x 11 wall calendars featuring a picture of your favorite CH kitty.  They only cost $9.95, come in several colors, and you can choose between portrait (vertical) and landscape (horizontal) orientation.  All proceeds go to support the CH Kitty Club's ongoing expenses.  Simply send us a copy of your favorite CH kitty's photo, digital or a physical photo, and we'll get the ball rolling.  In fact, you can go to the Donation/Fundraising page on the CH Kitty Club website to use our online order form and upload your digital photo.  Within mere days we'll send you your shiny, new calendar.

"Ask Tata"


by Amy (Tata's mom)

Hello friends!  Tatijana (aka Tata) is a 17-month-old cat with CH.  Her case is fairly moderate, as she can walk and climb but she wobbles a lot and sometimes falls over.  She lives with another CH cat, Moses ("Momo" or "Moo" in her posts) and several neuro-typical cats, including her own brother and sister, Aden and Leah, who were all rescued off the streets when they were just 4 1/2 weeks old.

Tata is a spokescat for Whitelace Cat Haven, a no-kill rescue network serving high-risk cats and kittens in the greater Philadelphia region (especially CH cats!).  She maintains a facebook blog, and these questions were taken from the "Dear Tata" feature on that page.  She can be added as a friend under the name "Tatijana Whitelaces"

Please remember that Tata tries to keep her answers as relevant as possible, but she is just a little girl, and sometimes she may go off on a silly tangent!  This article is meant to be semi-serious and semi-humourous, afterall!

- Amy (Tata's mom)

Mia asked:
   why do kitties purr, Tata?

Dear Mia -
    We usually purr when we're happy. We learn it from our moms, who purr while they feed us, and we purr back. We associate it with our moms, and nursing, just like licking, sucking, and kneading. We do it when we're happy, relaxed, love someone, or sometimes when we are stressed to help us calm down. All purrs don't mean happy. A scared cat may make a small quiet purr to calm its nerves while it waits out a threat. Purring with a whistle in the background means we really, really love you. Purring and meowing at the same time is called chirring, and means we really want something that will make us happy (usually food). 

Kat asked:
    Is CH genetic?

Dear Kat -
    CH is usually caused by a mama cat being exposed to distemper/panleukopenia. She can catch it from a dog with parvo or from another cat with distemper. If she survives, the virus will stay in her body, and while inactive, sometimes ...when kittens are forming it can damage the cells that become the cerebellum. Depending on the amount of damage, the cerebellum may be small, deformed, or absent altogether. That's why there are different degrees of CH. My friend Maxwell's back leg wobbles but he's otherwise normal. I have to walk very carefully. My cousin Sheena couldn't walk at all. We are all different.

Sherree asked:
    I don't know much about CH Tata--is there a cure for it?

Dear Sherree -
    Sherree - please see my answer to Kat's question. In addition, I can say this: There is no cure for CH, nor are there any common or approved treatments (trust me - Mama has asked many different vets!). However, there are some things that some of us respond to. Some CH cats respond well to physical therapy, especially if it is started in the first six weeks of life and continues for at least six months. Mama exercised my legs and made me walk a little more every day. I could barely crawl when I was a baby and now I can walk and climb and run and hardly ever fall over. I wobble a lot, but I don't faceplant as often as I used to. She would put her hands under my waist and around over my ribs on either side, and make me walk forward... one step for every day old I was. Every day I got stronger. She did that with Momo too.
Some cats' coordination also gets a little better while they are high on catnip. This is because sometimes we feel insecure with our wobbling, and our fear makes us even more unsteady because we overthink every step. Catnip mellows us out and we go with the flow more.

Some cats improve their coordination through swimming. I can't do this, since I have trouble regulating my body temperature.

Karma asked:

Do you feel anything right before you fall down? I mean, do you know you're going to lose your balance or do you just fall over?

Dear Karma -
    Usually, I don't feel anything before I fall. I might stretch a little and wobble, which is how Mama knows I'm having a hard time.. but my wobbling doesn't bother me at all. I think Momo feels something before she falls though, because she usually meows before she falls down. I think she feels her legs shake.

I am Wigg'n the Zig

Meet us back here on January first for Issue #4 of the CH Kitty Club Newsletter!! Have a wonderful holiday season!! Keep your kitties warm or I will come after you!!!

Zigg'n Wigg'n
Vice President of the CH Kitty Club

Tardy Peebucket
President of the CH Kitty Club and Everything Else

Elizabeth Holochwost
Founder of the CH Kitty Club

Neal Helman
CH Kitty Club Master of the Web

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