CH Kitty Club Newsletter
April 2011 Issue #7
It's been a sad sad month for us all here at the CH group. We have lost one of our very own 'brothers', sweet Otter. We sure came to know you well, Otter, and will miss you always.
Tardy Peebucket...President of The Bridge
This issue of the CH Newsletter is dedicated to Otter
On March 28th, Melissa and her family suffered the terrible loss of sweet Otter, a kitty we all saw as part of our extended family. It was a rainy day and many tears were shed around the world as the news of Otter's passing spread. To me, it seemed like the world itself were crying.
I would like to send a thank you out to everyone for all of the support and love I have felt over Otter's sudden death. There were so many responses that I really cannot reply to them all, but hopefully this will do. Otter was a joy to have, and I do not regret the love and care and spoiling that I gave him over this past year. I still have 6 other cats, and will stay with all three cat groups, so I will still be here, sharing stories of my other babies for your enjoyment. Thank you all so much, your love and support and kind words have made a huge difference for me and my boys,
Love and hugs as we all miss our Otter,Melissa B. (Missy) Green
CH Kitty of the Month...
Otter, the Amazing!!
by Melissa Green
First of all, on the behalf of Otter, I would like to thank you for honoring him with this. Otter is truly an amazing cat who not only is a survivor, but also a good judge in character. You see, I didn't find
Otter, Otter found me. It was a cool day in late March or early April that I first saw Otter. I have several cats outside that I feed, including some that I do not own. On this night, I was surprised to come out and find an unknown cat hovering by my door, eating. He looked scared and timid, but did not run away. I quickly came to the realization that this cat could not run away. In fact, he looked odd all over. He was terribly skinny and his head was slightly deformed, making his face look more like an otter's than a cat's face. His lower jaw was also slightly crooked and he walked more like a drunken sailor than a lithe and limber cat.
That first night, I simply gave him a can of soft food, afraid to touch him because I did not know what was wrong with him. I stayed outside with him, just talking to him, until he stumbled off into the darkness. I really thought that I had just fed him his last meal. My fears seemed to be confirmed when I
did not see him again for about a month. I had another stray that I called Ugly that hung around during that month, and he finally passed away on my carport in mid April. About a week later, Otter returned for good.
By April 24th, Otter had been hanging out every night for several nights. That morning we woke up to a nice spring time rain. I wondered if the rain would mean that Otter was still outside. Sure enough, he was. I quickly called my vet and woke my boys, and we packed up Otter and took a little trip. The vet could not figure out what was wrong with Otter, but he did show up negative for FIV and Feline Leukemia. That night I posted two pictures of Otter and his description on the Cats and Kitten's web site. It was Karen who first suggested in her reply to me the next day that he might have CH. She sent me the name of the CH group and suggested I look up videos on YouTube. Well, I did, and immediately I knew that Otter most likely had CH. I was thrilled because it meant that he would live. I had become so attached to him that the idea of losing him seemed unimaginable.
Fast forward to today (almost a year later), Otter is my baby! No matter how many times my friends or family tell me I should just put him to sleep or find him another home, he is here to stay. The vet agreed that he has CH, and he was already fixed and completely declawed by the time he found my
carport. I cannot imagine what he has been through, but I do try and give him a good life now. Yes, my
life is full of litter issues and cleaning up after him and the other nine pets I currently have, but it is also full of love and sweetness and plenty of purr-ful moments.
| Adoption Update...Toddie|
by Catherine Dickson
Remember me? I'm Toddie. I was the "New Family Member" back in the November newsletter. How could you not remember me--I'm adorable! I thought I'd give everybody an update on me. Back in November, I was still settling into my new home in Columbia, South Carolina, but now I'm completely settled and love my new life.
When my mommy first took me home last summer, I was in pretty bad shape. She helped me and my sister Bobbie get healthy and learn to love the pampered life. Bobbie and I are living and loving the high life now! We eat, sleep, play, and sunbathe all day long. Bobbie and I particularly love to play with our three canine brothers. My new brothers love to chase me and play with me, but they always make sure to be gentle with me. I love to rub up against them, but I can never manage to keep my balance when rubbing on them, so I usually just fall on them. They love it! Like everybody else, they think I'm cute. One of my new brothers likes to follow me around to make sure I'm alright. I think he's afraid I might get hurt because I climb all over the furniture and lose my balance when running and playing sometimes. He worries too much, like my mommy!
Even though I fall sometimes or run into things every now and then, I'm always fine and get right back up to go back to whatever I was doing. Recently, I learned to go down the stairs! I'm so proud. My mommy doesn't like me to do it without her going down in front of me (to make sure I don't tumble all the way down), but if I could, I'd go up and down the stairs all day long without her supervision. I can also climb up on pretty much everything. I've gotten pretty good at getting on and off couches and beds without any trouble. I don't see my CH as a handicap at all. I love my life, and I think my CH makes me special and more adorable. I hope you enjoyed my update! I'm so glad there are other CH kitties out there who have great homes like I do. We CH kitties are the best!
| New Family Member...Latte|
by Terri in Toledo
When I saw the pictures and video of a sweet little kitty named Latte, my heart melted. When I saw her location, I was so excited. She is in Ohio! I sent out an email expressing my interest in adopting her. A week later, after lots of questions and answers, my partner Chad and I were on our way to Cincinnati to pick up our sweet little Latte. Latte is our first CH kitty. We have other special needs kitties at home as well. I know in my heart this is what we are here to do. This is my purpose, and it is so rewarding to help the kitties who are less likely to be adopted. This is how we ended up with two kitties that day instead of just one! Derrick, not special needs, but all black and a former stray, had been in the shelter quite awhile. Sadly black kitties get adopted less frequently in this area. A big kitty that just purrs and purrs, he is a few years old and bundle of cuddles.
After a long ride back to Toledo we took the kitties to their new room. When new kitties come to the house, they get their own room. The bottom of the door has 3 inches cut from it so kitties can meet each other and sniff and paw and hiss if they want to before they meet face to face. Latte's foster mom Myra sent a little set of steps and Latte's favorite bed home with us.
They immediately found a comfy spot and slept for awhile. It had been a very busy day, and I think they were just tuckered out. By the next day, sweet Latte was bouncing and wobbling all around her room and going up and down her little stairs. Derrick has claimed a soft chair with pillows as his throne, and sits and watches while purring loudly.
Chad with Latte Terri and Myra
It is the beginning of long and happy life for these sweeties.
"I smile big for you!"
Adoptable Angels #1...Louie
Adoptable Angels gathered by Debbie Martin
Louie needs a home in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota!
Hi my name is Louie. I'm a super sweet kitten! I'm a very special kitty as well. I hope you have a big heart, because I will fill all of it with love! I love to play, and if you dangle anything in front of me, I will try and grab it. I could do that for hours! I'm a bit wobbly because I have something called cerebellar hypoplasia. It affects my nervous system a bit and just means that I'm a bit tipsy when I walk. So I probably would do best in a house without little kids. You want to hear something great? I'm already neutered and up-to-date on shots, so once you bring me home, you're all set to enjoy me! All you need to do to meet me is call Jan at 320-241-1829 and she can set up a time for us to meet. The best part is...I don't have a set adoption fee. We are run strictly on donations, so anything you can give is really appreciated. Cats are the number one priority here at Lucky's Place! I can't wait to meet you, we will have so much fun together! Thanks and have a great day!
Spayed/Neutered · Up-to-date with routine shots · House trained · Prefers a home without young children · Special Needs
Sauk Rapids, MN
Adoptable Angels #2....Cee Cee
Cee Cee needs a home in Wynnee, Arkansas!!!
Cee Cee was surrendered to the shelter on 12/28/2010. The lady who had her lived in the country and watched after her since she was a kitten. Cee Cee had been living outside but the lady was beginning to worry about Cee Cee because she was so uncoordinated. She was diagnosed with cerebellar hypoplasia. This sometimes occurs in cats when small, and it was a viral infection that has made her the way she is right now! Cee Cee is very, very sweet but needs to be indoors, so we took her to keep her in. She is estimated to be about 6 months old (DOB 06/28/10) and weighs 5 pounds! She is very loving and purrs alot! She is currently in foster with Carol and Margaret Woodruff and doing great! Please help us find Cee Cee a loving home!
Wynne Friends of Animals
Adoptable Angels #3...Fritz and Willie
FRITZ AND WILLIE IN BOSTON, MA!!!
(THESE ARE TWO OF THE CUTIES ANNEMARIE RESCUED IN NEW JERSEY ALONG WITH BLUE IN PENNSYLVANIA.)
These 5 month old cuties were born in NJ, just outside of NYC. They came to our attention because they have a condition called cerebellar hypoplasia. It means that their mother was never given a distemper shot, and exposed to distemper. Because her owner never bothered to spend the $10. on her, let alone give her the other medical basic care of any cat-LIKE SPAYING OR NEUTERING, her kittens were affected. CH effects the central nervous system, mostly effecting the kittens' balance. Some CH kittens are so severe, they can't stand up for more than a second without falling over. We once saw a kitten that needed a weight tied on top of his head to be able to eat or drink from a bowl. These little guys are pretty well off as CH cats go; they can function perfectly well, they just wobble and shake a bit. This condition can get better as muscle development increases with age, but it will not get worse. THE ONLY THING THESE GUYS CAN'T DO NOW IS CLIMB STAIRS, so we are looking to place them in a home with one level only. These kittens were most likely going to be euthanized if they stayed in NJ. The shelter was not even going to put them out on the floor to be seen, but fortunately did advertise on the CH feline website. Many large, well-funded shelters don't show the public the "unsightly" side of animal rescue, they only want to be represented by pretty and healthy animals. We believe all animals deserve a chance, and one of our foster homes specializes in CH cats. They spent their long Christmas weekend collecting 4 CH cats and kittens all around the mid-atlantic. These kittens are neutered, vaccinated, and tested negative for feline leukemia and FIV. They are sweet and loving, raised bottle-fed by humans, a loving foster home in NJ. They are wonderful boys.
As many of you know, Anne does and has done fostering and the group she is with is networking these kitties to find homes! They are still being fostered by AnneMarie!
Second Chance Shelter for Cats
Adoptable Angel #4...Cali
Cali , On the Island of Oahua in
Hi!!! I'm Cali and a super sweet kitty who was just a few weeks old when my dad rescued me. I was a scared little kitten, all alone, wandering his base at Pearl Harbor. He loves me a lot, but is in the Navy and will be deployed for much of the next couple of years. We don't have any other family who can take care of me while he's gone, and he's worried about what will happen to me. He's very sad, but wants me to be with a good family who will shower me with attention and love me as much as he does. I have something called cerebellar hypoplasia, which makes me a little wobbly, but I'm healthy otherwise and get around really well. My dad takes me to the Cat Clinic when I need to see the doctor, and both they and my dad have very good medical records for me and can tell you all about my condition. I'm still living with my dad until he has to leave in June (we want to be together as much as possible for as long as possible). If you'd like to meet me, we can make arrangements for that to happen -
Contact Joey's Feline Friends and tell them you're interested in seeing me. Thanks for looking at my pictures and reading my story!
This was written before Otter passed away.
Melissa B. (Missy) Green
Missy and her crazy crew!
Hello, my adoring people. I hope all is going better for you than for me. I have had a really rough month, almost as bad as my Missy has had. You see, I really have not been feeling well for a while but did not know how to let Missy know. Then a couple of weeks ago she comes home with this puppy. It smelled like the puppy she had a while ago that stayed in the bathroom, but this one was a lot bigger
and jumpier! If it was the same puppy, he sure grew fast!
Anyway, one day Missy had us outside and the puppy just kept jumping on me! I already did not feel well and that made it worse! Over the next few days, I just felt worse and worse. Missy seemed to think that the puppy had hurt me and she finally took me to the vet. Well, he took some tests and told me I was really sick. I ended up staying at the vets for two days. Missy came to visit me several times, but the second night I notice something was wrong with Missy. She kept crying and she held me for a long time and talked to the ladies taking care of me. I could tell she was upset about something that happened at the place she calls work, so I snuggled her and purred to help her feel better.
The next day she came and picked me up and took me home. She was still really sad, but she took really good care of me. She was still crying a lot and seemed a little scared. I am feeling a lot better, but now I wish I could help her feel better. She keeps saying something about how there is a bad guy loose who did something really, really mean. Well, I hope I meet this bad guy and can take a bite out of him! Anyone who makes my Missy cry deserves to be bitten!
Missy seems a little better today, so I am happier. I am also doing better. I know that many of you were concerned for me and wrote to me. Missy read all of your letters to me and I purred really loud to let her know that I loved them! Thank you. Now I really must go to sleep, I am really tired still.
Oh, and the vet also told Missy that the puppy probably saved my life because if she had not
thought that he had hurt me and taken me in, I would not have survived this illness. Missy was so happy
about that she decided that they are going to keep the puppy. She even gave him a new name. His name is now Tornado, because she says that he leaves a path of destruction wherever he goes. I am sure that I will have plenty to tell you about Tornado in the future.
With all my love,
Kids and Cats
by Shannon Kelly-Collar
What do you do when your cat is putting a strain on your marriage? For the past couple of weeks, my husband and I have been fighting more, because of Tucker. Normally, Brian is a really laid back, easy going kinda guy. He puts up with my fostering and special need pets, because he knows it makes me happy and gives me an escape from other things going on. Plus, he likes that I'm not buying dolls anymore, that, as he puts it, "just stare into space". At least now, my "hobby" is doing something good.
A few months ago you may remember me writing about how well Tucker was doing with learning where to go potty at and using the piddle pads. Well, that's not the case anymore. After talking with my mom about it, we think that Tucker started to decline, after the sudden death of our kitty Piglet in January. Piglet was the boss of our home, and he had started to accept Tucker. They were becoming buddies. Tucker watched as his friend passed away. That's something I wish Tucker could tell me about. Maybe he's acting out because of what he saw. Who are we to claim that animals are simple and don't process information, or grieve? Maybe they understand much more than some people give them credit for.
It is coming to a point where I am becoming more frustrated with Tucker and considering putting him up for adoption. Its really hard to watch him step backwards when I know he knows where he should be going potty. But, when the house is quiet at night, it's hard to stay mad at Tucker when he's curled up in your lap purring and sleeping.
I keep running things through my head like putting him in diapers (which Brian rolled his eyes at). We have a play yard that Tucker stays in at night or when we're away. This was working well until this past weekend, when Tucker learned how to climb up out of it. Currently we have a blanket clipped to it, to keep him in, but in true CH fashion, he learned to get out of it. The other night, I bought more clips to put around the top, so there are no gaps that he can climb through.
Recently, I spent 45 minutes looking at dog crates at a local store. I did buy one, but have decided to return it. I just don't feel like it's humane to keep Tucker in there. At least in the play-fence area, he has a lot of room to play, an area to sleep, eat and go to the potty.
Another problem that we're running into is that Tucker has learned to climb our stairs. The second floor is the only floor in the house that still has carpeting. I was so proud of him learning to climb the steps, and giggled when I see how "ripped" his arms were becoming.
Tucker enjoys going upstairs and hanging out with our fosters. Knolly likes Tucker and plays with him, or at least tolerates him, something Peaches and Flurry don't do. Jolly (the sister of Knolly) doesn't seem to mind him either. Tucker just seems so much happier being with them.
But with brown carpeting, stepping in poop isn't a fun experience. And there isn't way to keep him contained in one room up there.
So our daily saga continues working with Tucker and trying to find balance and happiness between husband and feline.
|Meet The Parents...|
Elise, Hippa and Nanako!
By Kristie (Riley Dean's Mommy)
Elise Murphy is inspired by the determination of her two CH kitties, Hippa and Nanako:
"I love how they get around and find alternative ways of doing things," she tells me as we chat on a Tuesday evening. "I know that my girls do what they can, and they want to do more...but they learn it in their own time and they never give up."
Elise, who works in the IT industry, also volunteers for two Chicago, Illinois shelters: Tree House Humane Society and Red Door Animal Shelter. It was through Treehouse Humane Society that Elise first met and fell in love with now ten-year-old Hippa, a short-haired tortie, who she adopted in June of 2009.
Hippa was Elise's first experience with CH. Elise says she "visited with her for about four months before we adopted her. I fell in love with Hippa while visiting her at the shelter and I didn't really care if she had any special needs or not. I just wanted to have her in my family." The shelter had some information about CH, and Elise also did her own research, getting helpful tips and ideas from the CH Kitty Club and internet searches.
About four months ago, Elise adopted her second CH kitty, Nanako, this time from Red Door Animal Shelter. Nanako is a black short-haired female kitten, now six and a half months old. Elise named Nanako after a video game character who, according to Elise, "acted very independent, would always try to do things for herself, wouldn't give up, etc...which is exactly how little Nanako is."
As many of us know, no two CH kitties are exactly alike. Although they are both CH kitties, Hippa and Nanako have drastically different CH symptoms that call for varying modifications. "Hippa," Elise explains, "has very mild CH. As long as she is on carpet, you can only tell by the way she waddles or kind of hunches with her back legs when she walks. She
can jump, but only about a foot or two off the ground, and she can't cover up her business after
going to the litterbox, since she gets unbalanced pretty easily." Recently, Elise has moved to an
apartment with carpet, which has helped Hippa gain traction and improved her balance. "She actually will RUN down the hallway now, before she would at most fast 'trot'."
Meanwhile, Nanako has moderate CH: "she walks a few steps and falls, falls and flops if she tries to run. She often walks with her side leaning against a wall so she doesn't fall, and she cannot jump at all. Also, Nanako has to use the litter box lying down on her side, and she often gets kinda messy." Because Nanako has to use a different kind of litterbox and litter, Elise has also added two extra litterboxes in different rooms just for her. She's also tried to pad things and put extra blankets on the floor for her to fall into.
Hippa and Nanako live with Elise, her husband, two non-CH adopted siblings, Totoro (age 3) and Vamp (age 2), and they also get along wonderfully with two male guinea pigs (brothers) named Speed and Beppo. Elise continues to be impressed with the adjustments and strides they make every day, as well as with their positive attitudes and sunny dispositions.
"All the CH kitties I've met have been super sweet and loving," she says. "I'm just in love with all of them."
Notes From Tanja
by Crystal Fogg
Last month we began speaking about a patient's neurological history. As you may or may not recall,
neurological history is made up of two parts, the signalment and the specific history. To help refresh
everyone's memory, a signalment is a portion of a patient's medical history which includes the patient's
species, breed, age sex and color, where as a patient's specific history consists of information pertaining to current medical history (i.e., their vaccination records, medications they may be currently on etc.) This month we will be talking about diagnostic tests. To begin we will go over some of the more common medical tests you may have already encountered, tests which make up what is known as the minimum data base.
The Minimum Data Base:
Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC): CBC's should be performed on all patients displaying signs or
symptoms of a neurological disorder. A CBC can detect the presence of an inflammatory disease,
disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), viral or bacterial infections, lead poisoning, & hemangiosarcoma among other things. For the most part they work by examining increases and
decreases in white and red blood cells. (WBC & RBC).
Serum Chemistry Profiles: Screen for metabolic and toxic conditions by looking for changes in, and assessing things such as electrolytes (Na, K, Cl, Ca and PO4) which help muscles and nerves function, and BUN, cholesterol and albumin, which help to determine how the liver is functioning.
Urinalysis: Urinalysis is a particularly important test for patients suspected of having a neurological disorder because many neurological patients experience incontinence, or urinary retention, the latter of which can lead to urinary tract infections. Urinalysis can also help to detect diminished liver function and possible ethylene glycol intoxication.
Radiographs (x-rays): Chest and abdomen radiographs may be recommended based on the
findings of the physical examination.
Abdominal Ultrasound: Is often used to help determine the cause of the suspected neurological
problems even when abdominal radiographs come back clear.
Parasitic Screens: Parasites can cause many neurological and muscular diseases. Your vet may
therefore have recently visited.
*Note: Often times one or more of these tests will be repeated over a course of several months.
Coming Next Month:
Fundoscopic and otoscopic examinations, Cerebrospinal fluid tap (CSF tap), EEG,
Electromyographic examination, neuroradiology: myelography and MRI.
In the meantime I will leave you with a link to a very informative veterinary neurology website:
Stop by and check them out, you'll be glad you did.
Our Yahoo Group...Who We Are
by Lizzie Holochwost
Our group seems to be growing in leaps and bounds, and I don't know about you, but I'm having trouble keeping track of who's who!
This is why we have a database called "WHO WE ARE".
To enter your information, go to our Yahoo group home page and you'll see this:
Now click on 'Database' and you'll see this:
WHO WE ARE!
Let's get to know each other!
Click on that, and you'll be able to fill in some information about yourself, and read about other members!!
These are the questions asked:
2) E-mail- Please list all the e-mail addresses you use for this group
3) CH Website Log in name
4) Your CH kitty(s)
5) Were you live (city and state)
6) Word of Wisdom
7) Aim, Yahoo, Gtalk, Skype name?
8) Website or Blog
9) Title of your newsletter column
10) Our Final Wishes
It's great to be able to cross reference these as we are reading the newsletter!
Otter (April 24)
Sweet Otter passed away on March 28th.
by Melissa B. (Missy) Green
I am officially celebrating Otter's Gotcha day on April 24th. I will say that he is about 5 years old, since that is what the vet is guessing. He showed up on my carport in April and has been my baby ever since! In fact, I was so concerned about him that I even asked for prayers for him from my church. He has the sweetest disposition and loves soft cat food and sleeping on dirty clothes. Every once in a while, he will even jump up onto the sofa, and he is always so proud of himself when he does this. He also loves his little sister Fifi, since she is also disabled with eye problems and comes up and gives him kisses all the time. His favorite dog is Tito, my black lab/rotwieler mix who he loves to sit beside and lean into. He also loves having his mommy time when I clean him up and brush him out and just hold him.
Flurry (April 11,2009)
by Shannon Collar
Happy Birthday to our sweet Flurry-Murray. Flurry turns 2 on April 11. It hardly seems possible we've had him this long, but every day has been incredible.
Flurry was CH kitty #6 when he came into our lives in June 2009. What we thought we knew, Flurry had us throw out the window. He wasn't what we were used to. Flurry is moderate CH and as he ages, he's starting to slow down and seem more rigid with his movements. In the beginning, he kept us on our toes. He used to love jumping up on our high dining room table chairs and climbing up onto the back of the couch to look out the window.
We like to call Flurry our reindeer. When he goes to jump onto the bed, he continues to move his arms and legs as he sails across the bed, to land wherever he wants to be.
Besides practicing for Santas' cat-sleigh team, Flurry enjoys sun bathing, cuddling with mom, and hissing at his furry brother.
by Elise Murphy
The Collar's Off
Although my blog isn't only about CH kitties, it has often featured our newest CH addition, Nanako. We started fostering her when she was just under 2 months old, so I had wanted to chronicle her growing up with pictures and videos that I could later look back on to get a better idea of how her CH symptoms have gotten better or changed. I don't have as much time to update it as I would like, but through my blog I am able to show my friends and family how my little fur-family is doing. It's also been instrumental in showing people I know that CH kitties DO have a great quality of life and can be just as happy as "normal" kitties. I find that no matter how much I explain CH or tell certain people these things, they just see it as sad and think "poor cat." Through cute videos and pictures that show Nanako having fun, playing with the other cats, enjoying the view, etc. people can see for themselves the things I try so hard to explain.
My blogs website is:
by Janice Branwood
Our lovely CH kitties give us the most wonderful memories, and can do some of the funniest or silliest things.
This month we have a few examples of their escapades and the love they show to all of us as owners. Our first tale comes from Kitty and her cat Reilly. She writes that Reilly is her adult CH cat, but he acts like a little kitten when she wears her robe. Reilly likes to knead on her soft fuzzy robe, but he also tends to suck on it as if he was nursing! Reilly is truly reliving his younger days and thinking that the fuzzy surroundings are maybe his first loving mommy cat. This is evident since he never does it on any other garment that she wears!
Next, we have the ever-present Tardy (who can forget our President). Lizzie writes that when she went into the bedroom to clean up some of Tardy and Ziggy's stuff, Tardy decided it was not time to clean but "Tardy Time". He proceeded to lie between her feet as she was on the floor cleaning, thus stopping her productivity. Maybe Tardy was keeping her from finding his private stash of mice.
The ever president Tardy Peebucket
Elise writes to us about her two CH girls Nanako and Hippa. Each morning when Elise is brushing her teeth, the girls sit outside staring at her intently. As she finishes, all she needs to say is "Who's ready for breakfast?", and with that off they run, flop, and fly all the way to the kitchen for the morning meal. Needless to say, they also are very vocal all the way, knowing that good food is right around the corner.
Hippa and Nanako
A second note she writes is about one of our least favorite things to do, bathing our little ones. As she bathed Nanako, the vocal displeasure was evident, and she screamed the whole time. Now, normally, the girls ignore each other, but during this bath, Hippa came in meowing and swiped at Elise's leg a few times. Nanako was back on the floor with her sister. Although they may not seem to love each other all the time, Hippa was really sticking up for her sister who was, in her opinion, not having the best day of her life.
Kristie writes to us about her Riley Dean and his TV adventures. Granny is his favorite. Who can't say that Grannies are the best! His favorite pastime is to watch TV with Granny on the couch - and of course napping intermittently. Granny gets up to do some chores and, unless he sleeps through it, wakes, and notices she is gone. He slides off the couch and down the hall. He stumbles to find her. Noting his displeasure, he will loudly cry until she pickes him up and brings him back to the couch, once again sitting next to him to watch their favorite shows. He is now quite happy and falls into slumberland, snoring ever so faintly as the night goes on.
Riley Dean all decked out
Our last tale comes from Ann and her fur-ever love "Dear Heart". Ann received an email from a friend about a cat trapping that was being done in a very dangerous area, and would she be interested in a cat. They had trapped a mother cat and 6 of her 7 kittens, mentioning that one seemed like the "runt" and was orange in color. A week passed before she got the call to get the kitten. It was just what she had prayed for, a perfect little one for her. Ann's friend Michelle arrived with the kitten, a ball of orange fur with some white spots, a round face with golden eyes and a sparking green iris. Next, her friend Marla stopped to see the newbie. They noticed that she had an odd way of walking, almost like a hop. She was tiny too, not yet 2 pounds at age 4 months. Ann had not heard of CH as of this time. At her vets suggestion they waited for Dear Heart to gain some weight before her spaying. Ann stayed for the surgery, remarking how tiny her little organs were and how delicate the surgery had to be. When Dear Heart woke up and was cleared to leave for home, they went to spend their life together. Dear Heart slept peacefully every night at Ann's side where she could hear her little love breathing. As with many CH cats, they had cat box issues, and Dear Heart was one who also needed baths, which were given with a lovely lavender scented shampoo. Ann felt that Dear Heart loved her baths and never gave her trouble at any time, unlike many other cats who really do not handle baths well. Ann also traveled with Dear Heart, unseen most of the time because she wore a sling with Dear Heart inside. Unfortunately, Dear Heart had medical issues which prompted various vet visits. Many tests, MRI's and even a spinal tap were done, and through it all she was still such a good little cat. As Ann put it, "how would you like having an earthquake in your body, that's what the tremors seemed to do to Dear Heart". As her mobility worsened, her attempts at running became harder and harder with very stiff movements. Just before her 4th birthday, Ann and Dear Heart were sleeping, when Ann felt one of the tremors - slight, but alarming. Ann woke to find that Dear Heart had passed on during the early morning hours of sleep, and was now at Rainbow Bridge. Her vet as well as well as all the others who loved Dear Heart didn't know what to say, but knew that she had been a special cat and that everyone held a special place in their heart for Dear Heart.
Our Thanks to all for their notes. We continue to hold special places in our hearts for these little loves.
Getting Past the Inhumanity, What One Special Cat Taught Me
by Jennifer (Lilly Grace's mom)
You might think that a note that starts off with a senior kitty duct taped in a box with a bag of unopened dry food dumped behind a grocery store would be a tale quickly told. He was found, he was rescued, his forever home established and they all lived happily ever after. Most of the time I hope it would be that short and that happy in the end. Much of the time there isn't such a happy ending; those are the stories I hope never to hear about.
Tucker's tale is different. He could have been considered an un-adoptable cat had his true age been known, had his true condition been diagnosed before being put up for adoption. My own tale would be very different, too. I would not be writing this for all of my dear rescue friends for I would not know any of you today. My path was chosen by Tucker, not by me. It is a path that has been bumpy and twisted, but one that has been true from the start, and one that will continue on with Tucker by my side in spirit. It is a path that I am passionate about.
The inhumanity that started this, shutting a cat into a box, one last act of kindness - the bag of dry food shut within, possibly to ease that person's guilt. I don't know why the bag was there, but unopened, shut inside a dark box with a beautiful cat left by a dumpster should have changed this cat forever, should have made him fearful of others, fearful of loss and distrustful of humans. But that's not how Tucker chose to respond. He chose happiness, and he chose to move past the bad and enjoy only the good, a lesson I hope never to forget.
The very moment he entered my life, he changed me. Handed over with a small Ziploc bag of dry food, no application filled out by me or vet references checked, not even a fee for adoption. The rescue group that had him simply wanted him gone, and within 24 hours I knew why. He didn't eat the first night but the next morning there he was, head tilted sideways to avoid hurting his tooth when he ate. Immediately I took him to the vet. His tooth had to be extracted, months passed and the extraction wasn't healing. It would abscess, more antibiotics were needed, more ER visits, more follow ups for even more symptoms that were creeping up. By the time the extraction finally healed, Tucker had been through surgery to biopsy all his organs, ultrasounds, EKGs, blood work, urinalysis, had seen specialists, even had his records sent from Connecticut to California for consults with my vet's colleague.
We finally had a diagnosis, well, several: Feline Diabetes, Pancreatitis and Irritable Bowel Disease. Having had a kitty with FD as a teenager, my sister knew the fear this brought me. Our dear sweet Lady(GA) had been through a lot, seizures, constant vet visits and ER trips. Lady belonged to my cousin before being given to me. She was a sweet sweet girl, and as I look back I wish I knew then what I know now. But hindsight is what it is, and instead I will try to look back on her with love and know that she is with Tucker now. My sister asked if we could hometest Tucker and I thought why not, so I got permission from my vet and our journey began. Several insulins and doses, from Humulin N and R, to different PZIs, to finally settling on Levemir. But this isn't about Tucker's journey with FD, it's about Tucker's journey in life.
He had daily meds, bouts of pancreatitis, the fact that he had a fear of small spaces and each hospitalization meant being locked in a cage, you'd think that would have defeated him. But Tucker took everything in stride, nothing brought this cat down. He lived each day with passion. He cherished rides in the car, walks on his lead, rides in his stroller through stores, and loads of people always commenting on him and wanting to get to know him. He visited Ron at work, walked around the dealership on his leash like he owned the place. Amid hundreds of cars and the craziness of the place, he stood out, not for being a cat, but for his confidence, tail tall in the air, strutting around, jumping onto the counter demanding his pets. At home he spent much of his time rummaging through cabinets and pulling out his coveted treats, feeding himself and others. When full we'd often find him belly up, legs spread and his body stretched across the bed or couch, simply basking in the love and serenity of being home.
Even being diagnosed with a brain tumor and Hypokalemia (low potassium) one year ago yesterday did not change my little man. He took even more meds and took them with ease. He enjoyed going to the vet and getting attention, and I think he enjoyed all the extra attention this new diagnosis brought him.
As most of you know his FD brought me to the feline diabetes message board and brought me a whole new passion in life. No longer would I seek out the cute young kitties of the world, my path was clear and I'm thankful that Ron has chosen to walk down that path with me, or at least has put up with this path, for with it comes extra work and a lot of extra expense.
Since Tucker adopted me, we in turn have adopted several more FDs - Sadie, Misty, Bean, Mr. Darcy, and Kiki; we brought senior kitties into our home - Henry and Lucy; we brought Lilly Grace, who like Tucker, is a life changing kitty with her Cerebellar Hypoplasia and like Tucker she has a family with all of you who love her as passionately as we do.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that one act of inhumanity shown to Tucker brought him and me to our true calling, helping specially-abled kitties. To love and honor Tucker in the future I will continue on with that journey, hopefully hoping to educate newbies to FD and CH, continuing to be the voice for those who need an advocate, and being ever thankful to my extended family, the people I know through and because of Tucker and I will always cherish all of you.
Zigg'n Wigg'n and Ms. Flipper and Lemon were interviewed this month for Amanda's blog!!
Click here to read Ms. Flipper's interview!
Click here to read Ziggy's interview!
Click here to read Lemon's interview!
Please email Amanda to have your very special kitty interviewed!!
Cats and K9 Carts Wheelchairs
by Dr. Lincoln Parkes
THE STORY OF LONDON, THE CH KITTY WHO JUST GOT NEW WHEELS!
Specimen of a cat brain from the side
showing the cerebellum in aqua.
Cerebellar hypoplasia is a reason that we see young animals needing four-wheel K9 Carts. The cerebellum is a small portion of the brain (pictured in aqua above) that is responsible for the fine motor control. Cerebellar hypoplasia is seen more frequently in cats than dogs. The disease may not be immediately apparent at birth. Animals will typically show tremors, and when the other kittens or puppies in the litter start to walk, the affected pet may not walk or may show uncoordinated and jerky movements. The term "hypo" in cerebellar hypoplasia implies that the cerebellum is underdeveloped. The cause of cerebellar hypoplasia may range from toxicity to the mother while the fetus is under development to malnutrition to genetic causes. A definitive diagnosis can only be made by advanced imaging such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
"London" is a siamese kitten using a quad wheelchair.
Due to the expense, most pets are diagnosed by a veterinarian based on the classic jerky movement. Despite their disability, many of these animals can capture one's heart since besides the poorly developed cerebellum, the puppy or kitten may be an otherwise normal loving pet.
Jamie is tuning up London's wheelchair.
Cerebellar Hypoplasia and Quad Carts
Because fine control of locomotion is disturbed in these animals, they will typically need a four-wheel or quad wheelchair. Ideally, because the degree of disability varies from kitten to kitten, we prefer to do a final fitting in-house, but that is not always possible. Also, since the kittens are not full grown, the fact that K9 Cart Co East four-wheel carts are adjustable in height, width, and length is especially important to allow changes to the cart as the kitten becomes a cat.
"Mia" goes for a ride on London's wheelchair.
London is a 7-month old siamese kitten who we fitted with our new four-wheel adjustable cat wheelchair. Prior to testing out her wheelchair, she had never been able to stand or walk. Like most siamese, she is very thin despite having a horse's appetite. Since she cannot walk on her own, standard litterbox training was not possible. Instead, her owner, Michelle, takes her to use the toilet in their house. The cue for London to do her business is that she runs the water in the sink! Necessity is always the mother of invention. While we never expect London to walk absolutely normally, her cat wheelchair will help her to build strength in her legs.
"London" with Dr. Lincoln Parks
It will also allow her to eat standing up and help prevent lung infections from either accidentally breathing food into her lungs or from laying on one side too long. London's brain is still developing; we have often seen these animals train other parts of their brain and learn to walk with less assistance (or sometimes no assistance) from their wheelchair. Because London has never stood on her own before, she will need to start with short intervals in her cat wheelchair until she builds up more strength. For now, we know London was pleased about her K9 Cart since we could hear her purring!
Ready to go!!!
London is now exploring her home like a normal kitten, and even taking a few other critters for rides. London's mom is Michelle Purvis who lives in Maryland. She had recently adopted London, and wanted to help her be more mobile, so she contacted Dr. Parkes of K9 Carts. If you do not live in the Maryland area, he can make a custom cart for your dog or cat according to measurements. Since London lived nearby, they wanted to show a CH Kitty being fitted so other CH parents can see what time and understanding they put into the cart to work for a CH Kitty. Michelle is not yet a member of the CH Kitty Club, but I have asked her if we could feature London and her Cart Journey. I also have been in contact with Dr. Lincoln Parkes who is the founder and hands-on with K-9Cart. So please, let Dr. Parkes know that you heard about little London through the CH Kitty CLub! And if you would like to ask Michelle about London and her cart, please go to our facebook page with Londons picture, and you can comment under her photo to Michelle.
Look at me, Mom!!!
Want more info?
Not sure whether a cart will work for you? Peruse our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at http://www.k-9cart.com/ . If you can't find an answer there, look at our Forums or post a question there yourself. Or shoot us an email at k9carts[@]yahoo.com or call us toll-free at 866-K9-CARTS (866-592-2787.)
The Blizzard Rescue
by Anne and Joe
The week before Christmas, we were following the "needs rescue" emails about Blue, a 4 year old CH
kitty in Mifflinburg, PA, and Chuckie, a CH kitty posted 'at risk' at the Bergen County Shelter
in Teterboro, NJ. Everyone who wanted to help from this group was even farther away than we were. Our
family had been seriously considering adopting one more severe CH kitty, but had a series of medical
issues that had prevented us from following through on the plan. We wanted to help, but... Pennsylvania?
It seemed so far away. So I talked to my husband Joe about the possibility of a road trip. At first he
thought I was crazy. Then we looked at the maps, and realized that we could make a loop from Boston
to Pennsylvania, and come back through the NJ-NYC area back to Boston. If we were going to make the
trip, it seemed much better to try and save two kitties!
We spoke with Nancy, one of Blue's owners. They had Blue for four years, but due to a serious medical
issue, were unable to keep Blue any more. They felt horrible about having to give Blue up, and frightened
about not being able to find anyone to take him. Since we had a lot of CH experience, they were excited
that we might be willing to drive so far to save him.
With Erica's help, we made contact with Rebecca, the contact person at the shelter with Chuckie.
Rebecca emphasized that Chuckie was a handful, could be nice one moment and then rotten the next,
hence the name "Chuckie". This didn't stop us, and we offered to come and rescue Chuckie. She went back and forth about this and then suggested that we could come and meet Chuckie, and see how tough
he was before we made a commitment. We figured he could not possibly be as bad as advertised!
I emailed Debbie and told her we were willing to go gather up Blue and Chuckie, and she was so excited!
She immediately offered to raise funds to help pay for the trip. I was really relieved, because we figured between the gas, and at least one night at a hotel, and possible adoption and/or vet fees that the trip could cost several hundred dollars. Since Joe was unemployed, this was going to really allow us to go!!
I got permission to take off three days from work, and we started planning. We found a pet friendly hotel, and mapped out a route. Within a few days, thanks to the incredible generosity of so many of the CH Kitty Club members, Debbie collected enough money to cover the expenses.
TROUBLE! Blizzard predicted for December 26! And then another big snowstorm later in the week! We
made frantic calls to everyone and did some alternative planning. The blizzard arrived as scheduled, unfortunately. We were delayed two days till Tuesday. We were glued to the weather reports. We were due more snow Thursday.
We crossed our fingers and left early Tuesday morning, drove out through western Massachusetts into New York state, stopped for lunch in Carmel, NY at an Applebees, and kept going. We were surrounded by big trucks constantly! We looked at the map again and realized we were probably on the most direct route for trucks from East to West, and a lot of them had probably been delayed by snow. We got to Scranton, Pennsylvania around suppertime, and decided to keep going. We had some car trouble slow us down and we lost some time, but finally headed south from Scranton towards Johnstown, where Blue's family lived. We finally got off the highway, and promptly got lost. Mapquest wanted us to go one way, but the bridge was out. We finally managed to find Nancy and Lori at about 9:15 PM in a very rural section of central Pennsylvania. If you are curious, look for Vicksburg - it was nearby.
Lori and Nancy were so devastated to have to give Blue up. Four years earlier, an acquaintance had
come to visit from Vermont and spent a day with them. When they were leaving, they asked for some
water. Turned out there was a carrier in the back of the sweltering car, and in it was a starved, filthy
little kitten. Lori and Nancy were so angry they took the kitten forcibly away from the person and kicked
them off the property. Once they cleaned up the poor thing, there was Blue. Bright blue eyes, seal point Siamese /Manx cross. They realized pretty quickly something was not right with him, and took him to a local vet. The vet said he had CH, and that he was too fragile to get any shots. So they took him home and took care of him. Since the original posting of Blue had said he was up to date on shots and fixed, that was a surprise. But the shelter person who had done the courtesy posting had never asked them, and they didn't realize he had been posted that way.
By this time it as pretty late, so we had to go drive another hour to the hotel. We packed Blue up, and
promised our new friends that we would keep in touch, and send pictures, and that as long as they didn't mind that Blue became a Red Sox fan, we'd let him watch all the Steeler's games!
Bob, Willy and Blue...feel the love
We got to the hotel after midnight. While we were checking in, the desk clerk tried to get us to stay longer so she could bring us a feral cat she was feeding. We had to decline. About three AM, Blue started hollering and rampaging around. I brought him to the wee pads. He didn't want those. He didn't want food and water. I let him come out into the room to quiet him down, and he was bouncing off the walls. He didn't want to cuddle. What to do? He finally ran over by the door, fell down, and started peeing. All over the rug. Lovely. Oh, my God. What a smell! He wasn't fixed either! I had some cat cleaning stuff in the car, but it didn't help. Nothing could have. We slunk out of the hotel the next morning at about 9:30, with the clerk giving us the evil eye, and headed for New Jersey.
We found a Subway for lunch, and then got to Chuckie's shelter about 1:30 when they opened. We met our contact, Rebecca, who seemed surprised that we came, even though we had called and confirmed. First we met two adorable CH kittens who the shelter leadership had pulled from the floor because they were "upsetting the public". They had no other foster available. While they were packing them up for us, we went to meet Chuckie. Apparently our imminent arrival had caused one of the staff to decide she wanted to adopt Chuckie! I wanted to make sure this was a firm plan, and I met the young woman, Vicki, who seemed excited about taking Chuckie home. Chuckie was awesome and I still don't understand all the bad press dissuading people from adopting him. But he seemed to be in good hands. So we packed our parting gift of the two adorable kittens, all vetted and even microchipped, and headed north. We hit horrible traffic in Connecticut, and finally got home at 10PM. First thing the next morning, Blue went to the vet and got the deluxe package! We picked him up just as the next blizzard started. So, we went 800 miles, and rescued three kitties instead of two.
Blue is our baby now. Bob is very jealous but slowly coming around. We have stayed in touch with
Blue's family, and once the Patriots were out of contention, we became Steelers fans. Blue watched the Super Bowl with us, wearing a Steelers bandana.
Within 24 hours, Willy and Fritz became very ill with a rotten URI. After a couple of vet visits and a lot
of antibiotics, they got better. They are moderately affected, fall a lot, but can eat and drink and use the litter box just fine. It turns out they were bottle fed orphans, the shelter put us in contact with the woman who saved them. She thought they would have their best chance of being adopted at Christmas, and
was worried when it didn't happen but glad that we took them. This past weekend, someone submitted
an application to adopt them! All of the references checked out, and last night Donna and Kathryn
became the proud parents of Willy and Fritz! A very happy ending to the road trip.
Relaxing in my new 'padded' pad!
My name is Ziggy and I sure hope you loved this months newsletter. Tons of love and hard work were involved in putting this together for you! Lots of tears and smiles, also.
Please feel free to print this newsletter up and drop it off at your vet's office or local shelters!! People NEED to know we are out here and want to LIVE!!!
Tardy Peebucket President of The Newsletter and
CH Kitty Club
Master of the Web