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CH Kitty Club Newsletter

August 2011                                      Issue #11

Tardy Peebucket

Hi everyone!


Looks like yet another wonderful issue for you all to enjoy!! We, Ziggy and I, especially like "A Day at the Box Zoo" and we hope it makes you laugh : ))


Two new columns join us in this issue, "The World According to Riley Dean" and "The CH Family Dynamics", both sure to bring a smile to your face! 



Tardy Peebucket...President of Summer




Please help us defray the cost of keeping the CH Kitty Club running (which includes the website and the newsletter) by donating if you can.





CH Kitty of the Month...Grumpy


by Deanna Koens 


Hi, I'm Grumpy.  Many of you may remember me by my first name Sudoku.  I was born with a condition called CH.  Mommy says I am a severe CH kitty, I can not walk at all - I scoot.  I was born in Utah and now live in sunny California.  My Mommy actually found me here through this CH kitty group.  Mommy says she wasn't really looking for another kitty but my picture made her heart melt.

So I live here in sunny California on the beautiful central coast with my Mommy, Daddy, Brother, Sister, and large family of furry siblings.  Mommy has set me up in a special kitty cage so my fur siblings won't hurt me.  (I cant walk and get out of their way.)

I get to go outside and I have playtime on the grass, and I also play in my special chair that my Daddy made me.  My Mommy just brought home a special new stroller to go on walks, too. At bedtime, I get to sleep in bed with both my Mommy and Daddy and all the other CH siblings.  Its fun because we all cuddle together.  However, I do get angry at my sister Wilhelmina Wiggles every night because she thinks my tail is fun to swat at when I flick it too close to her space.  I'm glad my Mommy is there to protect me from her, she can be bratty just like all the foster brats my Mom brings home. 


My Mommy loves me so much, she even asked a pet communicator to talk to me to make sure everything is okay with me.  Mommy thinks I am picking up on her stress because my sister is leaving for college soon.  I think I am going to be sad too.   My sister is going away to school to be a vet to help more kitties like me.  I love her and I will really miss her.


This is what Christina had to say about me to my Mommy.




He shows me that he feels fragile.  I feel as though I could break.  My name may be Grumpy but its actually Fear, thats closer to who I am.  I need for people to be in a perfect place in their mind with me. Totally aware of whats going on so that I wont ever be dropped or squished etc. Everything is heightened about me. My nerves, my senses,my fear. 

I need peacefulness  {R.Remedy, lavender, soothing sounds like a clock ticking or ocean waves.etc} [things that bring about peacefulness] [Re: his senses - he showed me that he is sensitive to others' energies and that he would be happy if you could shake your hands before you touch him to 'shake off the other energies'.]

Thank you ,"D", for caring about me.This is a very strange way to be in this world. Im still trying to get it figured out. To be comfortable. To accept your love. To not feel 'out of it'."
{he turns to me and "says"-  " I really have everything here. Just like your 3-legged."}


So Deanna, I didnt pick up on PAIN. Very sensitive on several levels. Physically, energetically,spiritually, emotionally. I'll send him healing energy tonight. 

Thank you for thinking of me~

Your friend,

Meet the Parents..Donna and Ackie!



By Kristie (Riley Dean's Mommy) 


One of the most beautiful things about CH kitty parents is that we come from so many different places. Some of us are in big cities, while others have houses in the suburbs. Many of us with houses full of happy animals have been known to say, "My place is like a farm!" Well, teacher Donna Kenyon's house in Harpursville, New York really IS an honest to goodness farm! She has ten cats that are all rescues, an elderly Old English sheepdog named Jamie (also a rescue), and two horses. She is also actively involved in equine rescue.


On this farm lives Ackie, Donna's CH baby. Donna describes him as "a long haired boy,
solid slate gray, with beautiful yellow eyes." Ackie's exact age is a mystery, since he was a
young adult when Donna adopted him in 2005, but she puts his approximate age at seven or
eight. "Ackie has mild CH and is deaf," Donna says. "He tends to circle and cry a lot when he
wants something (usually food, even though there is always food out for him, but there's nothing like wet food!), and he walks in a crooked manner." He occasionally pulls out his own hair when he gets stressed. He also has seizures if he gets overexcited, which Donna describes as "VERY scary...He just falls on his side and has convulsions, and when it's over he has a lot more trouble walking for a few weeks." When he's his "normal" self, he has very mild CH symptoms: he has a wobbly, crooked walk, and "can jump on the couch or bed but he can't get up any farther and doesn't even try."


This is Donna's first experience with CH. She actually chose him from her favorite rescue,
Project Paw - a family-run no-kill shelter for cats that is funded by their own money and 

donations - where he was one of four hundred kitties looking for homes!

"I had just lost my beloved gray cat, Screechie, and was just kind of (yeah right!) looking for
another cat to adopt in his memory. I walked past a big walk in cage that holds a dozen cats or so when my attention was held by a pretty hairless kitty with a loud, insistent cry. He was standing as close to me as he could, looking into my eyes and talking to me. I hate to say but he was pretty pathetic-looking, kind of like a bald baby bird, but he didn't know it. He was very confident that he was the best looking cat in the place and that I should at least give him a look over...I picked the little scruff ball up and the motor came on like a 747 getting ready to lift into the sky."


Originally, Ackie was diagnosed as having Feline Vestibular Syndrome (sometimes known
as "Dizzy Kitty"). Feline Vestibular Syndrome comes from an infection to the nerves of the inner ear. It can cause loss of balance and a head tilt, symptoms similar to CH. However, FVS is only temporary. Once the infection clears up, the symptoms disappear. When Ackie's didn't, Donna realized that he actually had CH. Because Ackie's CH is comparatively mild when he's not having seizures, Donna hasn't had to make any modifications to her house.

Donna describes Ackie as a "very loving, vocal kitty! He's also a very good but annoying alarm
clock. Every morning he comes into my bedroom and starts yelling his head off for me to get up
and start dishing out the canned food." He also "LOVES to be held over my shoulder, kind of
like when a mother burps a baby."

"He's usually very relaxed and easy going and doesn't have a mean bone in his body, though
he can get into a rough play with his best friend, Nala. Nala gets a little excited and rough, but
Ackie will tussle back, and he always wins. He's really a very loving, gentle, giving cat, and I
love him very much."

Although Donna is a pretty accomplished CH mommy herself, she loves reading about other CH kitty parents on the Yahoo newsgroup :
"I am so impressed by the love and dedication I see here by other members in caring for their



Otter's Corner-written by Effie and Lovey




Melissa B. (Missy) Green

Athens, GA

Missy and her crazy crew!

Hello, this is Effie. 
And this is Lovey.
Mommy asked us to try and write this together.
Which I like, because she's a better typist than I am.
I have to tell you, it's been a busy month and mommy seems to be going crazy.
Well, she has been a little stressed, but she still takes time for us.
Yes, she does.  And at least the monster from the back yard is gone!
But Cookie isn't much better!  She doesn't like me!
Well, maybe it's because you always run from her.  Plus, remember, they don't know who Cookie is.
Oh, yeah, Cookie is the new dog.  Tornado went away and then Cookie, who had been here for a little while, came back, this time forever.  Mommy says she needs a lot of help learning how to live in a house and be with other pets.  I just hope she learns fast!
Well, she's still not as bad as that monster Tornado!  I heard he has a really good home, though, with lots of boys to take care of him.  I just hope they don't have any cats!
Oh, but guess what, we have had a LOT of visitors!  And some of them really like us!
Yeah, but they wouldn't let me up on the board with the toys they had up there!  I wanted to lay on the board on the table!
That's because they were playing a game on the board!  You know, like you play with balled up paper!
Yeah, well, I wanted to play, too!  But at least some of them bring bags I can lay on!  There is nothing better than laying on a bag or package!
Oh, but I like the ones who will pet us and scratch behind the ears!  Like that big boy named Asher, he petted me lots after I gave him some head bumps!  I like him a LOT!
Huh, you're so silly!  One boy comes in and gives you attention and you turn all gooey eyed! 
But he was so big and strong and nice!  I LIKED him!  I hope he comes back to visit again!
Well, my Jon talks about Asher a lot.  He calls him his cousin and they spend a lot of time together.
So, is Fifi our cousin?
No, silly!  She's our sister now, we don't really have cousins.  Or, if we do, we don't know them.


Oh, well, I like our family, we have a lot of fun.  Especially us three girls, I like when we play up and down the hall at night.
That is fun, but I don't think Mom likes it when we knock stuff off of the tables and desks and move it around.
Oh, but that's the most fun there!  I like laying on the papers all over the floor.
Yes, till Mom comes and picks them up.  She always seems a little put out about that, but she never yells.
No, she only yells at the boys and that's cause she says they are teenagers.
Well, I'm glad we're not teenagers.
What's a teenager?
I don't know, but I'm glad were not them, because I wouldn't like it if Mom yelled at me.
Maybe being a teenager means they yell at her and refuse to do stuff for her, causing her to yell at them.
That must be it, because they do give her trouble.  I've heard Mom say that it's just a stage and they will get over it.
I hope so.  At least they are nice to us.
Yes, yes, but I am bored with this now, I want to go play with my ball in a track thing. 
OK, well, I'm gonna go find Fifi and see if she wants to play.  Hopefully she doesn't have that silly green ball she likes so much, she never wants to play with me when she has it!

OK, well, bye for now.  Y'all have a good month and we will see you here in September.



Cats and Kids


by Shannon Collar 


Recently, I had the honor of helping to find
a local kitty a forever home. A friend of our family, contacted me one evening, telling me that they needed to find a home for their kitty. The wife has been ill for several months, and sadly the doctors are unable to figure out what is causing her to be so sick. The doctor had advised them that they needed to find new homes for their pets.


Max, is a two year old, who was stepped on when he was a kitten. His back/pelvis area was broken. Max, much like our CH kitties, grew up not aware of his disability. When he walked, his legs crossed underneath him. When he ran, he hopped like a bunny. He was able to get into bed and snuggle. He learned how to get out of bed, by sliding down the side.


That evening, I started networking on Facebook. Contacting and posting Max's plea on several friends' and cat rescues' sites. I thought for sure we were in for a long haul. I had the will to fight for this cat, the option to fail meant a loss of life.


Much to my surprise, the next day we had a glimmer of hope. A lady, Kerin, whom I've never met before, but I've helped on several of her rescue transports (Rescue Road Warriors), told me that she had told her friend about Max. Lisa was interested in getting Max.


Now the fun began.


Lisa has a pet rescue called Adopt-A-Pet, in New York. After a few e-mails, I was aware of all the legalities of getting Max out of Pennsylvania and up to Lisa. He needed to be vetted, be combo tested, and be current on vaccines. I called the vet to get an estimate on the vetting. Soon, a chip-in was created and Max went global. Thanks to several strangers, and people I've only ever communicated with on Facebook or through e-mail, we were able to raise the funds to get Max vetted.


I wish that I could tell you that things went that smoothly, but we hit several snags in the process.


The area that we're from isn't very cultural. Sadly, a lot of people think of animals that have special needs as garbage and see no reason to keep them. They believe it's better to just put them out of the misery. When we first rescued our first group of CH'ers, we were told the same thing. But I wasn't going to let them go. I fought for them. Just as you do for your furry family members.


The family has had some economic difficulties, and taking the cat to the vet wasn't an option for them. A poor option, in an uneducated pet responsibility world.


On Sunday, I met with the family and Max.
Max is just adorable. His picture didn't do him justice. He was the sweetest kitty. While we waited for the transport, I sat on the tailgate of my car with him with the crate door open. Max never moved. Maybe it was the fresh air, the strange environment or maybe he knew he was going to finally get the medical attention he so desperately deserved.


On Tuesday, Lisa and Max went to the vet. Sadly, nobody was prepared for the results.


The x-rays showed that Max had two breaks, one that was old and a newer one, one from a few months ago. Max was being kept over night for more testing.


I wrote to the family to see if there had been any other injuries they were aware of. There were. Around Christmas, Max fell off the top bunk bed. The kids had been playing with their gifts. Max was great at climbing, but he wasn't very graceful at coming back down.


Then about four months ago, he had gone outside and had been in a fight with another tomcat. Sadly, the family didn't notice a difference with his mobility.


I don't want you to think that Max wasn't loved or that he was abused. He was loved by the girls, they loved playing dress up with him. Max slept in bed with his human Mom. Unfortunately, responsible pet parenting isn't something well regarded in our community. Trust me, I changed my husbands mind about animals. Some days, his mind goes back to the old way of thinking, until I give him a nudge back to being compassionate.


Max's family did care enough to search out an alternative rather then handing him over to the SPCA, where he would have been euthanized.


I'm working with Lisa, to get updates on Max and raising funds for his care. We have set up a Facebook page for him.


If you're a member of the facebook community, I invite you to come and visit.
We also have a chip-in established for him. The funds are directly going to Lisa and Adopt-A-Pet rescue. 



I will post updates on the CH Kitty Club, and in next months newsletter, we'll mention Max. I hope to have good news to share.


Please share this on any other cat rescue or cat groups you belong to. Lisa, Max and I greatly appreciate it.


Our Yahoo Group...  The People Map  

by Lizzie Holochwost


This is a rerun of my article from the February Issue. With so many new people joining the group, I think it makes sense to run this article periodically. Also, it may be a good idea for older members to check it out, add yourselves or make changes that need to be made. I had to ADD Ziggy : ))




Do you know who our CH Club Members are? Would you love to know a little more about the people in the group? Want to know where we live and love our CH kitties? Check out the


See where other group members live and share where you are from. But only share as much as you are comfortable with.


Or you can find it on the first page of the Yahoo CH group, look for this:



Click on Applications, then look for this:



" People Map  


See where other group members live and share where you are from. But only share as much as you are comfortable with."



Then just list yourself!! Easy AND fun!!!



Hope to see you there!!


The World According to  

Riley Dean 

Be the Master of Disaster!  

 By Riley Dean (with a little help from Mommy)

Hello everybody, it's Riley Dean! Every night I watch the evening news with my Grandma, and
sometimes it seems like there are terrible things happening to people all over the world. Not too long ago, there were storms, earthquakes and tornadoes in different places like Japan and Alabama. Very sad!

It is important to note that I am the master of many things. I am of course the master of my house (after all, people scramble around every day to bring me my food and clean my litter box!). I am master of the cats (don't mess with me!). I am even Snuggle Master (heh heh heh). And, perhaps most importantly, I am a Master of Disaster! By keeping a few important items packed away, I can make sure that I am always prepared in case of an emergency. Making sure that you have an emergency preparedness kit on hand can make you a Master of Disaster as well! Here are some items that you want to make sure to include:

Extra Food and Water: The Red Cross recommends enough food and water for three to seven days. Remember to include extra bowls, and don't forget a can opener if you have wet food!

Extra Litter Box and Litter: Even in an emergency or disaster, we still need a place to go! One-inch aluminum baking pans make a cheap, disposable and easy-to-pack emergency litter box.

Extra Medications: Keep supplies of your cat's necessary medications as well as a master list of all meds. Make note of the expiration dates and re-supply as needed! A copy of medical records (including vaccinations) may be helpful as well. Some emergency shelters require them.

ID Information and Travel Gear: Keep a current picture of your kitty and a record of his/her
microchip number in case you get separated. It's also good to have a pair of thick gloves if you have to grab a scared kitty in a hurry, as well as a carrier and an extra collar ready with an ID tag attached, in case you have to travel.


First Aid Kit: A standard first aid kit is fine, and some people sell kits that are dedicated
especially to pets.

FEMA, the ASPCA and Petfinder.com all have more complete lists for what to put in an
emergency kit. You can make your own kit and keep it in a backpack in the closet, basement or
garage. There are also websites that sell already-made packs that you can use as-is or build upon (a good one is petsready.com ).

Lastly, remember that the Red Cross sometimes offers pet emergency first aid training for kitty parents. Check with them, as well as with your local shelters, to see about a class! My mommy is even pet CPR certified!

Hopefully there are no more emergencies coming, at least in the near future. However, if they do come along, then at least we can all be prepared. We can all be Masters of Disaster. Be safe, everybody!  



Tammy's Tail  

The Launching of the Pet Project:

A Radio Show About

Special Needs Animals 


by Debbie Martin


"As long as I can remember, animals have been a part of my life.....cats, dogs, birds, turtles, fish, hamsters....I even raised an abandoned infant opossum when I was in 4th grade!"  


Tammy Trujillo has been working in the entertainment industry since the age of 2. Her career as an award-winning broadcaster has included working as a morning co-host, sportscaster, news anchor and traffic reporter on many of Southern California's largest Radio and TV stations including KNX, KFI, KEZY, Power 106, The Beat, Channel 4 News and at KFWB. She holds numerous Gold Microphone Awards, one of the broadcasting industry's highest honors. She is also a member of Long Beach City College's Hall of Fame.


Throughout her career, Tammy has always used her position and influence to help her greatest love...animals. She has made countless radio, TV and personal appearances on behalf of animal rescue groups, pet charities and city and state agencies dealing with animals and helped raise thousands of dollars hosting various telethons and radiothons to fund pet issues. She was named a "Best Friend for Life" by SPCALA and received their Philanthropy Award in 2002.


Tammy holds a special concern for disabled animals and champions the adoption of special needs pets. She is considered an expert on CH (Cerebellar Hypoplasia) cats and kittens. She is also trained in animal rescue during disaster response.


Her "common sense" approach to responsible pet guardianship and her ability to understand the world through the animal's eyes continues to make Tammy everyone's "go-to" expert on nearly every type of pet!


Well, Tammy has some wonderful and exciting news that she has been working on which is called the Pet Project Radio show which will be discussing special needs cats and dogs and in which she will be an advocate for the special needs by promoting the rescue and adoption of special needs animals, in addition to many other topics on her show.  She has set aside a separate page on the website for CH Kitties.  


The show's debut is coming to CRN Digital Talk Radio live on Saturday, August 20th from 2-3 pm PST! That means the show will be heard (and seen) all over the country. More details to come. Remember, The Pet Project is "The Show Your Pet Wants You To Listen To"!


Please hit the "LIKE" button on the show's Facebook Page to encourage corporate sponsors for the show!  This will show potential sponsors that people around the country support the show, which will in turn keep this show on air and allow Tammy to advocate for Special Needs and Cerebellar Hypolasia Kitties!


Also she is  looking for guests, topics....and of course, sponsors!  If you are interested, please contact Tammy at tammytrujillo@gmail.com  


I would like to add that Tammy has 2 CH kitties, Charlie and Bruce.  She just adopted Bruce from CH Kitty Club member Ann Lavine.  She also has a blind kitty, a 3 legged kitty and a kitty with radial hypoplasia.  


Tammy is a real gem, and I must do a huge shout out to her wonderful husband, Randy, who is just as compasionate and wonderful about special needs animals as Tammy.  Tammy and Randy are truely wonderful people helping and advocating for our furry special needs friends!


As the time approaches, I will post on CH Kitty Club Yahoo group and on the Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cats and Kittens page on Facebook to remeind everyone to listen to the first broadcast.  Don't forget to join the Facebook Page, too, so you can follow the show and Tammy too!


Notes From Tanja

by Tanja Vranic


Benefits of Acupuncture for Neurological Issues


In our June & July Issues we met Tiny Timmy, our wobbly fur friend, a kitty who has neurological damage from being exposed to Sergeant's Flea & Tick Spray for Cats. We learned about the danger of using certain, (or rather most?) flea and tick products, and about safer alternatives. Please read the articles in case you had  missed them, it is really important not to harm our CH kitties, as they already have challenged nervous systems.


For this issue of our newsletter I asked Claudia, Timmy's human mum, to share with us her and Timmy's experience about acupuncture, as it has been very beneficial for Timmy. Here you will find an answer to my question - would acupuncture benefit CH kitties?



Tiny Timmy on Acupooky for Neurological Issues

By Claudia Tietze  


When Timmy first came to us, in the throes of a toxic reaction to flea and products, we sometimes felt like we should just bring a camping tent and set it up in front of the vet's office because we were there so much. Chronically, we would be at the vet at least once a week for this issue or that issue. Often the

medications he was given made him worse with a whole new set of symptoms so we had to go back again and again. We never walked out of there spending less than $180 and usually it was much, much more.


In order to pay Timmy's bills in the hopes that once his system would regulate and we would no longer need to rush to the vet at the drop of a hat, we took out loans and used credit cards. We are still paying those bills off over a year later.



Holistic vs. Traditional Vet Care 


We had wanted to move more of Timmy's care to a holistic approach and intended to try acupuncture and maybe kitty chiropractic. However, due to the investments we already made in "traditional" vet care, we wanted to pay

down our outstanding bills first. The thought of paying every week or every other week for acupuncture was too financially overwhelming for us at the time. We assumed we would still need to take him to the traditional vet as well.


As Timmy's need for weekly visits slowed down somewhat, we let out a little sigh of relief. Three times in a row towards the end of his first year with us, he only required one rush to the vet per month. He had to see a neurologist because the vet would not "tutor" (neuter) Timmy until she got the green light from the

neurologist and a suggestion as to what sedation to use. His Facebook friends made that appointment happen. (THANK YOU!)



Part of Timmy's Protocol 


We spent hours upon hours psychoanalyzing Timmy and what might help him or why he was reacting a particular way to certain medicines. We had started him almost immediately on a detox protocol because his nerves were damaged from the flea and tick products and their harmful ingredients. We gave him a grain

free diet with much variety, he gets daily pumpkin which helps with detox, he gets supplements of Neuroplex, Salmon Oil, Cosequin and S-Adenosyl, as well as Proviable to keep his GI tract happy. We have just started him on a few drops of liposomal glutathione.


When we tried something new and saw it helped him, we would research it and find out why and if he should continue on it. For example, the myelin on his nerves were damaged, which contributed to his neuro issues. Since he was still growing, and myelin grows slower than nerves do, he would go through some phases of getting a bit better. When he hit a growth spurt he would get much worse until the myelin could catch up. We noticed after he was given Cosequin for interstitial cystitis (after a very bad reaction to two antibiotics) that not only

did his cystitis improve, but also his coordination and muscle twitches. After

researching it we discovered that the same ingredients are used to treat patients

with myelin damage from MS. Usually animals and people only stay on this mix for a limited time as it helps lubricate joints, and once a certain level is built up it is no longer effective. In Timmy's case, we see drastic differences when he remains on this mix of supplements and when he is off of them.



Final Straw 


We had just been talking amongst ourselves as to how well Timmy was doing and how happy and playful he had been, sighing a sigh of relief that maybe the thousands upon thousands of dollars of vet bills might actually pause a bit and we could breathe easier for a little while. Between making the decision to rescue Timmy and his Healing Journey that first year, I had switched from a well paying job to being on disability income at about 30% of what I was making while working. This huge unexpected life change strapped us even further.


Then it happened. Timmy had been sleeping in the bed with us and hopped down with his usual flair of roll and tumble. He marched into the kitchen and waited for his breakfast. To entertain himself while he waited, he ran around the living room like a madman, playing happily.



Everything seemed joyous and wonderful and then we saw the blood on the floor - a lot of blood. Trailing from the bedroom into the kitchen and all over the kitchen floor. Yet, Timmy did not seem like he was in distress. Despite this, we as pet parents having seen all of Timmy's triumphs and struggles, rushed him to the vet. Several scans and x-rays later, we discovered that Timmy creates his stool high up near his stomach and it has trouble passing through his intestines. This is a problem because it can easily create a blockage and build up of toxins. He stayed at the vets for an enema treatment with a gentle gel. We were very wary 

of trying other medications as Timmy always had a bad reaction to anything from antibiotics to anti-inflammatories, sending him into a spiraling rebound.


He was released and seemed listless and pained and simply not feeling well. Oddly, when he was bleeding he was very active and happy and chipper. We took him back to the vet several times for this issue, trying any number of

different treatments. Finally the vet said, "You know, he might benefit more from acupuncture than anything we can do for him at this point."


So, here it was, set before us. We were worried about the cost of regularly scheduled acupuncture treatments for Timmy, yet at this point for his health we had to give it a shot. We spent hours scouring for the "right" fit for both us and Timmy. Several acupuncturists said that acupuncture would never help his neurological damage or functionality, but MIGHT help his GI issues. What we needed was someone who had enough faith to at least try to treat Timmy not

only for his current issue, but also for his neurological damage. We thankfully found Hawthorne Veterinary Clinic and the wonderful Dr. Jeffrey Judkins. Dr. Judkins felt acupuncture certainly would help with the digestive issues and we proceeded on the premise that maybe it would also help Timmy's neurological issues.



Acupuncture Results


Timmy's poo and pee issues resolved almost immediately after treatment. Once  the needles are in, Timmy relaxes and gets into the "zone", almost into a sleep-like relaxed state. After treatments he usually rests that day and the following day is happy, bouncy, runs around like a madman and is very playful. We notice as well that the muscle spasms that make his front paws twitch are better, he has fewer focal seizures, wobbles less, and, most amazingly, his small muscle coordination is improved. He even can run in a straight line with better balance and coordination.



After several treatments and some holistic medications that Timmy responds to well, our actual cost of vet expenses has been reduced tremendously. He has not needed one emergency vet visit since starting acupuncture with Dr.

Judkins. Instead of getting off the bed or his window perch by tumbling and rolling on impact, he now can put his paws down and stop on a dime. He also can climb much better and more often. He has become a great hunter of bugs, often seeing them before any of the other cats. Timmy also used to swat and miss when playing, but now he hits spot on his target. I have to say a huge

thank you to Timmy's friends and supporters. We would not have been able to continue Timmy's treatments without them. Thanks to them, most of Timmy's acupuncture treatments have been paid for. If you are interested in sponsoring an acupuncture treatment, you can do so on Timmy's site. On the right side bar there is a button to sponsor an appointment and supplements.


It has been a long haul with Timmy, especially in his first year. Acupuncture has helped his Healing Journey tremendously. Used with his supplements and medications that he gets regularly and his "play therapy" that we devised for him to learn to coordinate has helped in his healing.



Play Therapy and Textures 


We noticed early on that Timmy did not like walking on things with new or unusual textures. This reminded me of something I learned in college when working with children with spina bifida. Children with spina bifida get over

stimulated from touch and so tend to avoid it and start to slowly pull away into themselves and away from the world. Imagine touching a paper towel and feeling the bumps at a 1000 times increase. Sort of like when your foot falls asleep and gets touched, you have the momentary sensation of pins and needles and

everything that touches it hurts. There was an interesting project in Santa Cruz at that time with a high success rate called Project P.R.E.S. It used play structures with different textures to help the children get used to different stimuli. Where traditional modes of therapy such as Occupational Therapy set their standard of "success" at a decline of up to 20% per year, this new method saw children who could not walk begin to walk and all began to interact with the world again. They measured their success on improvements.


We set up carpet samples with different textures in the living room and using play to entice Timmy to walk and play on them, he was exposed to new textures. Now he does not seem to have any issues exploring new things and textures and is the ever curious boy, requiring a lot of stimulation.




Acupuncture and CH Kitties and What You Should Know 


I spoke with Dr. Judkins about acupuncture and CH kitties specifically. He said  that acupuncture can help tremendously, but that each animal is different. Some might find great benefit, some might not find much benefit other than helping with specific issues such as the GI tract.

Hawthorne Vet Articles-accupuncture




Here are a few things you should know about acupuncture:  



kitty acupooky guide (Don't try this at home)


Most of the needles cause no discomfort. Some might cause momentary discomfort, but then dogs usually fall asleep and cats go into a type of relaxed trance. Timmy actually falls asleep usually.


Acupuncture treatments can last anywhere from 20-30 minutes on average.


At first you may have acupuncture appointments closer together, such as weekly or bi-weekly, but as things improve you will find that the time between treatments is longer and longer.



Timmy sleeps a lot after his treatments, but I am not sure if this is common with all animals.

Timmy also shares a common "side effect" that almost everyone else I have spoken to also has. That is - he is VERY HUNGRY after his treatments.


Some animals take a little longer to show results as the effects are very subtle. In Timmy's case we saw results the next day and that has

continued to be the case.


When looking for an acupuncturist for your kitty or dog, ask a lot of questions before you make your appointment. Make a list of symptoms, such as un-coordination, wobbly, GI issues, litter box issues, mewing when you pick them up by their tummy, etc.


When looking for an acupuncturist, find one that believes in you and your pet. If they have the notion it will not help, move onto someone who says they don't know but they are willing to try or who believes it will help. We did, and are so happy we did not stop at the first "no" we got. The reason some acupuncturists believe it won't work for neurological issues is that

acupuncture will usually help conditions that were not something that the pet was born with, restoring to the intended condition of life.


Don't expect miracles, but revel in the miraculous. You never know what will happen until you try. We never expected Timmy to ever be fully "cured" but wanted to give him the best chance at health that we could. The differences in him with the treatment he has received from Dr.Judkins vs. traditional vet care has been outstanding.


Never give up hope, but believe that your cat or dog will and can do anything they set their mind to. It might be different than others who do

not have neurological damage, but by believing the "can't" or "will never be able to" do something limits their ability to try. Let your pet set their own goals and give them the opportunity to achieve them. We were told

over and over by "professionals" that Timmy would never be able to do certain things. Initially they didn't even believe he would live past the first 48 hours, but he did. They told us he would never be able to run straight, but he can. They told us he would never be able to climb high, but he regularly climbs his four foot high scratchy post. Since Timmy loves his noms, but has been limited in going to certain places in the house such as counters, we moved the other cats' food to the counters so he would not overeat. Can I tell you this was a mistake? We have had to make makeshift guards to keep him from an almost unlimited supply of noms... And we love it! We love to watch him decide to do something and then figure out how he can do it. He will try and try and try until he finally succeeds.






In addition to those who have helped Timmy on his Healing Journey, I should also thank Rainbow Diamond and Mandy May McEntyre of Diamond Dachshund Rescue of Texas Rainbow is a puppy mill survivor who was paralyzed. Through acupuncture treatments she now can walk, is

pain free and has started to wag her tail - all things that her rescuers were told were impossible. Mandy also has a huge success story with acupuncture, and thankfully never tired of suggesting Timmy try it out to see what happened.


Without their support and kind nudging, none of this would have been possible for Timmy.





New Member Spotlight...

 John and Princess  



by John and Princess 


It's hard to describe how I feel about Princess. She was adopted at a Petsmart after the unexpected death of my kitten, Angel. She was in a cage with her brother, and he was already taken, so on the spur of the moment I adopted her. She was lean and lanky and I noticed she was wobbling when she tried to stand. They told me she was a special needs kitty, she had CH and at that moment I knew I had made the right decision. She is now 6 years old and has taught me nothing is impossible. I am a disabled veteran and face much adversity everyday, Princess faces adversity too but she steamrolls right over it full force. She knows no limits and lives her life without fear. She also is well aware that she is in charge and reminds me frequently.



Her birthday is approaching, and I have planned her favorite meal for the day: she will have a tuna appetizer and slow roasted chicken for the entree. (Don't tell her but she is getting a new basket to sleep in.) I love all of my cats but I think there is a special bond between myself and Princess due to our many challenges, but we face them together and we are both stronger for it.  I found the CH kitty group by doing a yahoo search of ch and through  Amanda Maurer's blog.  






Adoptable Angels  #1...Peanut





Angels gathered by Debbie Martin 


Peanut is a 3-year-old Bengal mix in Portland, OR about to lose the only home he's known. His first six months were in a cage until a 92-year-old foster was willing to let him live in her house. The foster died November 2010, and Peanut's elderly cat roommate only one week later. Since then he has remained in the house with visits from family and an occasional housesitter, quite lonely most of the time. The house must be sold, and no family member can adopt him because they all have several fosters (and one, a frightening herding dog). They would be willing to fly him out of state to a responsible, loving home. His current state is too lonely, and he will have to be put down when the house is marketed by mid-August.




Peanut is healthy, playful, and terribly affectionate. He scrambles everywhere and doesn't realize that he's handicapped. He hops into chairs or up a cat tree and can clear a 3-foot gate. He adores toys. He adores humans. He adores other animals (except large explosive dogs) and seeks roommates again. He is as soft as mink and quiet as a mouse (rare, tiny "meow"). But his rear-end handicap causes him to sometimes miss his cat box. He would come with either lightweight, impermeable floor blankets or several outdoor "potty mats" (the artificial grass type) to make his space more manageable. He must be indoors because he can't defend himself or escape very effectively.


Peanut is otherwise very healthy, is neutered, microchipped, and current on all vaccinations. PLEASE HELP to keep this little guy alive, and many thanks for your thoughts!

CONTACT IS Libby Agosti libby.agosti@yahoo.com  




Adoptable Angel #2...

Neville and Bean 



Neville and Bean are two 3 year old CH cats. They are honestly the best pets a girl could ask for. They manage the litterbox fine and besides some extra cleaning and the occasional bathing (to which they're perfectly accustomed) they don't need much extra attention than any normal cat. And the best part, they are the two most snuggliest, affection, loving creatures EVER. They're favorite thing is to sit right under my neck and purr while we watch TV. They would spend all day in my lap or on my tummy if I didn't have things to do :)


Sadly, my fiancee is severely allergic to them. We've tried pills, baths, special shampoos, quarantine... everything. The issue is that Jon is severely allergic to dander AND saliva. He can't even be at my apartment because it becomes tough for him to breathe.




I'm devestated, but after more than a year of exhaustive effort and research, it's clear that I can't keep them and still live with my future husband.


I am wondering if you can help me try to place them. The shelter I adopted them from has done absolutely nothing for the past 7 months, and I refuse to take them to a kill shelter.


They've got no other medical conditions, are up to date with all their vaccinations and we'd give anyone who'd take them all their accessories, litterbox, bed, etc...


I'm attaching a few photos that demonstrate how adorable they are, and I also created a youtube video here:


Neville and Bean_ CH Kittehs.mp4

Neville and Bean


I'd be grateful for any help at all...resources, no-kill shelters, online forums, adoption sites etc...


I'm located in Brooklyn, New York. I'm also happy to have any prospective adopters come over and meet the cats before signing on.







Adoptable Angels #3





I need to find a home for my 2 CH kitties and I would prefer they stay together.

To sum it up without going into too many messy details of my personal life, I'm going through a separation. I have to work a lot more to pay the bills as I was left with the majority of the debt. Therefore I don't have the time or the money
to give them what they need. While it is heartbreaking to give them up, as I've raised them from birth, it's what's best for them at this time. They are severe CH, unable to walk, though they do get up on their feet and try. I have been unable to find a potty training solution and he was very much not willing to
either help or tolerate the situation while I explored options. I now do not have the resources to continue trying to help them. I won't put them in a shelter where I know they will be killed the same day. I'm continuing to take care of them the best that I can but they are simply not getting the time they need. I currently live right outside the Central Ohio area.

I don't have any recent pics, this one is from six months ago. I'll try to get someone with a decent camera phone to take some updated ones. He (Wobbles) is bigger, she (Weebles) isn't. They are very much love bugs. They are very mild tempered, except when you try to give Wobbles a bath (he's a demon, but manageable if you keep a tight grip). Weebles is slightly timid, she scares easily but usually not for long. Wobbles is pretty well fearless unless you turn on the vacuum. They haven't been fixed or vaccinated as I can't find a vet who knows anything about CH and the ones I've talked to don't want to chance it because they are severe. Mommy was tested negative for everything, and they have never been outside. I'm not sure what else you would want to know. This is very hard for me, but I do appreciate the help.

Please contact April




Adoptable Angels...#4






These 3 CH kittens are located in Fremont, MI that need homes. They are currently in foster for Bellwether Harbor Animal Rescue.
These sweet babes came to us June 21 when their Mom was killed on the road. There are 5 kittens but only 3 show signs of CH. Their estimated date of birth is June 2, 2011; that makes them about 7 1/2 weeks right now.

Health: Our shelter vet has examined them and has diagnosed them as having CH. They have had their first vaccinations for feline distemper and have been dewormed. They have tested negative for parasites. Their eyes are very clear, and they appear to be in great health aside from the CH.

Capabilies: They range in degrees of how much they are affected. All 3 can use the litter box and do so almost all the time. They love stalking the Golden of the house, are curious about the big old grumpy cat and have been gently handled but children.

Shadow: Grey short hair male who looks like a little Yoda! Shadow is such a little scrapper.  He was only half the weight of the others when he came to us, and it was touch and go as to whether he'd make it the first few days. He drank 2-3 mls at a time at first, but once he got his strength back he has made up for lost time! He is highly capable, eats on his own--both wet and dry kitten chow.  Only tipping over occasionally, I see him attempt to drink water but he has a little perception problem with that. He climbs up one step and runs with and attacks his siblings. He became accustomed to being held in a receiving blanket after he eats when he was getting stronger and he still likes that!

Angelina Ballerina: Calico female: She has an adorable black mask with a white stripe between her eyes, topped by an orange "V" going between her ears: one orange and one black; one black spot between her shoulders, one each black and orange dot on her butt and a cute black heart on her side. She is in the middle as far as her abilities due to the CH. She runs quite well, climbs onto chairs, and has learned to spread her legs into a wide stance to stand still. She needs some help to stand still enough to eat and doesn't appear to drink water, so she gets her water as moistened kitten chow. She also likes the dry chow. She has learned that if she runs fast she goes straighter and loves to play attack as well as snuggle in your arms when she wears herself out!

Princess: Calico/tiger female: She has a white face with orange over her eyes and black and white striping between her ears. She's very vocal about when she wants to eat or be held but the minute you touch her the motor starts going! She is the most affected by the CH.  She tumbles side to side alot to get around, especially when she is excited, like at feeding time! She needs to be held to eat so she doesn't flip over but we are experimenting, with some success, with some ways that help her stand easier. She does manage to get to the litter box and doesn't make too much of a mess. She follows the others to play and does better when she can walk under something with her back braced, like walk under a footstool. Nestled in your arms is her favorite way to sleep!
Thank you for sharing their story and helping us find them homes!
Starr Roan


Adoptable Angel #5


Cerebellar Hypoplasia Kitty in Sonoma County California Animal Care and Control Needs to be Adopted!!!!


I am not an old guy, I am just disadvantaged. JONAH - ID#A265582 Petfinder Link  


Email: Cathy,




I am an owner release in strays. If my person does not come back for me, I will soon be available for adoption. I am very sweet and loveable. Yeah, I look older, but I was born about Sept 2005. I'm a bit wobbly because I have a neurological problem, it  happened when I was a baby and probably will not get any worse. It is hard for me to clean myself, so my coat tends to get oily and I got some kitty dandruff. How fortunate for me because I have to get a wonderful, warm, bath every once in a while. I love them! I purr and make biscuits with my front paws as I luxuriate under the warm water. I am such a wonderful cat! Please give me a chance to be your best guy. I am a neutered male, brown tabby domestic longhair. I am estimated to be about 5 years old. I have been at the shelter since 07/13/2011. For more information about this animal, call Sonoma County Animal Care and Control at

(707) 565-7100  




A Day at the Box Zoo...
Ziggy's Second Birthday Party



by Ziggy Wigg'n


My birthday was on July 4th, and my Mom and Dad took me to the Box Zoo!!!




Smudge helped Mommy set up all the Nom Noms...then everything was READY!!!




Here come me and my brother Tardy, running toward the Box Zoo!!!



We arrive at the Box Zoo and we can't believe our eyes!! Just LOOK at all the boxes!!! 




And Nom Noms, lots and lots of Nom Noms!!! Soft Nom Noms and crunchy Nom Nom's, I think Tardy's eyes are going to pop out of his head when he sees ALL these Nom Noms!!! 




I am soooo happy I topple over in JOY :))

OOOH, there are TOYS in these boxes, how clever my parents are :)) 




Smudge (aka Saco de Pele Branca) goes straight for the Nom Noms!! Maybe arrives with her head lights on, but then turns them off and plays 'shy'.




Dana and Orkie on their way to my birthday party :)




I try to squeeze into a tiny box (THAT was fun!!), I *hide* in a bigger box!! I wear myself out to the point of exhaustion!!! 




Orkie and Borisanne observe all the fun from above, until Orkie can stand it no longer, she comes down for a glorious helping of Nom Nom's, while Gertrude studies  some unseen-to-anyone-but-her dust particles floating by. 




And hours later I am still rockin' and rollin' at my wonderful Box Zoo Birthday Party!!! 


We had so much fun, how the heck will Mommy and Daddy top this next year (hint hint)??  

Ziggy at the box zoo 

Ziggy at the box zoo

Box Zoo

Box Zoo


Peachie's Journey to Best Friends  

by Heather Thompson  


Hi my name is Peachie, I am a severely affected CH (Cerebral Hypoplasia) kitty who was fortunate enough to be admitted into Best Friends Animal Sanctuary's program. This is my story. I was born to a mama kitty who was vaccinated with distemper while pregnant. I was adopted out as a kitten, but was returned at about 6 months old because I had a hard time making the litter box. I can't help it I can't walk much on my own. Here are some videos of me:


December 14, 2010 4:10 PM

December 14, 2010 4:10 PM

December 14, 2010 4:06 PM

December 14, 2010 4:06 PM


As you can see I'm a little bit wobbly and don't walk well, but that doesn't stop me. From the beginning, I have been one determined little girl. I loved to climb up on the toddler bed frame that was in the "Under the Sea Suite" I was in at the vet clinic/pet resort where I was up for adoption. I even climbed the carpeted stairs at the resort one day. I love to play and love attention (as long as I feel secure), I am a very happy girl and love to purr. One day the veterinarian decided it was time to retire so he closed down his location. It made me sad as I knew that I was a special case and no one wanted a cat who might not hit the litter box 100% of the time and who couldn't walk.  I had been up for adoption for almost 9 months. So Heather (also the vet's daughter) contacted rescue after rescue, and got in touch with Debbie through Special Needs in Need on Facebook.  They helped her adopt out Sicily the one-eyed former clinic cat as well. 




Such nice people! They posted me on Facebook and other groups, but no takers, so someone suggested they contact Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. So we did. While we were waiting for their intake meeting, another sanctuary "Wee Paws Sanctuary" in Nevada said if Best Friends wouldn't take me, they would. Such nice people, I feel so loved! We got the news that they had reviewed my case, videos (I know it was my cuteness on the video that got them) and I had been accepted into Best Friends program.




On Monday June 6th, the vet put me in a carrier so we could make the 6 hour journey to Best Friends, I really don't like carriers, so I was upset at first, then I relaxed and enjoyed the ride; I even purred a little bit. When we got there, they directed us to the clinic where they put me in a cage with a nice comfy bed and a fresh bowl of water.  I was so thirsty that I drank a full bowl full when I got there. It had been a long drive on a hot day. Heather, who had been taking care of me, said a teary goodbye; she was sad to leave me there, but knew I was in good hands. After being in the clinic for observation, etc., they said I would be out in the lobby of the kitty place as that would be where I will get the most exposure. I was amazed at their place, so awesome for kitties, they had nice outside pens where kitties could go outside and explore in safety. The vet & Heather also took a bunch of stuff to donate, they had blankets, and lots of carriers, food & water dishes, and some toys. They knew that Best Friends could use the items since they help so many homeless animals.




An update received from Best Friends on July 11th, about a month after Peachie was admitted:


Peachie is doing just wonderfully well. She lives in the lobby of the kitten building here, scoots around the building as she pleases and is visited by many people who come on our tour to see the kittens. She is having a good time, and has exposure to many people so we know someone will see her, fall in love, and take her home. We screen our adopters very carefully so she will only be taken by someone who really does love her.




She is a great cat and is happy right where she is until the right person comes along. We are very glad you gave her to us.


The CH Family Dynamics

by Elise Murphy





This is a new column that will be dedicated to exploring a new household each month. We'd like to learn a little bit more about those other furballs in your life and how they interact with and possibly help your CH kitty(s).



Family Statistics:


Humans: 2 - Elise & Ben


Cats: 4 - Totoro (Female/3 years), Vamp (Male/3 years), Hippa (Female/8 years/Mild CH), Nanako (Female/11 months/Moderate CH)


Guinea Pigs: 2 - Speedy Catastrophe and Buca di Beppo (Male/4 years)



Overall Interactions:





The cats are all very kind and gentle towards the guinea pigs. They all love to watch them play and squeak - I joke they are like kitty TV. The cats all coexist peacefully. Some are better friends than others, and occasionally there is some hissing, but at the end of the day, they are a family and love each other, or at least tolerate each other ;-)



CH kitty additions:  


In June 2009, we adopted our first mild CH kitty, Hippa, who was 8 years old. Totoro, our dominant and first cat, was hissy and dismissive and Vamp, the little sweetheart that he is, was very curious and playful. Vamp, Totoro, and Hippa have really never had problems though. Hippa always has made it perfectly clear that she does not care to be top cat, so Totoro does not feel threatened by her. In the past few

months, Hippa has begun to get comfortable enough to chase and try to play with Totoro and the other day, Totoro was grooming the top of Hippa's head. In November 2010, I brought home a CH kitten, Nanako, at about 7 weeks old.



She had to be separated from the other cats for a few weeks because of a URI that she had contracted. Nanako has a much more outgoing personality. She doesn't necessarily want to be

top cat, but she wants Totoro to know that she's not gonna stand for her hissing and growling without a fight back. They have never really fought, just some hissing and swatting, and for the most part are perfectly fine with each other. Vamp loves to play with her and they often have what I call "Kiss Wars" where they hug and kiss each other furiously in some kind of game of "who can kiss the other more."


The Video    

Kitty Kiss Wars 

Kitty Kiss Wars

How they help each other:


Hippa and Nanako often lay on the bed together and love to look out of the window.  Neither are able to cover up their poo after they use the litterbox, so often times Totoro will follow after them and cover it up for them.  Vamp, and for the most part, Totoro have learned that when Nanako falls over, she isn't attacking them and will usually just back up and ignore it.  Nanako also has started to chase the other cats around the room to try to get them to play.  It hasn't yet evolved beyond a game of chase, but that's ok, since they are all playing together and getting along.





Interesting family tidbit:


Every morning and night at wet-food meal times, Nanako and Vamp will both eat about half of their food and then go and try to kick the

other cats off of their plates so that they can have theirs too. They will watch each other out of the corner of their eyes, and once one of

them makes a movement, the other will be off right along with them. I have had to start locking them in a separate room together to eat so the other cats can eat in peace. =)








Birthday Blurbs

Princess...August 12, 2005

by John and Princess 

Well, Princess is another year older and its time for her to be queen for a day.  She will be making sure her kingdom is in order.  We plan on playing with her with a string and toy mice.  We will also play chase and I will find a fly to bring in for her to catch.  I may even take her outside so she can eat some grass and play in the sun.  Princess has matured a lot in the 6 yrs that I have had her.




Flip...August 14, 2009  

by Christy Stevens 


For Flip's Birthday Party we are going to have friends over for a BBQ - hamburger and caramelized onions. Then a birthday cake. Nothing very exciting but he's not into excitement.....otherwise he'll be scooting like a maniac all day, lol.



Rickety Splitz...August 14, 2009

By Alicia and Mike Thompson





When my husband Mike and I decided to adopted our first cat we knew we wanted a special needs kitty since they have a more difficult time getting adopted. Mike went on Petfinder.com and found a little one eyed blind kitty that had been in a hoarder situation with 400 other cats. When she was rescued by the County Animal Control most of the other cats that were with her were put down due to illness. Luckily she was saved but suffered by the loss of her eye sight. When we went to meet her, we also met a flame point that literally attached herself to Mike's leg. We knew that we had to adopt them both!! The girls lived with us for five months before we decided to complete our family by adopting a boy since Mike was feeling out numbered. Once again, the computer was booted up and we searched for a boy with special needs.That's when we came across Rickety Splitz and learned about CH kitties. Rickety had a quite a story, he and his 2 brothers were in a shelter and were scheduled to be put down within the next 24 hours. A shelter worker contacted Long Beach Felines who saved all three of the brothers. Pam and Debbie are our heroes for saving our Rickety's life and we are so lucky to have found him. Rickety was the perfect addition to our family!!!


Rickety Splitz was originally named Ricky by Pam of Long Beach Felines. She changed it to Rickety since she thought it may be more of an eye catching name. Well it worked! We loved the name Rickety and since he has CH and wobbles a bit the name really fit. Since we adopted Rickety, we have thought about renaming him Rickety Steves after one of our favorite travel show hosts Rick Steves. Rick Steves travels the world and Rickety Steves travels around the house exploring every room.


Rickety has such a warm friendly personality, he charms every visitor that walks through our front door.At night Rickety uses the kitty ramp that was built for his blind sister Winkie to crawl into bed. Every night he climbs into my arms and falls asleep. He loves to cuddle! He amazes us with his intellect since he has learned to climbed the seven foot cat tree by wedging himself against the sliding glass door for support when he ascends and descends. He also learned how to slow himself down as he goes down the bed ramp by climbing backwards. What a genius!! Rickety not only loves to climb, but he loves to hang out in boxes and play with his kitty spring. He can play for hours!! We love to watch him play and run around the house with his crazy little legs!! 





Alligator in the Water,

Tiger on the Shore

by Cathrine Lowther

North Americans who talk about hard choices say they are 'stuck between a rock and a hard place'. In Bangladesh, the alternatives are more colourful -- and usually fatal!

Bangladesh is among the poorest countries in the world. Hunger, disease, death, corruption and violence are part of daily life. The majority of 167 million people have no electricity, drinkable water or health care. In the capital, Dhaka, where 16 million people are crowded into the space that, back home, would support 1.5 million, life is little better.

One part of the tragedy of third world poverty is that other animals suffer along with humans. Folk who don't know better say Muslims
don't like animals. This is not so. Many very poor people here share what little they have with the street animals around them. But they cannot afford basic health care for their children: who can afford to vaccinate an animal?

One of those very poor people found a dying kitten beside the road. Knowing that I cared about the poor of all species, he picked it up.

Someone had tried to beat this little guy to death. There were identical marks all over his filthy little body. His hind end was paralysed, his front legs bloodied. He was skin and bone, except for a huge belly, swollen by parasites and starvation. One look told me I should call the vet -- the only one in the country who knew anything about cats and dogs --and get him euthanised as humanely as possible.

Then I picked him up. He snuggled his head under my chin and purred like a buzz saw. Euthanasia went right out the window. Instead of death, this little fighter got carefully bathed, dewormed three times, fed and named. Feisty is every bit as brave as his name.

He could also have been named 'Internet', because the internet was our biggest tool in saving him, diagnosing him and treating him. The
local vet spent days stabilising his condition: treating infections, amputating a crushed toe and setting a tail break so the tail did not
drag or get caught in doors. But he had no idea what else to do: there are no x-rays or labs here for animals and few for people. In 25 years of being the only dog and cat vet in Dhaka, he had never had to deal with a kitten as broken as Feisty, except to euthanise it.

Fortunately, we have friends in other places. I emailed the vets we worked with in Belgrade, Serbia. They sent for a long list of photographs, and asked a lot of questions. Based on what we sent, they made a series of recommendations for diet and physical therapy to strengthen his bones and prevent his muscles from wasting while he fought to get back some control of his body.

Then we had to arrange his care. Since the vet operates out of a tiny apartment, he has no room for long term patients: Feisty had to
undergo hours of torturous therapy in my home. Since I have a lot of other rescues to care for, and other commitments to meet, we had to
find volunteers, teach them what to do and how to do it.

We wound up with a global team that included a Canadian secretary, a Ghanese teenager, and two Bangladeshi men who worked as a driver and a bearer nearby. These amazing people spent an hour of their day, every day, giving Feisty 10-15 minutes of very careful massage and exercise, handling him, stroking him and cleaning up the mess he made as he dragged himself around his little room.

Feisty responded. He began to kick a little against the exercise. Then he was able to stand a bit without support. Then he took a step,
then three steps, then he could stagger around under his own steam. Then he climbed into the litter pan to do his business. He stopped
making progress with the therapy, but he started to grow -- something he had not done in the 10 weeks he'd been with us.

We could tell Feisty had long term damage: aside from his drunken gait, he has problems controlling his bite. He can eat, drink and
perform his business normally, but he can't control his claws and jaw if he gets too excited. If he runs, his hind legs out distance his
front legs, and he falls over, especially on smooth floors. His moods can be mercurial. He has severe problems, probably due to anxiety,
with other cats, and attacks to kill.

Despite his disabilities, he is an affectionate and very people-oriented guy. So, back we went onto the internet to see what else we could do for him.

We found an animal prosthetic specialist in Canada. I was hoping to find something that would support his back legs without immobilising
them. She, after reading my email, thought he did not need a device, and referred me to a physiotherapist she worked with. The physio
asked for a film of Feisty in action.

In 24 hours I found a Flip camcorder, learned how to use it, shot the footage, downloaded an editor, learned how to use that, sliced and
diced the video, and sent the final result to her. She wrote back almost at once, asking me to look at YouTube, and tell me if this was Feisty. So I met Charlie, and realised that Feisty, too, has cerebellar hypoplasia.

It's really not a terrible case: he's not a flopping kitten, and he has adapted wonderfully to do the things a cat wants to do. As long
as the litter box is low, he uses it fine. He eats and drinks normally.  He even climbs, although he can't jump, and coming down is a problem. Realising this was a permanent disability was a real help, because it meant we could focus on adapting his world to him. We already have two special needs dogs and three special needs cats of our own, so we were halfway there.

In September, 2011 -- two months! -- we are scheduled to return to Ottawa, Canada. As well as our own zoo, we will be taking Feisty and
Beau, another victim of violence who needs serious surgery. Our first stop will be the Cat Hospital, to have everyone checked, and arrange
whatever treatment is best for our guests.

Ottawa has strict legal limits on how many animals we can have in a single household. So, Feisty and Beau are going to have to go up for
adoption. The prospect terrified me, until, once again, the internet came to our rescue, and I found a whole community of people who really
care about CH kitties: people in this group.

You have been great already. One member suggested a way to deal with his anxiety aggression. Another is looking already for possible adoption assistance. Feisty is sure to find a loving home with wonderful people like this, and become the loving and loved little guy
I know he can be.

This article is my way of giving back to you, the folk who give and give and never ask for anything in return. For the support, the advice, the hope that you, and everyone else who has cared about The Feistmeister and all the CH cats, all around the globe.

Thank you all. 


New Family Member...Moo



by Stephanie 


Moo is the only kitten out of the litter that had any problems and she is the only kitten that I am not giving away. Her mother is an outdoor cat, but Moo will be an indoor cat due to all of her health problems.


Moo is a 7 week old kitten with ataxia. She is developmentally behind about two weeks and smaller framed than her non-affected siblings. She was born in our garage along with four other kittens. We first noticed her problems when she failed to gain weight in the first couple of weeks and was lethargic. She became more alert after we started supplementing her mothers milk with a bottle, but still was not gaining a lot of weight. (Even at 7 weeks she is about half the size of her siblings.)




When the other kittens in her litter started running around, she was very wobbly and kept falling. The vet diagnosed her with ataxia and said that she might just be delayed. Because she still wasn't gaining weight, they had us start supplementing with canned food at three and a half weeks. She had trouble adjusting to the new food and at first she had severe head-bobbing and we had to put the food in her mouth. She started eating better in the next few weeks.



When she was almost five weeks old her mother was poisoned. The mother recovered fine after staying the night in the emergency hospital. However, she could no longer care for her kittens, so we brought all five of them into our house.




In the past two and a half weeks, Moo is doing much better. She doesn't fall down anymore, but does have mild intentional tremors and trouble gauging her jumps sometimes. Moo is a great climber, but she still has an uneven gait and tends to run instead of walk for some reason. She also has absolutely no safety awareness, she will climb and jump from anywhere!



Lately Moo is starting to gain weight and not let her siblings push her around. Hopefully she will continue to improve, regardless she is a part of our family now.


Adoption Update...Flip

by Christy Stevens




Flip has been with me for about 3 months and is doing great. He tolerates the other cats and will sleep on the sunny carpet even if they are nearby. He seems to know who he can trust and who he can't - both cats and visitors. I can't say enough about how much he cuddles in bed at night or in my lap while we are sitting in my recliner - he is such a love. He loves to roll over to have his tummy rubbed and has the softest fur. He has recently discovered catnip and twine and loves them both. I'm always glad when he finds something new to play with. He loves his videos on YouTube (search for "Flip CH Cat") and loves having his picture taken. I love this little guy!!! He's so precious!!    


Flip n Slide walking around - Mother's Day 2011

Flip n Slide walking around - Mother's Day 2011


Adoption Update...Rickety

by Alicia and Mike Thompson


This is an article that was published by  Found Animals in Downey California about Rickety written by his adoptive parents Alicia and Mike Thompson.   This article increases awareness of CH kitties and promotes the rescue and adoption for these amazing kitties!   In the link you will see the write up as well as wonderful photos and video.

Best Toys for CH Kitties

by Amanda Maurer


Playtime is an excellent opportunity for your cat to get some exercise, form a deeper bond with you, and if your cat has cerebellar hypoplasia, help build muscle and work on coordination. 


While there may not be scientific proof that playtime will lessen the severity of your cat's CH, many owners of CH cats claim that exercise can help. 


Like with any cat, look for toys that stimulate your cat in different ways (sight: laser pointers, sound: paper bags, smell: catnip, etc.), and mimic hunting. While your cat may love all of the following options, other cats are more particular. If you're able, try out a few types of toys to see which your cat likes best. 


After reaching out to the CH Kitty Club community for input, here are a few favorite toys and activities that may help improve your CH cat's coordination and mobility over time. 


Cat trees and condos: Give your cat the benefit of the doubt and let them try climbing a sturdy cat tree. Find one that's not too tall and will remain upright as your cat climbs it. This will help them build muscle, like John's Princess, and will give them a sense of satisfaction. 




Wand toys: Ribbons on a stick and feather toys can be an enticing toy for your cat. Since you're in control of where and how quickly it moves, you become a vital role in playtime. You can determine how much running around or batting at the toy your cat will do. These toys easily keep a cat's attention, but may scare others. Be mindful to put away ribbon toys after playing as your cat could accidentally strangle himself. 


Laser pointers: These mesmerize kitties like Elise's Hippa and Nanako, and can be purchased for about $5 at a pet store. Let your cat run around after the light, and give them a chance to focus on and aim for the light. If your cat isn't too coordinated, try playing on carpet so they have something to grip on to while playing. Be careful to never shine it in their eyes! 


Stuffed toys: Bean bag toys and small stuffed animals may become a favorite of your cat, like Kristie's Riley Dean. If they're large enough, your cat may bite and kick at them, which will help with coordination. 


Catnip: Since catnip impacts cats in different ways (it calms some and stimulates others), you'll know best if this is a good option for you. It may be a good option if your kitty isn't too active, and if a little catnip gets them on their feet and moving around! 




Other toys: Lizzie's Tardy and Ziggy enjoy the ball-in-a-circle tube toy. This helps with coordination as they have to put their paws in the tube to move the ball. It also allows you to play with them, which is always fun. Ball toys and plastic milk-cap rings may also be a good option as your cat is likely to bat at and chase after them. Even smartphones and tablet devices have games for cats now that can help him work on coordination.  




You don't need to spend tons of money on toys either. Christy's Flip loves paper balls and the cords on a sweatshirt. Janice's Jewel loves playing with "palms" from church and her crinkle sack (if you don't have one, try a paper bag!). 




While you may not see an immediate difference in your cat's coordination and mobility, be patient and continue with playtime throughout his lifetime. The exercise alone is good for him, and stronger muscles will lead to additional confidence and possibly more!






Twitch vs. the Tornado

by Twitch Offutt   




It started out as a bright and sunny day, which is what I hear is how it usually starts.  I, however, was in the air conditioned RV, enjoying my vacation. My people and I, along with my stinky sibling-mutts, had driven up to Windy Wyoming the previous day to spend the weekend with my auntie in her new house, and to
celebrate the 4th of July. The trip had started off rocky.  Mommy got a very bad stomach bug, which turned out to be food poisoning, so she stayed inside the house for the better part of the day, laying in the fetal position on the couch. Everyone came into the RV to check up on me every so often. Every time they tried to say hi to me, however, I'd hiss and throw a fit. I hate traveling. I hate it now after this trip.  


The loud claps of thunder and the heavy rain beat down on the RV, and I struggled to figure out what the loud siren I had been hearing for the past 5 minutes was. I had never been through a tornado, let alone heard the thumps of large stones of hail falling from the sky and colliding with the RV's roof. A commotion started in the house. Everyone started moving into my auntie's basement, my cousins were scared, grasping each other and crying, all six dogs in the house were panicking, and everyone else was amazed at what they were seeing forming outside. To them, it was a beautiful array of greens and blues strewn across the sky. To me, it was a nightmare!



Twenty minutes after the first ball of hail fell from the sky, Daddy remembered that I was alone in the RV. He rushed out to it, with his hands shielding his head against the massive stones. He grabbed me, my cuddle buddy, Horatio, and wrapped me in a blanket. As he did this, my uncle Jeremy quickly dismantled
my "kitty condo" (a large dog crate). As daddy juggled me in his arms and half of the crate as he and uncle ran back in to the house, lightning streaked across the sky, as more hail stones rained down on them. The hail took out the vents in the RV, my auntie's husband's windshield on his truck, as well as one of his mirrors. It was a


Through the kitchen window, we saw a funnel cloud begin to form about half a mile behind my auntie's house as daddy ran with me in his arms into the basement. Luckily, that funnel cloud was sucked back into the rest of the cloud. In the front yard, however, a second funnel cloud was swirling toward the west. I heard "oohs" and "ahhs" as it quietly floated through the air.  


Two hours later, the storm was over, but a mess was left in its wake. I, however, was happily resting in my condo. Although I was scared, Mom and Dad made sure I was safely wrapped up and snuggly warm in my blanket with Horatio. I don't think I'll be traveling to my home state anytime soon. I'd rather call Colorado my home, and stay there for good!  


The Interviews

By Amanda Maurer


Buster (Sheila's kitty) 

Buster was found in a box outside the shelter one morning, so we're clueless as to his history, but he was very young and quite shortly thereafter diagnosed with CH. At first, he had quite a bit of difficulty eating and drinking; his balance was quite compromised, and he had head tremors. As he got bigger and stronger, he figured out how to compensate, and is very much improved from his kittenhood. His walking is not great, but he gets where he wants to go in his own way!  

Read his interview here  



Gil (Rita Marendic's kitty)  



Meet Gil Walker, my little trouper. Gil's been through a lot of trials since he was born with CH, but he didn't give up and against all odds, with lots of prayer he made it!
Read his interview here 


Bye Bye everyone!


My name is ZIGGY and I especially liked this issue, 'cuz an article all about ME was featured!!! WOOOHOOO! 


Hope you loved this months newsletter, we love making it happen!!!


Ziggy Wigg'n

Little Demon 

A PurrFect Face   


Tardy Peebucket

President of Brothers




Elizabeth Holochwost

Founder of the CH Kitty Club 




Neal Helman

Editor and Best Daddy Cat 




Debbie Martin

Adoption Specialist




This month's Wonderful Articles!
CH Kitty of the Month... Grumpy
Meet The Parents...Donna and Ackie
Otter's Corner...written by Effie and Lovey
Cats and Kids
Our Yahoo Group
The World According to Riley Dean NEW!!
Tammy's Tail...The Launching of the Pet Project.
Notes From Tanja
New Member Spotlight...John and Princess
Adoptable Angels
A Day at the Box Zoo......Ziggy's Second Birthday Party
Peachie's Journey to Best Friends
The CH Family Dynamics NEW!!
Birthday Blurbs
Alligator in the Water,...Tiger on the Shore
New Family Member...Moo
Adoption Update...Flip
Adoption Update...Rickety
Best Toys for CH Kitties
Twitch vs. the Tornado
The Interviews