CH Kitty Club Newsletter
October 2011 Issue #13
Martha says, "Happy Birthday CH Kitty Club Newsletter!!!"
Wow, can you believe that we've been doing this newsletter for a year? Well, this IS it, our very special anniversary issue!
Please enjoy this very special issue, tons of love went into making it!
Tardy Peebucket...President of Anniversaries
Something VERY Special.........
One Year Later....
SOME OF THE CH KITTY FACES, THE PEOPLE, AND THE RESCUES!
A year has gone past since the publication of the CH Kitty Club's monthly newsletter. It has been a great success for networking the continual quest to spread the word about Cerebellar Hypoplasia. The newsletter has gone international - with many new subscribers in Europe, Greece, Australia, and Japan. This has brought much support for our rescue mission here in the United States through kind donations and networking for the rescue and care of CH kitties in need.
With the newsletter, we have touched and reached out to many new people who are adopting CH kitties for the first time. Many of them then become CH kitty advocates themselves. I have now nicknamed them "THE CH KITTY SOLDIERS"!
I put together a little slide show of just some of the CH kitties this past year who have been rescued or helped due to owners not affording their vet bills. Without your support these kitties would not have had a chance! Some of the kitties in the slide show passed away, which is sad but at least they did not suffer. They weren't alone and they felt loved, which is important!
I will do a similar slide show each month of other CH kitties rescued across the US and Canada, so you can see all the faces of our continual quest rescuing CH kitties and saving their lives. But in this month's slide show you will see some of the rescued kitties as well as volunteers and rescuers who have made a difference in the lives of CH kitties.
So with this, I thank everybody from the bottom of my heart for their continual support of our ongoing mission of saving these kitties' lives and spreading the word about CH kitties. They are my passion in life and I am so happy to see they are yours also!!!
(If you have trouble viewing the video in Internet Explorer, please try viewing in Firefox)
CH Kitty Advocate ************
A Memorial to Kim
Kim Daugherty will shine in our hearts forever!!
Kim Daugherty of Morro Bay California passed away on September 23, 2011 at the young age of 45. Kim was a wonderful woman of soul and spirit whose outreach of love and support to the rescue network and advocating for special needs dogs and cats not only locally but also accross the country will be sorely missed. She was always willing to do what she could, if not able to take and foster then by networking or donating to make a rescue of an animal in need, getting it to a safe situation and avoiding being euthanized. Her love, concern and support always went above and beyond, which made Kim loved and adored by many of us. Kim was always very comforting to other fellow special needs parents when their animals fell ill and crossed over. Her kind words and concern were so appreciated by those who were suffering from the loss of their fur children, and you could tell they found comfort in Kim.
There have been many, many comments about Kim's passing from the rescue and special needs community from around the globe. Kim's family is so amazed and comforted at what an impact she has made with many animals and people around the world.
From Brian Daugherty: "This is Brian, Kim's ex. I just wanted to say 'Thank You' to everyone for all of your kind words. Your thoughts and prayers are GREATLY appreciated. And thank you, for being so helpful in placing these kitties and dogs. Kim touched alot of lives and she will terribly missed."
We were immediately saddened by Brian Daugherty's phone call informing us that our friend, rescuer, and special needs advocate had passed. Kim had left instuctions concerning her fur family in the event anything should happen to her: call myself and Michele Hoffman of Milos Santcuary. Without hesitation Michele of Milos Santuary in LA, Ca. and I immediately flew into action for 11 cats and 2 dogs in Kim's care.
Naomi Conroy of Toni's Kitty Rescue in San Fransisco was first of the response force who swung into action to take Kim's recently 2 adopted boys Jordan and Jonah from the San Francisco Shelter in addition to a recent CH kitten Liza. Next, calling Cyndi Saxton with Purebreds Plus in Vacaville, Ca. where she immediately was ready to take Jackson the CH kitty and in addition take 3 of Kim's other kitties Prince, Annie and Blue Poot! This past Tuseday Naomi from Toni's Kitty Rescue drove down and picked up 7 of Kims kitties, meeting with Cyndi of Purbreds Plus where all of these 7 Kitties were placed in foster homes.
Discovering Kim had a diabetic Ragdoll kitty, I contacted Jennifer Jasensky who is also with Diabetic Cats In Need located in Connecticut. She immediately called Brian to obtain the medical information regarding Poughkeepsie. By Tuesday Poughkeepsie had an approved diabectic kitty adopter in Pennsylvania! Poughkeepsie will be flying October 1st to join his adoptive mom Dawn in Pennsylvania!!!! Thank you, Dawn!
This left two blind kitties, a black kitty and two dogs, one of which is on thyroid medication and allergy medication. Thursday, Milos Sanctuary is taking the two blind kitties Jasper and Bailey, a dog Harley and the black kitty Shady.
This leaves Jesse James, a Rat Terrier/ Chihuahua mix who is hypothyroid and has allergies! As of right now I have a perfect adopter for Jesse James in which I am coordinating right now! (LOOKS LIKE A GO!)
With this I know that Kim is smiling down on everyone and thanking all of you for helping her and her fur children. They were the most important part of her life, and getting them safe is top priority.
We love you Kim, and will miss you greatly but your light will shine on forever with the difference you have made in all of our lives!!
Here is a slide show tribute to Kim and photos of her Furbabies, where she lived, and her best friend Brian Daugherty.
Here is a Facebook page where you may leave your condolences.
There is an article that Kim wrote last month (September) about the recent adoption of her two CH kittens Jonah and Jordan:
Kim was very excited last month to learn that two of her kitties Persephone (aka Bailey) and Jaspurr are featured in the Milos Sanctuary Calender. In Kim's honor, please consider purchasing the Milos 2012 Calender which will help the support of rescue missions such as Kims fur babies.
Here are the 4 rescue groups who have helped place Kims 11 Kitties and two dogs When donating in memory of Kim please indicate her full name "Kim Daugherty". We dicussed this with Kim's family, and they thought this would be a wonderul way to celebrate Kim and to help financially support the care, transport and medical well being of Kim's beloved 13 furbabies.
Please help the CH Kitty Club website and newsletter with a small donation if possible!
CH Kitty of the Month...
Mr. Tardy Peebucket
A Candid Interview
Mr. Tardy Peebucket, President of the CH Kitty Club (and other things, I hear), how are you today?
I'm feeling great, I am getting up there in years, so I have slowed down some, but all in all, I'm a happy camper with a full and wonderful life. I am loved and spoiled, and I am famous!
Mr. Peebucket, how did your life start?
My life started as a puzzle, my first person had no idea what was wrong with me, and sadly, I was going to be euthanized by a stupid vet. Luckily, my mom heard about me, and she already had a CH kitty at home. She came and rescued me, and has been madly in love with me ever since.
Tardy, how did you start the CH Kitty Club?
Since I was so much more severe than Shiloh (my mom's first CH kitty) my mom decided to try to find other CH parents to chat with and compare notes. She spent every night searching the interwebz, and hanging out in AOL cat chat rooms, searching and searching. This was in 1997, and that's how it all started!
We hear you have had a new addition to your family, a little brother who also lives with CH, what has that been like for you?
That Ziggy is quite a handful, but I know how to deal with him! He respects me and keeps in his place. Mom and Dad have much more trouble with him than I do. I AM the President, after all... he best respect me!!
Mr. Tardy, do old cats learn new tricks?
Well, funny you should mention that! I surprised the poop out of mom the other day when she walked into my room and I was doing potty STANDING UP!!! First time ever! The idea just snuck up on me, and all of a sudden I was doing it! Although, I must say, it was nowhere as comfy as lying down to do it. I don't know if I'll do it again.
Mr. Peebucket, sir, what's it like being the President of Everything?
Well, it's quite a responsibility!! Luckily, I have lots of help! I have the Daddy Cat who keeps our website going, and what a wonderful website it is!! I have the Mommy Cat who oversees the Yahoo group, along with our dear, dear Tanja (who in turn has Martha helping her). (Where would you humans be without us?!) I also supervise this amazing newsletter, with the help of the Mommy Cat and ALL the people who write articles. We thank them ALL from the bottom of our hearts!! I also personally want to thank Debbie Martin and Lisa Beers Kirry, who run an amazing Facebook page dedicated to the rescue of CH cats, and Amanda Maurer for her wonderful blog: a great source for information and personal CH kitty experience!
Mr. President, what do vets need to know about CH?
Vets NEED to know that we are not damaged goods. We do NOT need to be KILLED! Yes, they kill us! They are not putting us out of our misery; we are not in misery. The terms euthanize, put down, put to sleep, they are meant to sound nicer, but it boils down to the fact that they are killing us. We want to live, you all know how happy we are, and how happy we make YOU. Please, tell all your vets, shelters, rescue groups, DO NOT kill us!!
Any last words, Mr. Tardy Peebucket?
Yes!! We may be different, but wouldn't the world be a boring place if everything was the same? Let's celebrate our differences!
Let us introduce you to.......
My husband and I love animals. Most of our pets are rescues in one way or another. In total we have 9 pets - three mutts we rescued from a local shelter (Bell, Ozzy and Houdini), one bearded dragon we adopted from my brother-in-law (Lizzie), one ball python (Midna), one lion head bunny we adopted from my cousin (Luna Lovebunny) and two fancy goldfish we just couldn't pass up one day at the pet store (Rocky and Bullwinkle), and of course, one CH kitty (Twitch). Twitch was rescued off a Wyoming farm in 2010, and was nursed back to health, along with his sister, by my sister-in-law. After 2 weeks of caring for him, she noticed a regression in his physical functioning, both in walking and in using the litter box and she became concerned. After a visit to the vet, she found out that he had CH and was told that he would never make it. In fact, the vet suggested putting him out of his "misery." Of course, she couldn't do it. After speaking with her over the phone, my husband and I decided to see for ourselves just how he was functioning. This was actually the second time we had seen him, but it was the first time we saw him with the full blown effects of CH. After letting him settle down in our room for a couple of hours (because the ride down from Wyoming was very stressful on a 3 week old kitten), I grabbed him, wrapped him in a blanket that smelled like my sister-in-law, and set him on my chest and we watched TV together in our living room. I was smitten. He curled up on top of me, rubbed his nose against my face, and I knew he was home. Now, he's a year and two months old, and he's definitely a handful, but he's a happy little handful. My hubby and I made the commitment to give him the best life possible, and we hope that we're doing right by him so far. After all, he, along with all animals in my opinion, definitely deserve to be loved and cared for.
Moose is white with black
This is Moose. He is almost two. He is a wonderful guy that wobbles a fair bit. He just gets up and keeps on going. He is really friendly and loves my other cat, a "normal" tuxedo, and two dogs. He gets rattled easily and then he really wobbles and goes sideways!
He is such a great guy. My other cat, Malcome, is from the SPCA, eight years ago. He is 18 lbs and a wonderful gentleman. He plays with Moose nicely, and seems to realize Moose is different. The dogs adore him. He loves them too. I don't know if it is related to the disease. But he is a wonderful addition to my family.
Princess has bonded with all of her cat siblings, and especially her father. John, who is a disabled veteran, feels that he and Princess share a great deal in common. He says her strength and courage help him through his own issues.
John calls her a "li'l guided missle" and says she "jumps with reckless abandon." Although she still displays many CH traits, such as head tremors
, hind legs that have a mind of their own, and general running and balancing issues, John said she has made vast improvements since he adopted her. He owes part of it to her new cat condo. He said her playing with it has helped build muscle in her legs, which has helped her balance and walking.
Riley Dean Iwamoto is an eight year old long-haired orange tabby. He lives with his mommy, granny, and uncle in the San Francisco Bay Area. His other roommates include a non-CH adopted brother and sister, a cockatiel, and a big silly poodle dog named Kip (who is blind and therefore can't always see where he's going!). Riley Dean has moderate to severe CH, but he still manages to be ruler of the house because he is clever and quite popular (and will pounce on you). He and his mommy both have the good fortune of being able to write articles for he CH Kitty Club newsletter. She writes "Meet the Parents," which he thinks is okay, and he writes the (infinitely superior, in his opinion) monthly masterpiece, "The World According to Riley Dean." Riley Dean is an avid traveler. He has been to Reno, Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Half Moon Bay. He loves going on vacations, walks, and to events in his stroller. He also loves sleeping in front of the TV. He will steal a noodle right off your plate if you let him. However, it will take him a little while, so be patient. :)
What can we say about Ziggy! He is with us for about a year now, we sure have had our ups and downs with him, he is such a fierce little guy. He has the CH temper in bucket loads!! It's taken a while to learn his signals, and ultimately we did decide to keep his nails trimmed real short. (for our protection). Now we can at least handle him and try to force feed him lots of love : ))
Since moving in he had doubled his weight, he was neutered before getting here (at a year and a half!) and he has calmed down quite a bit. I believe he's a happy little guy, and he really seems to be loving life! We love him!!!
Kewpie loves to sleep beside me at night. He is so sweet and lovable. He is so adorable when he bobs his head side to side while I'm scratching him. My left side is "his" spot. If any of my other kitties, get on the bed, they all know not to jump anywhere near Kewpie's side. If one of them do by accident, Kewpie's CH temper emerges, and he makes them regret that mistake. It's like sleeping with Dr Jeckle and Mr. Hyde! The only time he shows his temper is when somebody, cat or human, interupts his "mommy" time. =^..^=
CG and Ellie!
CG (right) and Ellie (left) are our special CH kitties. CG (Cary Grant) was my first experience with CH, and he's been so wonderful that I was inspired to write a blog about cerebellar hypoplasia. We recently adopted Ellie, who also has CH, as a companion for CG, and so far they're best buddies!
Teeter & Tremor!
Teeter and Tremor were two of the three kitties from Santa Barbara County that were in need of homes. They ended up getting adopted by a friend of mine. This friend ended up in the hospital and very ill, she had to move in with her parents whom are highly allergic to kitties. I have had both of the boys with me now since December 2010. Its looking like they will be here to stay, I have not heard from their mommy in months. Tremor is very mild and climbs anything and everything, his CH is mainly apparent when he runs or is scrambling to get away. He is a bit shy but is doing well here. Teeter is pretty moderate and literally teeters to and fro as he walks. Teeter is super affectionate and a very loving little cuddle bug; he loves all of the kitties and is a joy to have in our household. Sister Noel, petite little Noel is just a doll and loves to cuddle. I got little Noel as wee little one clinging to life, syringe feeding her for 6 weeks to keep her going. She was not affected by CH but she does have genes that must have been mutated. She is a whopping 3.6 lbs and the size of a 4-5 mo old kitten. I love her to pieces, and and I am so happy to have all three sibling together with me.
Pebbles was the second Ch kitty in our household. I had brought two feral cats over to a gal from another cat rescue for her to work with, and this darling little girl caught my eye amoungst the scattering of several feral cats when I entered her home. My mouth dropped and I ran over to her with an "Oh my Goodness!!! you have a beautiful CH girl." The gal had no idea what I was talking about or even why that cat was wobbly, but for me it was love at first sight. I was offered her as a trade for the feral, and of course I gladly accepted. I later found out that Pebbles (formerly Ophelia) was turned into a shelter by a shelter employee who'd had a baby - Pebbles was too much work. Her loss, my gain.
Lilly Grace - Adopted at 2 ½ yrs young, she is an amazing young lady with all of the grace and beauty of any kitty, even though she has severe CH and cannot walk. She is beautiful, sweet, playful, and stubborn, just like any lady should be. She taught herself how to use the grass for her litterbox needs. We spend time outside so she can stretch and pull herself around on the grass and one day she realized how easy it would be to go out there rather than on pee pads. No more slipping and getting dirty, she can dig her foot into the ground and pull herself up enough to stay clean and proper. She has carpeted tunnels, trees and condos as well as a new ramp to exercise on. She loves to play with the other kitties and is the alpha female of the house. One of eight kitties, she is the only CH.
I just had to share this photo with everyone of my little CH kitty, Shakey Pudding! Please don't be offended by this photo, my little CH girl loves her daddy a lot and follows me everywhere I go! This photo just how much she loves her daddy unconditionally, no matter what the situation is!
Proud daddy of Shakey Pudding
Bam Bam, the love of my life, He is the single reason I have so many of these sweet wobble little babies.
I have raised Bam Bam from just a few hours old. He was a tiny little white kitten at 3.2oz. One of the Animal Control Officers dropped him off at my home for me to care for on June 10, 2009. Bam was the best little baby one could ever ask for, so quiet and so good. I had to actually wake him up to feed him every 2 hours.
This baby was the the best of the best. It was around 3-4 weeks that I had added Bam Bam to a group of kittens that I had gotten in a week earlier, all close to the same age. I was noticing that little Bam was just not up and about like the others; he would try really hard to follow along and just flop. So worried Mommy brought him down to see the shelter doctor, and sure enough, possible CH. From there I was told he may never walk or be able to use the potty and most likely unadoptable. After lots of internet searching I pleaded with them to let me try, see how he progresses, and see how he does once he hits 2lbs., his adoptable weight. Bam did so well learning to walk, and we went down to the shelter every few days; they were so happy to see such progress. They just didn't feel he was adoptable, but I refused to even think about letting him go anywhere else. This boy is MINE! They ended up giving me Bam Bam and as funny as it is, when I bring him in to see everyone, I have to hunt him down. Employees grab my boy and can't wait to play with him and watch him walk. Bam is still a big hit after 2 years.
I found Dempsey here on the CH group. There were, I think, five kitties in the San Francisco area that were in need of homes. I replied and described my kids to the gal at the rescue and she asked that I take the most severe boy "Gin". Sight unseen I accepted and Gin was soon delivered to my door. What a blessing this little man is. He has his little quirks, but he is the most outgoing kitty I have. He greets everyone who comes through the door with such great energy, and he is so happy. He can bring the lowest person up in seconds. We call him Doodle; it fits him so well he does Doodle on the floor. We are still working to correct that problem. He loves to go on outings to Petsmart. It's fun watching him walk down the toy aisle in search of a new toy without a care in the world that EVERYONE is watching him. We just love him to pieces.
My older girl got pregnant....I wasnt smart enough to spay her yet. As she got furthur along she snuck out of the house, but she always came home. When she went into labor she had a very hard time, as her girls were coming breach. My daughter and I had to help her a lot, we even had to pull Lefty out of her as she was stuck. She seemed fine, so we helped the next one, Precious, out as well. Both girls appeared good until they got a bit older. At about two and half to three weeks old, we noticed Lefty was a lot smaller than her sister. Precious wasn't trying to walk like her sister either. So off to the vet we went. It almost broke my heart to find out about CH then. Precious also appeared to be blind, and Lefty had a cleft lip, hence her name. The vet didn't know much about CH, so he wasn't much help. The girls and I came home and I started reasearching CH...THANK GOD for CH Kitty Club. The group I met back then helped me a lot. I have had to adjust things a lot for Precious who still doesn't walk a lot and falls quite often, BUT isn't blind after all. I had to get her into a routine for the litterbox. Since she can't see well she doesn't go in far enough, so I help. Lefty had to be bottle fed for a while to help her grow more since her cleft didn't allow her to eat much. Other than her cleft lip (which got a lot smaller as she grew) she was a "normal" cat. Precious has gotten a bit lazy the last couple years, she is just over 9 years old. Lefty, sad to say, got a virus that everyone else had and didn't make it. My Lefty girl was so sweet, and I miss her bunches, and Precious does too, I think. They were very close. Well thats my girls' story, I hope you all enjoy it.
by Tammy Faith came to our home as a foster kitten from the Kentucky Humane Society when she was just 2 days old. By the time she was 4 weeks old it was apparent something was wrong. When she was diagnosed with CH, we decided then and there that she should become a permanent member of our family. In addition the the CH, she also had large umbilical and diaphramtic hernias which required extensive surgery to repair. Even through the surgeries and recovery, she remained happy and playful. I have never seen a cat with as much spirit as this one! Every morning she climbs on my bed, pats my face, and licks my nose as if to say "Get up Mom, it's a brand new day, and it's going to be great"! Words cannot begin to express how special this little cat is to me.
Grumpy was one of the kittens from Utah formerly known as Sudoku. Grumpy and his former family drove all the way from Utah to bring me this special bundle. This little guy is such a love bug, but is grumpy if you don't hold him the way he wants to be held, hence the name. Grumpy is a non walker, but I love him just the same. He gets special lap time and outdoor time with Mommy or Daddy. He has to be watched carefully so the others don't run over him and hurt him. Grumpy, even as a non walker has the best litter box habits of the household. This little man has never had an accident. I set Grumpy up in his very own special kitty cage so he is safe from all the other fur babies. He does get lots of play time on the floor but he has to be watched closely so he doesn't get trampled. My husband even made him his own special cart.
Wilhelmina Wiggles, my little Diva. I got Wilhelmina in November of 2010. I had been texting and emailing the gal from the group that I had adopted Doodle from. I was keeping her informed of his progress and sending her pictures all the time, which she loved. She asked me to take Mina and I couldn't refuse. I was getting emails and pics of her daily as she grew. She was actually dreading the day she had to give her up. Well, little Miss Mina ended up with ringworm 3 days prior to her trip, so we had to cancel the trip for yet another 8 weeks. She was worth the wait. She has a quirky little attitude. SHE is Daddy's little girl, and SHE gets to sleep in Daddys spot, and SHE gets to sit in Daddy's lap, and well that's my Diva. She has a personality all of her own but wouldn't it be boring if they were all the same? She does like to cuddle and would rather the other kitties just go away so she can have all the love to herself, but that's just not how we work here. Little Mina knows she is it and that's that. You can see in her picture she has her own little tortitude but I wouldn't change a thing about her, I love her just the same.
Hippa is a 10 year old tortie with very mild CH. She can short jump, climb, and generally walk with no real problems. She has a slight waddle and her back end tends to catch up to her front end when she runs. She is very, very sweet and very vocal. She LOVES to have her butt scratched!
Nanako is a one year old black kitten with moderate CH. She cannot jump or run, but is an expert climber. If she concentrates hard, she can walk all the way down the hallway without falling over - but the falls are normal for her and don't phase her a bit! She is a big cuddlebug and follows me around everywhere I go. Like her big sisfur, Nanako is also very vocal. She also has her very own facebook page
Jewel is 2 years old. She was found by someone and brought to the local Animal Shelter. The shelter has a good reputation and our local No Kill Humane Society in Ocean City, NJ had taken CH kitties from them a few times prior. The previous kittens had been adopted by shelter staff, and this one was in the office the day I came for a "Dog walking " training class. They opened the office and she basically rolled across the floor as best she could and landed at my feet. I was so taken by her, and a day later went back to ask about adoption. I took her on a "foster" basis, and wanted to see how she made out with the other cats I had and my dog. It was a perfect fit, and I knew all along she would be mine (although I know I disappointed someone else at the shelter who also wanted her). I live a busy life, working at an Amusement business which has slow times in the winter and long days in the summer. I enjoy travelling when I can, and taking long walks either in the park or on the beach. Total animals in my family are 7 dogs, 13 cats and a parrot...we are devoted animal lovers
(thankfully we live in 4 different houses!)
Happy 1st birthday to the best kitty newsletter in the world,
New Family Member...Ellie
Ellie was nothing short of an answer to a prayer.
CG, our 3-year-old with cerebellar hypoplasia, is an absolute joy. But as my husband and I began our new lives together, and CG became an only cat, we could tell that there were times when he felt lonely. We were on the fence about adopting another cat because CG relished the one-on-one attention he was getting; but if we'd leave for an evening or be gone during the day, we'd come home to a kitty aching for attention. It broke my heart.
So, as funny as it sounds, I prayed about it. I didn't want CG to feel replaced, but I didn't want him to feel neglected either.
Then the answer came. Three tiny kittens in Michigan needed to be adopted -- fast. Rumor was they were going to be euthanized, and since there was one little boy in the litter, we decided we'd adopt him as CG's little brother.
That's when things became interesting. In the days before we drove out to pick up the kitten, a few things became apparent. The kitties weren't going to be euthanized, rather the shelter was planning to move them to another shelter in a city where the kitties could be more easily adopted. We also learned our little boy was a girl.
At that moment, it was so obvious that this was definitely an answer to our prayers. Had the situation not been an emergency at the beginning, and if the kitten's sex had never been mixed-up, I don't know if we would have adopted her. But by that time we had invested so much emotionally, that we couldn't say no. Plus, everything happens for a reason.
We picked up Ellie the last week in August. She was 8 weeks old. She and CG are good buddies, and it's so wonderful to have the two of them.
Ellie has moderate CH right now. She can only take a few steps, if that, without falling down, and she has considerable head tremors. Our mostly hardwood apartment is a bit of a challenge for her, but she's making progress nicely as she learns to walk around slowly and deliberately. She sounds like a tap dancer as she moves across the floor, and it just takes a single look to make her melt into a ball of purrs.
If she wants something, she makes sure you know it by releasing a loud meow -- whether it's because she's hungry or if she thinks it's time to be picked up. She can be a bossy-pants at times, and it's adorable. This attitude has given her the courage to accomplish big things quickly, like climbing on to our bed and couch. I don't think anything could hold her back. Not even her CH.
She's absolutely the best addition to our family, and we're blessed to have her.
The World According to Riley Dean
No Tricks, Just Homemade TREATS!
By Riley Dean (with a little help from Mommy)
October means Halloween time, which for many kids (and kids at heart) means going door to
door to get candy, costume parties, and all kinds of treats. But who says they get to have all of
the fun? We kitties love treats, too! Occasional healthy treats for kitties can come from the store (Temptations are my personal favorites) or can be made at home. I myself enjoy the occasional little plate of shredded boiled chicken, low sodium broth and white rice.
With treat season rolling around at the end of this month, here are a couple of easy treats you can make at home to celebrate with YOUR kitty!
Cream Cheese and Shrimp Balls - no cooking needed!
(Makes two servings)
You will need:
1 ounce cream cheese, softened
6 baby shrimp (they come in a can in the tuna aisle)
Parsley, or a few blades of kitty grass if you have it.
Let the cream cheese stand in room temperature for a half hour. Put in a mixing bowl and mix till it is at a "spreadable" consistency. Fold in shrimp. Sprinkle in parsley, or chop up kitty grass and sprinkle it in. Roll into little half-inch balls and set on wax paper until you are ready to serve. For garnish, put an additional baby shrimp on top of formed cream cheese balls.
This also works with canned salmon or tuna instead of shrimp. It just depends what your kitty enjoys more!
For those who enjoy baking, here is a chicken treat that all the kitties in my house enjoy.
Homemade Baked Chicken Treats
(Makes 1 ½ dozen)
You will need:
¼ cup chicken broth
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
¾ cup white flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon soft margarine
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chicken, broth and margarine. To this mixture, add the
flour and cornmeal. Knead it all into a dough and roll into ¼ inch thick. Cut dough with a cookie
cutter (find a fun kitty-centric shape!) and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for twenty minutes.
Some kitties are of course pickier than others. These may or may not work for your finicky
friend. Still, hopefully you'll have fun making them, and your kitty will have a Halloween treat
(costume optional)! For more recipes, here are some cookbook suggestions:
The Kitty Treats Cookbook
by Michelle Bledsoe
The Kitty-Cat Cookbook: Special Occasion Recipes to Brighten Your Cat's Life
by Barbara Ellen Benson
Happy Halloween everybody! Stay safe, and make sure to keep your four-legged loved ones
indoors and calm on Halloween night.
by Janice Branwood
Hi there again, Summer is now a thing of the past and our Fall season is here. Seems like we like "Fall" the best since many of us have our share of falls, bounces, and stumbling. Our stories this month are just three but they always makes us smile to read them, knowing we too have similar experiences.
We start with the always popular Tardy (Lizzie and Neal) who attended a birthday party in July. He loves going to parties, so much excitement fun and food. This was Tardy's brothers party and it was HUGE....everyone there was excited. As Tardy arrived, he not only blew off his brother, but also passed by all of the guests and Mom and Dad, and went directly for the smorgasbord of food! As the party progressed so did Tardy, plate by plate. Mommy had put out 18 dishes of food and treats and he managed to partake from all of them. While the others purred to one another in amazement, he never stopped until the food was gone. Guess he could be considered the "life" of the party when it comes to eating. Mom will help him with social skills for his next party but just fair warning....hide the food!
Riley Dean (Kristie) is our other story boy this month. Riley loves to play Hide and Seek, and most times catches his prey. Riley's non CH siblings Gatsby and Abbey always are forgetting to check the corners before crossing. Almost all of the time Riley Dean jumps out and playfully goes for the attack...and they play sometimes a little rough until the fun is over. The best part though is when Gatsby and Abbey know what's coming and they totally mess up the big attack. At this point Riley Dean doesn't like to lose, and will lay on the floor and basically throw a temper tantrum because the surprise was blown. The biggest surprise yet is when Riley is all ready for the pounce, and who appears but Kip, his 22 pound blind brother dog! At this point Riley immediately shuffles backwards and runs double time to Mom or Grandma. He is a brave kitty with all but the dog, even though he doesn't know that Kip really can't see him anyway.
Lastly, I'll add a small story about Jewel and our newest member to the family (non CH) Cowboy. Most times, new additions take alot of getting used to by all of the other siblings. Our house is no different, and all but Jewel welcomes him. She takes every chance she can to jump at him, hiss at him, and flop on him. Cowboy doesn't really seem to understand the flip flops happening. What I have noticed most is Jewel's desire to be with me more now that Cowboy has arrived. Her best accomplishment yet is the flying leap for the couch to be next to me before Cowboy. Its amazing to see her little brain trying to set herself before the big jump. Most times she makes the corner of the couch and then claws her way on to rest next to me. Although I cringe with the claws, I always seem to marvel at what she can do now.
We all watch our fur babies do what many will say can't be done. Time after time we are amazed and enlightened by their ability and drive to be more than just "special". Until next month....Happy Fall to all Fuzzy Tales!!
by Amanda Maurer
There's a new cerebellar hypoplasia blog in town!
Some of you may be familiar with my old blog, Life with Cerebellar Hypoplasia , which I started three years ago when I adopted CG. It's been a wonderful experience, and I've met so many of you and your CH kitties -- but the other day it dawned on me that the blog could be so much more!
So I'm starting from scratch! It's still a work in progress, but you can now find me blogging at Life with CH Cats . It's basically the next generation of my last blog, and thanks to a new platform and now knowing all of you, I'm excited to make this blog shine. I'm hoping that by continuing to build a better blog, more readers will learn about CH and the CH Kitty Club, and they will open their hearts and homes to a special needs cat!
On the blog you'll find best practices and need-to-know info on CH (separated by category so it's easy to find!), adoptable CH cat resources, readers' stories and more. If you'd like to contribute CH tips, stories or advice, please feel free to email me at: email@example.com.
gathered by Debbie Martin
2 CH Kitties need new home or rescue desperately in Connecticut!!!!
Mojo and Wobols. Here are two pictures so far, I have a bunch more but switched computers and lost some during the switch unfortunately so I am trying to see if I can relocate those. You may wonder why Mojo is wearing a sweater -- well, he has long soft beautiful fur that gets horrible mats if it gets too long, so every 6 months he gets a haircut. The first couple weeks (in the fall and spring) he wears his sweater so he doesn't get cold. The second picture is the two of them snuggled up together, which they do quite often. They are VERYattached to each other so I would prefer them to stay together. They are both super friendly. Both tolerate dogs very well, although Mojo really likes dogs and will go out of his way to be near them. We lived with a Great Dane for a while that was Mojo's buddy, and the two slept together quite often.
Wobols - Approximately 5 years old. He gets around well, although he seems to have trouble with his back legs, but can walk and 'jog'. He uses a litter box, although a box with higher walls (such as a covered box) is best for him as he has to lie down to relieve himself and occasionally (very rarely) will overshoot the wall of a low box. He is neutered, and is due to go in shortly for his yearly exam so that will be taken care of before he goes anywhere. I don't know if he has ever had a combo test. I adopted him when he was a year old and that wasn't mentioned to me. He is very friendly and loveable, a little shy at first when it comes to meeting people or animals but he warms up very quickly. He likes dogs once he gets to know them, but has no trouble at all letting them know if they are too close to him.
Mojo - Approximately 3 years old. He also gets around well. He seems to have trouble with his front legs but he has no trouble gettting around. He can walk, run, and climb onto furniture. He has no trouble using a litter box at all. He is also neutered, and is also due to go in for his yearly exam very soon. (but at this time both cats are up to date with all shots) . I also am not aware of him having a combo test. He is super friendly, loves everyone and loves to play. He loves dogs, and sometimes seems to prefer their company over people or Wobols. He loves to be picked up, and will literally just go limp in your arms when you carry him -- sort of like a ragdoll.
They are not siblings. And the reason why I will need to find another location for the cats is due to the economy, two of my family members will be coming to live with me for an extended period of time ( at least 2 years) and one of them is extremely allergic to cats. Unfortunately I live in a 1200 SF 2 bedroom condo - so there isn't alot of room to separate the people from the cats. :-(
I would definitely give a donation to any rescue group that wound up taking them, although I would prefer to keep them here until my family moves in (rather than put them in a strange place.) We are still working on the timing of the move, but it will most likely be in the next couple of months. And my boys will NEVER be put in danger, I am very protective of these two and would never put them in a situation where that could occur.
Please Contact Kris
Wee, CH Kitty in Indianapolis, Indiana Needs a Home!!!!!
My husband and I still haven't found a new forever home for our 4 year old CH kitty. Wee is female all white Persian mix. She has been spayed. Her CH really only effects her back legs but she gets around well and can eat on her own. She can use the potty too but occasionally misses. She loves to sit on a lap and cuddle. We are from Indiana but if someone is interested we are willing to drive her out of state to meet you. She will come with her booda litter box.
If you have any questions please email at
THREE CH KITTIES FOR ADOPTION IN BRIDGEWATER, NEW JERSEY!
Weebles is 1 year now. He is great with cats and dogs (he thinks his mom is a Cairn Terrier and we call him "her puppy"). He is moderately affected. He has limited jumping ability and can't do steps. He can move pretty well and when he does his version of running he is hard to catch.
Andy is about 3 months old now. He was thrown out of a car in Queens, NY. The vet believes his neurological issues are CH and not related to the car incident. In fact, it's thought maybe that's why they did it. He is mildly affected. He is brown tabby and white.
Sadie is a black and white tuxedo kitten about 9 weeks old. I believe she is modetately affected but also still pretty young. She is petite. She was left in the parking lot of a Petsmart in a big dog crate with her mom, 3 siblings and 2 other cats. The white fur on the cats were stained yellow. They had no fleas, ticks, or mud. We think whomever left them had them inside but not in great conditions.
The cats are with Lost Paws Animal Rescue in Bridgewater, NJ
Please Contact Lyn via email for more information on these 3 CH Kitties ! firstname.lastname@example.org
2 CH KITTIES ARE STILL IN DESPERATE NEED OF RESCUE GROUP OR ADOPTION IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK!!!!!!!
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 devastated, 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
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.
PLEASE CONTACT VICTORIA IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!
|Meet the Parents...Mandi and CJ!|
By Kristie (Riley Dean's Mommy)
"There is absolutely no need to put down a cat or kitten with CH. They live a normal, happy, and
healthy life just as any other cat would."
Truer words have never been spoken. In this case, they've been spoken by Amanda Taylor
(Mandi), mommy of CH kitty CJ. In fact Mandi, who lives in Auburn, PA, would like to one day
start a rescue or shelter devoted to special CH-ers. "Raising awareness for the condition is so crucial."
CJ was found on the streets by Mandi's co-workers when he was only about three or four weeks old. "I thought that his constant shaking and balance issues were due to the fact that he was a newborn," Mandi explains. "However, I took him to the vet as soon as possible for an upper respiratory and overall checkup. They told me that he was either 'bobbling' because he was so young, or that it was because he had cerebellar hypoplasia." They explained the condition to her, "which actually calmed me down. I was afraid it could have been something life threatening. Thankfully, it was CH, which is simply an adjustment that had to be made to his (and my) everyday life."
CJ, an orange medium haired domestic, will be turning three on October 1st of this year (Happy Birthday, CJ!). Since CJ has come along, Mandi has accommodated him with "basically lots of padded areas and supported structures!" As far as modifications, she says, "I try to keep sharp corners padded. I buy furniture that doesn't have a hard base to it. I've also invested in a little litter box house that really supports him when he is using the potty."
Mandi believes that CJ, like so many of our babies, has been able to compensate and become more coordinated as he's grown: "At first, he fell with almost every step. Now, he is able to run (although it is somewhat sideways) and walk relatively normal with a few tumbles here and there." She laughs. "He bobbles around the house like he owns it!"
CJ is also a lot of fun to have around. "He loves laser pointers, so he animatedly chases it around, falls, gets back up, and chases it some more! He is so animated in everything he does, which just makes my heart melt every time!"
Currently, Mandi and CJ live with one dog (Aussie), two non-CH kitties (Isabella and Smidgen), and a chinchilla named Winston. Mandi looks forward to getting her own place with her fiancé Justin and expanding her CH kitty family.
I asked Mandi what advice she has for new CH kitty owners.
"The advice I would give is to first of all, devote a large part of your life and yourself to your
CH kitty. Sure they are cute, but you need to be able to give them the special care and attention
that they absolutely need. Depending on the severity of their CH, they are dependent on their caregivers to help them with things that aren't so easy for them."
This is no problem at all for Mandi. She considers CJ to be her child, and she would do anything for him. "I'm so grateful he came into my life. I've noticed CH kitties are the most friendly, sweet kitties that you can get. I get cuddled every day by my little man."
"So, if you can handle all of the responsibilities, be prepared to fall in love!"
Notes From Tanja
When I started my research about Cerebellar Hypoplasia and neurological disorders, I met Crystal and her cat, Moki Fogg. Ever since, if I have a question or doubt, I ask Crystal for help.
We had pleasure to learn about Panleukopenia, Cerebellar Hypoplasia and about 'neurological history' from her (see Notes From Tanja in our CH Kitty Club Newsletters Issues #4 thru #8).
I can only hope that Crystal will continue to share her valuable knowledge with us.
Time has come to meet them both.
Before that, I have two more things to add:
A: Moki and Crystal would like to invite all CH Kitty Club members to attend Facebook Event
Friday, October 7 · 1:00pm - 2:00 PM pacific time.
It is a very special one hour question and answer session with one of Moki's physical rehabilitation specialists, Krista, from Scout's House.
Also, Lisa from Scout's Fund will be answering questions about the new Scout's Fund non-profit and how it will provide an invaluable service to disabled animals by helping to underwrite the cost of small animal physical rehabilitation. It is a great opportunity to speak directly with a small animal physical rehabilitation specialist for those who do not live close to one. It is also an amazing opportunity for rescues and shelter groups to familiarize themselves with small animal physical rehabilitation and to learn all about the up and coming fund (Scout's Fund) which is being built to help rescues and shelter groups, as well as low income individuals, afford such services.
'Who are Moki Fogg and Crystal Fogg?'
Perhaps you have heard of him, Moki the wobbly cat? A cat who wobbles but doesn't exactly have cerebellar hypoplasia. What's up with that, you might be asking yourself? How can a cat wobbly and not have CH? What exactly is going on here? If Moki doesn't have CH then why is he called a wobbly cat, what exactly is he doing here and who is Crystal and what does she have to do with it all?
Let's start from the beginning. When Moki was just a wee little baby, he was brought into a feline only, no kill shelter, were his future mom Crystal volunteered. Crystal spent 4 hours a day; five days a week at the shelter helping to keep the shelter clean and medicate all of the cats. When she first saw Moki she fell in love with him but was hesitant to take him home on a foster basis because she and her then-boyfriend already owned seven cats.
However as the days moved on and the shelter struggled to find a foster home for Moki that
was equipped to socialize him and break him of his feral ways, she eventually gave in and decided to bring Moki home on a foster only basis.
Of course she had already discussed this with her then-boyfriend who was fine with the idea.
The boyfriend fell in love with Moki the moment Crystal brought Moki home and Moki fell in love with the boyfriend as well. The two bonded almost instantly, almost as if Moki had never been feral at all. In the days that followed Moki readily found his place in the house and the only other male cat which resided there, Orange Boy, quickly took Moki under his wing. The two became one inseparable force. All was not well however. Within a matter of a couple of weeks, Moki fell sick. At first it appeared to be nothing more than a slight upper respiratory infection, but as the days marched on Moki got worse, much worse. He was treated by the shelter's vet, and then Crystal's private vet, but nothing seemed to help. Eventually he was hospitalized. The original hospital could not make heads or tails of what was going on and they did not think that Moki was going to make it through the night so they suggested he be moved to the shelter's emergency vet.
Moki prior to being admitted to the ER
With such a poor prognosis, the shelter did not have the money to spend on Moki's emergency medical care, so Crystal worked out a deal with them. She would cover any and all of the costs occurred at the emergency vet and if Moki pulled through this, she would adopt him. Crystal then picked Moki up at the regular vet and drove him to the emergency vet. By the time she got there Moki's body was limp and lifeless. The emergency room vets told Crystal that Moki would most likely not make it through the night and they suggested that she say her goodbyes to him.
Moki wasn't ready to give up however, as Crystal began to make her peace with Moki and handed him over to the vet, Moki used all of his strength to reach his paw out across the table towards Crystal as if to say don't give up on me just yet. It was with that that Crystal insisted that a blood transfusion be given to Moki in hopes of passing along a passive immunity which could protect Moki just long enough for the vets to find a medication which could be used to treat him and for that medication to kick in. At first the vets refused to do so. They ordered a parvo snap test, but it came back negative, and at that point they sent mom Crystal home and told her that they would call her if anything changed.
Moki continued to decline during the first couple of hours he was under the care of the emergency room vets. When he was brought into the ER, his WBC (white blood cell count) had already fallen to 0.7, a count which should have left him dead. So by 12:00 that night with no signs of improvement, the ER vet decided to call Crystal to let her know that they were going to go ahead with the blood transfusion. It was a long restless night and Crystal was filled with dread when the phone rang the following morning. A new ER doctor had come on shift and the new doctor wanted to know if Crystal could come down to identify Moki. The doctor was holding Moki's medical file, but the
symptoms reported in the chart did not match what she was observing in the cat whose kennel was labeled Moki in the quarantine room. The doctor wondered if maybe someone in haste had mixed the charts up and she needed me to come in a verify that Moki was indeed the cat she was looking at.
Sure enough it was Moki. His eyes were bright and alert and he looked nothing like the cat, or rather shall I say kitten, she had brought in the night before. While Moki recovered from his initial bout of illness it was not without severe side effects. Moki had a major head tremor and the ER vet said that Moki would most likely never be able to sit up on his own again or walk. While they had been able to get Moki to eat on his own again, it was only with a great deal of effort and a plate of food had to be held up to his face. After a few more days in the ER they finally released him and informed Crystal upon his release that Moki was suffering from a condition known as cerebellar hypoplasia.
Crystal knew little about cerebellar hypoplasia at the time, this was way back in July of 2007, within a matter of days of the "This is Charley," video first being posted on Youtube. (This was before the video had gained popularity.)
Unfortunately back then cerebellar hypoplasia was a diagnosis which was handed out like candy by regular vets who lacked the specialized training needed to properly diagnose cats suffering from neurological conditions. (This
continues to be a problem in veterinary medicine today amongst many non-specialized vets.) However since Crystal lacked knowledge about CH she readily accepted the vets diagnosis but disagreed with the vets assessment that Moki would never sit up or walk on his own again. Crystal felt that it was really too early for that to be seen, so she decided to take Moki home and give him a chance.
Within a matter of days to the vets surprise, Moki was eating out of a dish on his own, sitting up and walking, although be it not perfectly. His head still tremored a great deal and Moki lacked coordination and readily fell over on his side with every couple of step that he took. You can see two videos shot of Moki in the early days by clicking on the following links:
Moki walking in July
As time marched on Moki continued to improve. He learned to walk across a carpeted room while rarely falling over on his side, and his head tremors slowly disappeared when he was at rest. (To this day, his head continues to tremor ever so slightly when he gets excited, but for the most part the tremors are gone.) All was not well however. The virus which originally made Moki sick soon resurfaced. Crystal's private vet tried numerous antibiotics to control the virus the second time around but nothing worked. The private vet feared that Moki might in fact have FIP so he referred Crystal and Moki to UC Davis, since he knew that they were better equipped to handle a cat in Moki's condition.
Moki and Crystal scheduled an appointment to see a regular vet at UC Davis for further assessment of Moki's condition. The regular vet conducted a number of tests in order to rule out FIP and liver disease. She then referred Moki to one of UC Davis's neurologists for further assessment of Moki's neurological condition. The neurologist conducted a physical examination and was unable to determine the cause of Moki's condition. He therefore suggested that one of two things be done. First we could either continue to monitor Moki and his condition and pray that he didn't get worse, or second we could run an MRI and CSF tap on Moki and try to figure out what was actually going on. We opted for the MRI and CSF Tap. It would take us a few months to raise the money and another month to actually find an opening on their schedule.
In the meantime Moki continued to get sick. The ER vet who had originally treated Moki had prescribed Tamiflu for Moki and this seemed to have helped a great deal so Crystal suggested that Moki's private vet give it try and it
worked, they were seeing results, the virus was going away but not the neurological condition, although no one understood why. (Amazingly, vets would later start to use Tamiflu to treat both the parvo and panleukopenia virus, and many would find that Tamiflu was quite successful in treating these viruses if administered early enough in the course of the illness.)
Eventually the time came for Moki to get his MRI and CSF tap, and Crystal was walking on pins and needles since Moki had to be put under anesthesia. She was walking on pins and needles since no one knew if Moki would actually wake up from the anesthesia. It was a huge risk but one which needed to be taken if we were going to help Moki. Fortunately UC Davis had a ton of experience in conducting these kinds of tests and the tests went off without a hitch. The neurologist at UC Davis soon called Crystal to tell her that Moki was awake. He also wanted to inform her that he had scheduled to have Moki seen by one of UC Davis's orthopedic surgeons while Moki was there. (Due to the nature of the MRI and CSF tap procedure, Moki had to spend
the night at UC Davis and the neurologist was able to squeeze Moki into the orthopedic surgeon's schedule during this time.)
It took awhile to get the results back from the MRI and the CSF tap, but for the most part, they came back clear. Moki had a very slightly underdeveloped cerebellum but not underdeveloped enough to see the kind of neurological damage they were seeing. The orthopedic surgeon had never seen anything like Moki's orthopedic problems before so he wanted to consult with a doctor at the Shriner's Children's Hospital to see if anything had ever been seen like this in humans. As for the neurologist, he also originally concluded that Moki had cerebeller hypoplasia. It wasn't until Crystal went back and pointed out that Moki was born normal and didn't develop his neurological condition until well after the period in which his cerebellum would have been fully developed that the neurologist realized that someone had forgot to make a note of such in Moki's medical file. At this point the neurologist was stumped, so he consulted with the other neurologists on his team, who in the end were equally as baffled by Moki's condition. The neurologist thus decided to send Moki's case out to a degenerative disease researcher to see if the researcher had ever seen or heard of anything like this occurring in a cat.
As for the orthopedic surgeon, he advised us to start Moki on a course of physical rehabilitation while they continued to research Moki's orthopedic problems. Thus Moki began his first round of physical rehabilitation at a small rehab center in San Jose, CA. Over the years the virus which originally attacked Moki would continue to come and go. Each time however Tamiflu would be used and would successfully send the virus back into remission. Each time the virus resurfaced, it would not only present itself with all of its old symptoms, but would also attack Moki in new and various ways. At one point this would lead Moki to have to discontinue physical rehab, and by the time he was well enough to return the rehab center he originally went to, they had gone out of business. Crystal and Moki thus had to find a new rehab center, and ended up finding an amazing one in Scout's House which is located in Menlo Park, CA.
Over the years Crystal would also take it upon herself to enroll in classes which would help her to better understand Moki and his condition. In order to fight this thing, Crystal knew that she needed to have a better understanding of
biological concepts and testing procedures. She would also need to understand chemistry. She therefore set about enrolling in cell and molecular biology courses, animal biology, microbiology, virology, general chemistry, etc., all of which would teach her the basics of what she needed to know to fight this thing. She would also set out on a campaign to help educate others about animals living with neurological disorders. She would do this in large part by sharing Moki's story.
As time moved on Crystal began to form new relationships with people and as a result, in addition to educating people about the neurological conditions which exist in animals, she would begin to educate people about alternative and complimentary veterinary medicine as well. She would be amongst the very first people in the U.S. to post small animal hydrotherapy videos on YouTube.
Currently she is consulting for the first non-profit fund in the U.S., Scout's Fund, whose aim is to underwrite the cost of physical rehabilitation for disabled animals. She is working directly with Scout's Fund to help grow the fund so that it can be opened up to all animals residing in the U.S., so that no animal in the U.S. will ever have to go without physical rehabilitative care simply because their owner, shelter, or rescue group cannot afford it. (While the fund is not quite there yet, you can expect that such services will be available at some point in the near future.)
In closing, Moki is referred to as a wobbly cat because in many ways his condition is quite similar to that which is found in cerebellar hypoplasia cats, so similar in fact, that he originally fooled many vets into thinking that he had CH. (We later noted that Moki's neurological condition developed shortly after he received his first and only FRVCP vaccination from the shelter. This could be coincidental or it could be directly related, the vets have yet to determine that.) However Moki's condition is also very dissimilar from CH, in that Moki requires a great deal more care than cerebellar Hypoplasia cats, with daily sub-Q fluids, occasional Tamiflu, weekly physical rehabilitation and bi-weekly acupuncture all being part of his care.
With that all said, we write from time to time for the CH Kitty Club newsletter simply because we know how easy it is for animals like Moki to be misdiagnosed with cerebellar hypoplasia, with such misdiagnosis' occurring occasionally, even at the hands of highly trained specialists. We therefore believe that it is extremely important for people owning animals with neurological conditions, shelters, and rescue groups to understand these conditions, to be informed and armed with the knowledge they need to help their vets properly assess these animals and to question such assessments if and when things don't add up.
|THE STORY OF MAY
HALTEMANS HAVEN IN MESQUITE TEXAS
May's story began four months ago, when barely three weeks old, this tiny dilute tortie kitten was brought to a medical facility. The veterinarian called in Keli, one of the vet techs, asking her "Have you ever seen something like this?" She placed the kitten on the examining table. May promptly fell over, lurched to the right, then flipped off the table. Keli caught her in mid fall. "I lifted her up to my face and she reached out to me and started to purr."
The veterinarian examined her, did lab work, made several phone calls to a neurologist to discuss her symptoms and she was diagnosed with Cerebellar Hypoplasia, or CH for short. It is a neurologic disorder where the animal cannot stand, cannot walk and in extreme cases, cannot perform daily functions on its own. The medical team made the decision to euthanize.
That's where Keli stepped in. Her rescue organization takes in the sick, the injured and the ones no one else will. She scooped her up and said "I will take her...let me try...please!" They signed May over to Keli's care and their journey began.
The first question that came to mind - how to help this kitten live as normal a life as possible? Keli fashioned a $7 clear storage tub for a bed. She drilled 3/4" holes for air and visibility. It is an easy way to transport May in this make shift carrier and goes everywhere with Keli, even to work.
The vet said Miss May needed therapy. The challenge was to get her up and walking, but how? Keli drove to Lowes and walked through every aisle - build a wooden frame? a hammock? Then it hit her, PVC. She purchased PVC pipes and casters. How could she suspend May in this man-made "walker"? To Petmart she went to look at jackets/coats. The life preservers were the perfect answer. They can be changed out as she grows. She can stay upright in this contraption and she now has the freedom to run and play in her walker. When not in her walker, May is placed in a Pack N Play, where she is safe and can see the activities around her.
Two months ago May came down with a high fever and was extremely sick. She was admitted to the clinic. Her fever spiked to 106.6. She was unresponsive to any IV antibiotics. Keli was frantic, the veterinary staff very concerned when as a last resort, Antirobe was tried. It worked! May was on the antibiotic for four weeks. She is again healthy. What a fighter!
May is now old enough to be spayed. Cats with CH can crash easily because their brains react differently to the anesthesia. The surgery will cost double, if not triple, the regular fee. May has been an expensive rescue, and Keli is now asking to please help her with the next veterinary expenditures. Keli says "May is so happy. She is the light of my life, so sweet. She has no idea she is different. She eats, she plays and she runs with the other cats." I think we can all agree that May deserves our help. With her personality and her spirit shining through, how could we let her down?
Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH or Spasticity) causes jerky movements,tremors and generally uncoordinated movements. The animal has trouble walking and often falls down. The cause may be a viral or a bacterial infection such as panleukopenia or feline distemper while in utero. The disease can also be due to malnutrition, poisoning, injuries or random developmental problem to the fetus. CH is usually seen in kittens born to feral, stray or unvaccinated cats or on rarer occasions, to mothers vaccinated while pregnant.
The disease does not get better or worse with age. May will learn to compensate for her handicap and should have a normal lifespan. CH cats do everything other cats do and are extremely independent. With their caregivers watching out for their inevitable accidents, CH cats can enjoy a good quality life. To May! May she live a full life!
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN GIVING MAY A HOME PLEASE CONTACT KELLI AT
|A HAPPY STORY OF TWO LUCKY CH KITTIES |
From Cattery Manager at 'The Little Shelter' in Huntington, NY
by Raeanne Citera
These two wonderful CH kittens made their way to The Little Shelter in Huntington, NY where I am the cattery manager. We knew at first they were a bit different but we did not know they were CH kittens. They were very sick and Ca$h (the white kitten) was being fostered by me and was not eating on his own. For four weeks I was up with him about every 2-3 hours to ensure he got as much food as he was able to consume, with my help of course. He is now a very strong boy and is very happy to be with his sister Henrietta who is also a CH kitty. Henrietta came to the shelter with her mom and siblings. She was the smallest and the weakest and had trouble fighting off the simplest cold. I took her home and did my best to care for her and help her overcome her cold, eye issues and her ringworm. This poor baby is a wobbly girl and when she runs up the steps, she takes them 3 steps at a time and seems to fly through the air! She is now healthy and happy.
I am one of the lucky ones to know how wonderful these little ones are...
This was my poor, sick Ca$h the day after he was found so sick.
It is hard to imagine my Ca$h almost did not make it, he was a very sick little boy that had to be hand fed every 2 hours for more than a month. This picture brings me back to reality, I love you little man!!!!
CJ October 1, 2008
CJ is my October miracle! CJ likes to celebrate with mommy and daddy. I've discovered that he does not like balloons! His second birthday had a dozen orange and yellow balloons, and he did not like them one bit! However, he did like that mommy and daddy and some friends got to enjoy cake in his honor! He also enjoys the presents he recieves, as well as the love and attention! His birthday was estimated by the doctors, so the actual date is uncertain. However, he seems content to celebrate the first of October. He will be three this year!
The CH Family Dynamics
by Elise Murphy
Meet the Green family!
Humans: 3 - Melissa (Missy), Jonathan (13 years old), and Jason (11 years old)
Cats: 8 - Fiona (Fifi/1yr/female/half-blind), Effie (1yr/female/ CH), Lavinia (Lovey/1yr/female/CH), Tiger (2yrs/male), Trouble (1.5yrs/male), Buddy (16yrs/male), Smokey (9+yrs/male), Mongo (9-10yrs/male)
Dogs: 3 - Princess (9-10yrs/female/yellow Lab), Tito (6yrs/male/black Lab-Rottweiler mix), Cookie (7yrs/female/Border Collie mix)
Overall interactions: Semi-separate, peaceful.
At the Green house, there are three separate 'gangs': the indoor-only "girls club" consisting of Fifi, Effie, and Lovey, the indoor/outdoor "young rake club" of Tiger and Trouble, and the "old-man, fat-cat, front porch kitty committee" of Buddy, Smokey, and Mongo. For the most part, the animals have their own little areas and stick to them. The dogs tend to interact more with each other than with the cats. The old-man, fat-cats don't like to come inside often, preferring to hang out on the front porch and watch the world go by. The young rakes will bother and interact with any and all of the others.
Tito and Princess are very close, since before coming to Missy, Tito lived right down the road. He would sometimes get loose and run over to their house to be with Princess, who they think reminded him of his mommy. When Missy discovered that he had been turned over to Animal Control, she immediately went and rescued him. Since then, he has been very close to Princess. Princess and Tiger are also really close, despite being of different species. When Tiger was rescued at only three weeks old, he had to be bottle fed. Shortly after meeting him, Princess went into false pregnancy, started lactating, and nursed him. He still sometimes tries to dry nurse off of her, although Princess now has terminal skin cancer and as it has worsened, he seems less and less interested.
Effie and Lovey, the CH kitties, are best friends with Fifi. Additionally, Effie has claimed Jonathan and Lovey has claimed Jason, Missy's human sons!
Sibling Stats: Effie and Lovey are sisters
CH Kitty Additions:
When Effie and Lovey were added to the family, it took less than one day before Fifi had picked Effie to be her bestest friend in the world, and since Fifi runs the house, the rest of the world just fell in line. Only one cat, Tiger, will sometimes hiss at Effie...he never hisses at Lovey, though.
The most recent addition into Missy's family was Cookie the dog, however. Cookie had issues with running away and chasing cats, and she did chase the Green cats a little in the beginning. After 3-4 weeks, Trouble decided to defy her and not run. Instead, he walked up to her and rubbed up against her - the look on Cookie's face was priceless, and she's since stopped chasing cats altogether!
How they help each other:
Fifi and Effie will play together often, but they don't really help each other with anything. However, when CH kitty angel Otter was alive, he would sit beside Tito and lean against him for support. Tito would not move, but would always give Missy a look like he was just enduring so much!
One of the things that Missy has learned through her years of rescuing pets is that as long as animals are not physically harming each other it is often best to let them sort out their own relationships. If two pets don't really get along, they will often come to an agreement among themselves to just leave each other alone.
Bye Bye everyone!
Hope you loved this month's newsletter, we love making it happen!!!
See you all next month!!
Mommy and Daddy's Little Demon
A PurrFect Face
President of Brothers
Founder of the CH Kitty Club
Editor and Best Daddy Cat
We would like to thank everyone who helps put this newsletter together every month!!!