CH Kitty Club Newsletter
January 2012 Issue #16
Wow, a new year, and what a year it will be, the END OF THE WORLD! Well, that should be exciting!! Wonder what the end will be like, hopefully not as stinky as my end : ))
We here at the CH Kitty Club hope you all had a wonderful holiday and a great new year!!! (Watch for those asteroids!!!)
And remember, we offer these wonderful CH Kitty pins when you make a donation to the CH Kitty Club. That helps us keep things rolling! It helps the newsletter and the website. Donate if you can; every little bit helps!
Tardy Peebucket...President of Stray Asteroids
$5.00 will get you the button : ))
|CH Kitty of the Month...
by Catherine Paciotti
Dotty Paciotti's First Year Last winter, my beloved 12-year-old cat Miss Moppet died because of a kidney disease. By February, I really badly missed having a cat around the house. There were very few kittens to be found at that time of the year, but one day my aunt Mary called and said the Humane Society (which was right near her home) had several, so I grabbed the pet carrier and drove as fast as I could and met her there. We looked at all the kittens and cats, but none of them seemed right. I was really drawn to this grey and white one that was looking right at me from her plexiglass cage--she looked like she had a hairdo that was parted in the middle, and she was trying to communicate with me. So I put in a request to see her.
I was so excited to see the kitten, that I didn't even notice her wobbly walk or her bobbing head. I was playing with her, and she was playing with me. I picked her up and talked to her, and she purred loudly. I put her down and wiggled the string they gave me, and she chased after it and tried to follow it. She was so cute. Then three of the ladies were in the room with us, and one of them handed me a sheet of paper that said ATAXIA at the top of it. "It's like Cerebral Palsy" she said. I read: "An inability to coordinate voluntary muscular movements that is symptomatic of some nervous disorders." There was something wrong with this kitten--I watched her walk--she did wobble around and trip over herself, and her head shook when she sniffed at things. But I already liked this kitten, and she liked me. The woman was saying, "They live a normal lifespan. There's nothing wrong with their minds, they aren't mentally retarded, and they don't get any worse." I picked her up and kept playing with her. My aunt Mary asked me if I wanted to look at a normal kitten. I said no. I liked this one. She needed a good home too. I tried to read the rest of the writing on the sheet of paper. Cerebellar Hypoplasia. Poor coordination, head tremors, poor perception, varying degrees of severity. Nobody was going to adopt this kitten. I really wanted her! She was beautiful, and she was responding to me so well. "I'll take her," I said. I hoped I was making the right decision.
So I got her home, and I put her in the den and shut the two doors, and I spent the next three nights and days in there with her. I stuffed towels in the crack between the couch and the wall, and I got rid of anything that could hurt her. She used the litterbox, and she got kitty litter all over the room. She knocked over her waterbowl, I finally put it in a coffeecup. She was a little dynamo. She played with everything! As far as she knew, this room was the whole universe. I've had cats all my life, but I never worried over one as much as I did over little Dotty. I kept her in that room for two weeks.
Once she got the run of the main floor of the house, which has wood floors and throw rugs, I had to deal with her climbing the furniture and, more importantly, jumping off of it. She doesn't land on her feet, she lands with her hind legs splayed out, so she's landing on her pelvis, or her sternum, and sometimes makes a terrible <SPLAT> sound when she lands. But as awful as it sounds, she's always been okay. I have found though that as she's gotten older, she's gotten better at landing. She actually pauses and thinks before she jumps off of things, and she jumps more carefully.
Something she's developed that's kind of amazing is an endearing way of jumping up onto things like the couch or the bed, that I call "taking a flying leap". When she was a kitten, she would try to jump up on the couch and she would just spring straight up in the air--sometimes she'd end up hanging by her claws from the side of the couch and then climb the rest of the way. Sometimes she'd just fall backwards. She's become a very strong climber now, and I don't clip her claws. (I get scratched up a lot.) But now, if she concentrates very hard, she can take a flying leap from a seated position on the floor and land in my lap on the couch! It isn't always the most graceful landing, but I always praise her effusively for being such a good jumper!
We've played a game every morning since I got her. They sent her home from the shelter with a bag of Science Diet. The kitten food is shaped like a tiny brown ball. Every morning, after making my coffee, I toss about 10 or 15 balls of Science Diet on the kitchen floor. Then I kick them across the floor, and Dotty chases them. Sometimes she bats them around, sometimes she catches them in her paw, sometimes she stalks them and pounces on them. I wouldn't normally be able to afford Science Diet, but since she's not eating it by the bowlful, I've only gone through two bags of it in 10 months. I believe playing this game has been beneficial to her motor skills and development in many ways.
Dotty's becoming more and more of a lap cat as she gets older. I have one end of the couch and she has the other. She comes and sits in my lap--I pet her while she gives herself a bath. If my hand gets in the way, she licks that too. And as the colder weather sets in, more and more, she curls up in my lap and tucks her nose into my arm and purrs and purrs and just settles in. If I have to move her to get the remote, she bites me.
I feel like, with my daughter grown up and gone off to college, I've found a special kitty that needs me as much as I need her. I'll have her, I hope, until I'm 65 or 70 years old. She tucks me in to bed at night, and she's always there when I wake up in the morning. We keep each other company--while she's laying in the sun on her cat tree, I come and sit next to her to read, and she comes down to sit in front of my book for a while. She's such a good cat, and we get along so well together, that I can't imagine I could have chosen any better one. My vet seemed perplexed when I showed up with a special needs kitten after the traumatic illness and death of my last cat. I just told him that I felt I could give her a good home, and that she was a very special kitty. When I lost Miss Moppet last year, my good friend Gayle said, "She will send you another kitty when you're ready for it." I believe that's what happened.
(this came in a day to late to be included in last months issue)
My CH kitty Dotty's 1st birthday was on December 1st, (2010).
I adopted Dotty when she was 10 weeks old from the Humane Society. They told me she had Ataxia. I just knew that nobody else was going to adopt her. They gave me a sheet of paper with some information on it, and one of the things it mentioned was Cerebellar Hypoplasia. As soon as I got her home and situated, I got on the computer and started reading about it. I was relieved to find the Facebook group and the website. I look forward to your newsletter each month.
Dotty has a fairly mild case of CH. She can climb really well, and she's able to take flying leaps--she just can't control where she's going to land every time. And jumping off of things is a problem--she does not land on her hind feet. Instead they are splayed out and she lands--SPLAT--on her pelvis, and it makes a terrible noise sometimes on my wood floors. I've tried to put down rugs around the bed, but she manages to land on the floor anyway. It doesn't seem to bother her. Lately she's been climbing up on the kitchen chairs under the table, and if the chairs are pushed out even a little, she can get up on top of the table, which is way too high for her. I'm really afraid she's going to end up getting up there and jumping off and break a bone or something. I just have to keep a watchful eye on things.
Mostly though, she's a joy to have in my life. She loves to play--I have overturned boxes in every room that she likes to climb up on and sit on, and toys everywhere--she loves pens--so cute when she picks one up in her mouth and marches around the house with it. She loses all of them under the furniture, so I'm always replacing them. And the older she gets, the more she enjoys being held and petted. She says good night to me at night and wakes me up in the morning. It's only been a year, but I don't know what I'd do without her.
|New Member Spotlight
(Reading the Newsletter Archives, I recognized myself and my experience with these guys in so many stories. We come from everywhere, yet the differences in our ages, culture, lifestyle, etc., merge into a theme that unites us: something within us is drawn to these kittens and cats when others turn away. The love, the vulnerability, the terrible, terrible fear that something may go wrong, the pride with a new and unexpected accomplishment, and knowing that you want each other just the way that you are.)
Here's our story:
"UNITED WE WOBBLE"
" Da little cat, he be shakin' and shakin', mon! "
Even through his thick Jamaican Patois, the urgency in Nick's voice was unmistakable.
Three small kittens had been evicted from a storage shed at the apartment building where he exchanged maintenance duties for a small efficiency.
He'd placed them gently in a safe spot beneath nearby bushes, but clearly something needed to be done.
I must have been wearing my Crazy Cat Lady T- shirt that day, 'cause I got the job.
There was no longer a mom around; I'd asked. Huddled close, three pairs of little amber eyes peered up at me, inquisitive and apprehensive. Elvis, with siblings in tow, came home.
And shake he did. Wiggled and wobbled, flipped and flopped, went in reverse when he should be in " Drive "- none of which fazed him a bit. I hadn't a clue what was wrong. Then my friend with years of experience in rescue gave one look and an on-the-spot diagnosis that I could barely pronounce.
" Cere- what? Hypo- who? "
And I fell in love. I needed another three kittens like the Devil needs a fireplace. I am the poster child for foster failure; my headcount was 15, but Elvis wasn't going anywhere. Fiercely protective, I held him close to my heart, struggling to find a balance between guarding him and encouraging independence.
I remember thinking, " How can I love such a tiny thing so much?" Hubby Gerard, also, was smitten. Elvis slept between us once he was big enough not to be smushed, little head bobbing slower and slower as he drifted into sleep.
CH or no, my little bit of a Tuxedo was all kitten! He stalked hubby's Nike's, attacking with his signature wiggle-pounce 'til we were rolling on the floor. His tail was, and still is, the hit of the party - a bouncing appendage with a life of it's own. Playing with sisters Jamie ( another little Tux, thus Jamie Bond ) and sleek, black Harley, Elvie seemed to be superimposed in slow motion, like a 10 second delay in a live broadcast to make sure no naughty words slipped out.
He didn't seem put out at all, still, I found myself wondering if he felt "different".
What if he had a kitty friend who could, um, relate to him?
" Da little cat, she be scootin' and scootin', mon! "
Elisha's back legs didn't work, but her mouth made up for it. She mewed and chirped and sang. She must be the fourth sibling that somehow got separated and survived on her own for a few weeks; her markings are identical to Elvis; same age, same place. Eli ( "Scooter" ) clung to my neck as we walked three blocks home; I can't imagine what she was thinking as we held on to each other.
I don't know if her condition is congenital or a healed injury, she won't say, but I do hope x- rays will resolve that at some point. What did become obvious quickly is that she not only scoots, in a sitting position, but scoots really friggin' fast. With great upper body strength and agility, a corner of quilt hanging off the bed is an invitation for a Scooter-Face to pop up at ya. Pointy front claws take her rappelling down a leg, with any luck, one encased in blue jeans.
Our two little handicats, now 8 months old, did become BFF's. She mews until she finds him. They both laugh at the turtle. They sleep curled around each other.
Finding the CH Kitty Club was embracing a huge extended family. Loving a differently-abled kitty automatically signs you up as an advocate for
each and every one. The solidarity of the group is nowhere as evident as in the welcome, warmth and outpouring of advice lavished on a new member who poured out her wonderful story this week, at Christmas time. (" Hi, Gabrielle, Autumn and Chloe!" ). I've been a CH mom for only 6 months, and many members have decades of experience, but I believe that we are all bound by a shared sense of awe, respect and devotion to these special furkids.
A line in a song by rapper Eminem, speaking of his daughter, says it for me:
" They know they're your heart; you know you're their armor....."
North Miami Beach, FL
|Sweet Baby Zig
by Lizzie Holochwost
When Neal and I adopted Ziggy in October of 2010 we were so excited, a little brother for Tardy Peebucket!! And he was right here in Columbia SC! We watched the video that was posted and we fell in love with him. He seemed like a perfect fit, he looked like he had the same severity as Tardy, so we felt we could give him a wonderful home.
The big day of our meeting Ziggy arrived! We excitedly drove across town to the address. We both had big stupid grins on our faces the whole way there! Oh, we were on our way to meet our new baby, Ziggy!
We knocked on the door, nervous and thrilled at the same time, and we were let in and escorted inside, and there...on the floor... playing with a little boy... was our Ziggy! My heart was full!! I bent down and picked him up and cradled him in my arms.... I looked down at him with all the love in my heart... and then ... he attached himself to my head!!! Both arms and both legs, and all those oh-so-sharp claws, attached to my head. Well, we all know about that CH temper, Ziggy had it BAD.
I'd love to say that Ziggy came to live with us and was suddenly transformed into a sweet loving cat, but that wasn't what happened. He's been with us a year and a half now and it took a lot to get him to his 'almost sweet' state of mind of today.
Here are some of the things that helped Ziggy become more loving:
1) Having him neutered. I'm positive that all those kitty boy hormones made him aggressive! (not to mention that funk!)
2) Free feeding. I believe his old owners fed him little meals, he was way underweight and really needed access to food all the time. Sure, at first he was piggy and tried to eat it all in one sitting, but as soon as he realized the food would always be there, he calmed down and even ate slower.
3) Free roam. This poor baby was kept in a cage; it broke my heart!! He was so happy to have room that he calmed down a lot, and was much happier.
4) Walk away. When Ziggy is very bad (causing pain to us), we turn and walk away. We do not give him any kind of reinforcement for bad behavior. It was hard, he was so confused at first, but he soon understood. He is a pretty smart little guy.
5) Nail clipping. This was a very hard decision, and it actually took me a year to make it. Ziggy was really hurting me, he would turn bad at the drop of a hat (we with CH temper kitties know what I'm talking about!). Neal couldn't interact with Ziggy at all, and they were both saddened by that, as was I. But after the nails were trimmed, handling Ziggy became less dangerous, and we all were happier.
We love our little Ziggy (actually he's doubled his weight since he's been with us). He's learned a lot about manners and about what is and what is not acceptable. We've learned how he likes to be held and petted, and what he doesn't like. We never regret for a single minute that Ziggy came into our lives.
|The World According to Riley Dean:|
New Year's Resolutions!
By Riley Dean (with a little help from Mommy)
Hello, everybody! It's the end of the year, and you know what that means: it's time to make our
New Year's Resolutions for 2012! Here are just a few things that I'm going to try and do in the
coming year. If anybody out there would like to, you and your mommies and daddies can try
1. Exercise More - I turned eight this year in June. You know what that means? I am nearly a
senior cat now! Oh, where did all the time go? Now that I am "getting up there" in years, it is
important that I stay in good shape. Part of this is to keep moving! It'll keep my weight down
(because my metabolism is slowing down) and it'll be better for my joints. The best way to do
this is for our parents to set aside at least thirty to sixty minutes of playtime every day. What kind
of toys do you like? I'm partial to things like little catnip toys and mice I can bat around. Toys
allow us to have fun while keeping the extra pounds off. It's also good for bonding and keeps us from getting bored!
2. Watch What I Eat - It's also important to have a low-fat, consistent diet. It is important to
find a good food that's full of healthy ingredients and not too much filler (like animal byproducts or corn meal). Also, this is for all the moms and dads: always pay attention to serving size suggestions. Remember that some of us CH kitties will stop eating as soon as we get full, but
some of us may need some help keeping our resolutions as far as overeating. If there is more
than one kitty in the house, try and pick up uneaten food after feedings. It's usually the hungriest, heaviest cat that ends up with the leftovers (in our house it's my brother Gatsby!). Treats are good, but probably should be kept to a couple a day.
3. Use my Litterbox More Often - Well, a kitty can dream, can't he? Heh heh, I'm not so sure
that I can keep this one. However, my mommy seems to have figured out that one of the reasons for my occasional "accidents" is because of scent. I lay down in my box when I pee, and this can transfer the smell of pee onto me. Then, when I lie in my bed or scoot along the floor, I transfer the smell there. Later on, when I'm looking for a place to pee, I smell more places that are "okay to go" than there should be. So my MOMMY'S New Year's Resolution is to find a way to solve that issue, maybe with more bed washings and use of baby wipes. Good luck to her!
4. Spend Quality Time With My Family (Both Furry and Non-Furry) - One of my favorite
things to do is to chase my adopted brother and sister (both NonCHies) and play with them. We
also got our new addition this year (my adopted poodle brother Kip). Even though I've never
lived with a dog before, we have a lot of fun together. I'm really looking forward to spending
more time with them all in the new year. My other favorite thing is to cuddle up next to my
mommy in front of the TV. Sometimes I sleep through her favorite shows, but we love to sit
together. It is moments like these that make us so happy. Don't take those moments for granted!
Remember to just enjoy each other.
Well, those are my New Year's Resolutions; hopefully this year I'll keep them all, and they will lead to many happy new years to come. That's all for now. Happy New Year, everybody!
|Spotlight on Charm City Animal Rescue: Baltimore, Maryland |
After volunteering and fostering for several Maryland rescues and shelters, city resident Michelle Ingrodi decided to start her own rescue, focusing on the values and lessons learned from her friends. In 2007, she found a tiny kitten laying in the gutter and realized she had no idea how to help the poor thing. It was then that she decided to find a way to care for those animals on the streets of Baltimore, showing them that this city can also have a sweet side. Her focus is mainly on getting kittens out of feral colonies, off the streets, or out of bad situations. She then works to socialize them, adopting them out when they're ready, no matter how long it takes. Almost four years later, and she has successfully rescued and adopted out over 350 animals, grown her rescue to one of the larger organizations in the city, and obtained her 501(c)3 status! In January of 2011, she expanded Charm City Animal Rescue to her hometown of Cumberland, MD, helping create Queen City Animal Rescue. Michelle is highly involved in assisting the Allegany County Animal Shelter become No-Kill, and many of the cats/kittens in the rescue program come from this shelter.
Charm City Animal Rescue is a one-person rescue run out of a home in the city, and several foster homes. We are not a shelter, but obtain our animals from shelters. Donations are a big part of rescue. Adoption fees rarely cover the expenses involved in saving and caring for an animal. All money received by our organization is always applied directly towards the care and well-being of rescued animals. The money allows us to spay/neuter, vaccinate, and feed animals who have had a very difficult life before we rescued them, and we use our own funds up front for their care. Donations help ease that burden, and make it possible to save more lives. We rely on private donations, fundraisers, and adoption fees to fund our rescue, which covers the cost of out-of-pocket expenses such as vet care, food, litter, etc. We are a federally recognized 501(c)3, which makes all donations tax deductible.
Charm City Animal Rescue is a group of volunteer animal lovers with a mission to rescue, provide sanctuary, and re-home abandoned, stray, and neglected animals. We focus on the most dire need cases, most that have no other means of rescue. We work closely with other rescue groups and animal shelters in order to accomplish our goals. We do not have a shelter, but a network of incredible foster homes that care for these animals as their own until their time of adoption. For safety reasons, we do not allow visits with animals until an application is submitted an approved. All Charm City Animal Rescue companion animals are housed in amazing and dedicated foster homes where they are provided with an enormous amount of love and any medical attention that may be required to ensure that they are in good health before adoption. They are all spayed or neutered (as age appropriate), tested, and brought up-to-date on shots before being placed in their new homes. These animals are also evaluated for basic temperament and personality traits. We never place an animal that has shown any aggressive tendencies. Any health or behavior issues will be disclosed prior to adoption, and stated in the adoption contract. This evaluation helps us to place them in homes that are well suited to their needs and to the needs of their future owners. We hope to be able to assist you in adopting your next furry friend!
We are located in Baltimore, Maryland, If you would like to volunteer, donate, or are interested in adopting a cat or kitten, please contact us via email.
In this Newsletter we have Kirby available for adoption. Please welcome him into your home, he is just wonderful!
Charm City Animal Rescue
Interview with Michelle Canzano
-Behind the Scenes Transportation Rescues -
By Jadey Simmons
A kind-hearted and dedicated woman, Michelle Canzano serves the community as a veterinarian technician and volunteers with the South County Cats spay and neuter assistance organization. The organization serves to reduce feral populations and provide spay/neuter assistance to low income families for companion pets. They have fostered over 200 pets in private homes before finding forever homes for each one, and they also have spayed or neutered 2,400 cats since 2006!
Michelle has also rescued and taken in thirteen kitties and is currently remodeling her home for their comfort. A large majority of them are special-needs ranging from hyperthyroidism, painful skin sensitivity, blindness, Manx syndrome, neurological damage, and several other medical conditions. In addition to serving the feral and low income populations and taking in special-needs cats, she plays a large part in the CH cat community. She has either transported or coordinated the three rescues from Oregon, Maryland, and Utah. She became involved through the Facebook CH Cat Community groups and stepped up to the plate when the lives' of these precious animals were endangered.
Repeatedly seeing posts desperately requesting transportation for Jasper, a severe CH cat; Carlie, an assumed CH cat; and Sam, a moderate CH cat, Michelle knew she was needed to step in and help. Jasper was the first cat Michelle helped rescue: she worked closely with Deb Martin, adoption specialist, and the members of the CH Facebook group to take care of the leg work. Michelle wanted to help, and she did. She was able to drive Jasper from Oregon to Gig Harbor Washington, where Laura Carlson at Harbor Hope Cat Rescue was able to find him a forever home. Jasper was success story number one in Michelle's beginning 'career' in cat transportation and rescue!
Number two was Carlie, a sweet black, short-haired cat, who was flown from East Coast Maryland to Harbor Hope. The shelter she was temporarily in assumed she was a CH cat due to her incoordination and instability. Michelle coordinated the flight plans then her brother-in-law picked up Carlie at the airport. She sent a soft-sided carrier for him to carry Carlie in as the airlines specifically require this carrier for pets to ride underneath the seat as 'carry-on luggage'. The average traveler needs to book the flight, rent a car, reserve a hotel room, and designate monies for food and other necessities. This is no different for those who handle the transportation rescues. Adding to the prior list, they also call the airline to ensure room for the pet (if the airline allows pets), pay the pet fee, use a specific type of "luggage", and make specific arrangements when checking in. Michelle and her brother-in-law successfully transported Carlie to Gig Harbor. Receiving a better diet at Harbor Hope, Laura knew it was poor nutrition and not CH. A few weeks later Carlie was a healthy girl and was adopted to her purrfect furever home.
Sam, number three in Michelle's recent endeavors, proved to be the most expensive. Deb covered his $125 plane ticket to fly from Salt Lake City Utah to Seattle Washington. Michelle donated her own money to pay for the travel essentials: hotel, airline fare, car rental, and kitty supplies. Sam talked quietly during the flight and Michelle's seat partners had no idea he was there. Some CH cats' can be adversely affected by motion, becoming disruptive. After arriving in Washington, Michelle transported Sam to Woodinville where he met his new mother.
Throughout our interview, Michelle emphasized the importance of the CH Facebook community, as well as partnering with other organizations to rescue these babies. With patience, one can find a home for every pet through the right organization. Sam's time was running out in the Salt Lake City Animal Services shelter. Because the CH Community had found a home for him, his fate changed for the better. With the cooperation of the shelter, Sam's life was saved due to a smooth adoption process, no adoption fee, and a flight to his new home.
The transportation process begins with the CH Community, continues with dedicated individuals, and ends with a happy cat in a forever home. Michelle emphasized as long as people put in the effort and devote themselves, "There is a home for every pet."
Thank you very much Michelle for your service to the community. Helping to rescue these special-needs cats is very important and Jasper, Carlie, and Sam thank you!
We are introducing new column this month - About Health. We hope you will find valuable info here!
(Reputable authors and reliable sources only)
Our CH kitties are basically healthy kitties. It is our responsibility to keep them in good condition and to provide the correct nutrition. That is why we asked Ms. Jennifer Jasensky, case manager for DCIN (Diabetic Cats in Need), internet based rescue & assistance group for diabetic cats, to share her knowledge about Diabetes and Proper Nutrition. How are the two connected? The two are inseparable. If your cat eats dry kibble, this excellent article is a must-read.
Feeding Your Cat: Know The Basics of Feline Nutrition;
Lisa A. Pierson, DVM
Avoiding Diabetes and Other Health Issues in the Future - Proper Nutrition
By Jennifer Jasensky
Let me preface this article by saying right off that I am NOT a veterinarian. Rather, I write from my own experience and the experiences of others I have worked with over the years. I encourage you all to visit the website mentioned below, and of course, always discuss dietary changes with your veterinarian.
Many of you know me through CH kitty rescue and have often heard of my sweet girl Lilly Grace. I'm thankful everyday to have her in my life. Ironically, though, it was because of the condition feline diabetes that I learned of Lilly Grace. My little man Tucker, a dry food addict, was very ill when I adopted him. He was sick from years of a high carbohydrate, low protein diet with no canned food, and was subsequently diagnosed as a feline diabetic. In learning more about his condition, I found a forum on feline diabetes and became a regular poster. It's a great resource, and I love helping others with the knowledge I've gained over the years. And it was on that forum that Lilly Grace happened to be mentioned; her owner had been sent to hospice care and a family friend was desperately searching for a new home for her. You all know what happened next....
But it is in my role as a Case Manager for Diabetic Cats in Need (DCIN), not as a CH kitty mom, that I'm writing about proper nutrition. Why? Because nutrition affects all cats. Every month DCIN is asked to help folks who can't afford to treat their diabetic kitties, and every month we need to re-home diabetic cats that were surrendered to vets, shelters or whose families simply cannot treat them. And thankfully, many of these kitties that we help often go into remission quickly. If a pet owner is requesting financial assistance, one of DCIN's requirements is that they must feed species-appropriate food. This means a high protein, low carbohydrate quality canned food (or even raw food). Very often, once these cats have the dry food removed from their diet, they quickly become healthy and no longer require insulin, and while they will always be considered diabetic, if the person maintains the healthy diet, the kitty often remains in remission. We fondly refer to those kitties as "broken diabetics," our "in" joke here at DCIN, because they weren't really diabetic. These "broken diabetics" often go off insulin within the first weeks or month, just from the change in diet. Two of my own adopted diabetics went off insulin the very first day. But had their diet not been altered, they would still be sick.
Dr. Lisa Pierson is a vet who specializes in feline nutrition and runs the website "Common sense. Healthy cats." devoted to the topic - www.catinfo.org. DCIN has followed and shared her advice for many years with great success. She believes that diet is the brick and mortar of health, and a proper diet is preventative nutrition. How are your cat's coat, eyes, weight, appetite? While some kitties appear healthy enough on the outside, are there signs of issues to come? Proper diet could very well spare your cat from future illnesses such as renal failure, crystals or even diabetes. Those of us with CH cats already deal with enough challenges.
What is a 'proper diet'? For cats, a species-appropriate diet must revolve around animal protein. Cats are obligate carnivores. In the wild, a cat's natural prey are birds and mice. They eat the prey and any fruits and vegetables they consume are from the belly of the mouse or bird, already partially digested. What many people don't realize is that a cat's intestinal tract is too small to be able to properly utilize any nutrients that might be in dry food. Dogs and humans do fine with it because our guts are designed for the slow break down of these fibers. But not cats. Have you ever found cat vomit after your cat ate some dry food? Is it digested, or even broken into small pieces? Nope. I used to feed dry only and remember so many times picking up the piles of dry food vomit and wondering why the pieces looked as if they just came out of the bag. Cats don't bite down or chew on food, so the thought that dry food is good for their teeth is a misconception. A cat's teeth and jaw are designed to scale meat off a bone, and it is this process of scaling that cleans their teeth, not the crunching high carb nuggets. If you really want to get teeth cleaned, forget the dental diet and give your cat a raw chicken neck to chew on.
Keep in mind, while this change in diet might not be the cheapest or most convenient, its benefits far outweigh the cost of illness-related vet bills in the future.
As a DCIN Case Manager, every day I see more and more people coming to us via our website, Facebook or Yahoo group, and I hear the same stories over and over. They've been feeding premium brand dry foods and are shocked and saddened that their furry loved one developed diabetes. It's a lot to wrap your head around. You've been responsible and conscientious, spending good money on premium brands that don't have by-products listed as the first ingredient, and still your kitty has become ill.
Feline diabetes is usually preventable. I hope in the future more people will learn this, that it will become common knowledge. There are many ailments that could likely be prevented if a canned-only or raw diet were fed to our furry kids. Kidney disease, crystals, inflammatory bowel disease, and very important for our CH kitties, obesity can be avoided if a proper diet is provided. Our CH kitties have enough trouble walking, and while those extra pounds may be cute on some kitties, on a CH kitty, they can be detrimental to their mobility. My Lilly Grace has severe CH, but thanks to the dietary guidelines I follow, she is otherwise perfectly healthy and has no trouble relocating herself to wherever her heart desires. And I want to follow her around my house for many many years to come.
|Adoptable Angels|gathered by Debbie Martin
5 CH Kitties in all for adoption with West Side Cats! (Youngstown, Ohio)
These photos show three CH kitties which we have just rescued due to an urgent situation. We agreed to take them to keep them safe and to find them homes. They have very mild CH, so no other special arrangements are needed in your home. These three are the cutest and happiest little kitties, and so curious! A true joy!
However, we are in great need of donations for these three. We are asking for help, please! We need help with their vetting, and donations are down. We could not turn our heads from these three wobbley siblings! If you could help us out please, we would so greatly appreciate it! All donations are tax deductable. You may donate through our website: http://westsidecats.com/
On the right side of website halfway down you can see our donation button. We don't want to turn away a CH kitty in need, and your support will carry on our mission.
Then, you may remember Weebles and Wobbles (Photo and Video) whose owner surrendered them to us with the assistance of Debbie Martin. The owner was just about to have them put down. These two are just a joy and so happy!!! We would like to adopt them out together since they are so bonded. The have severe CH, but that does not stop them from having a great time and being happy! We adore them!!! Here is the great video of them
If you would like more information on our CH kitties, Please contact us at
Cerebellar Hypoplasia Disabled Cats Playing
or by email
Also please follow us on Facebook too!
Bagheera, CH Kitty In Chicago For Adoption (1 1/2 Years Old)
Here's the situation. Bagheera needs a new home. Somewhere that has someone to keep a very close eye on him and help take care of him. I've begun working so much that I just really can't take care of his issues any longer. I love him, really, I do, and that's why I'm going to try to find him the best home possible. He'll come with a little food, a litter box, a food and water dish, and a carrier. He will pretty much eat or drink out of anything, so, dishes are not really any problem if you already have one.
What's the story? Well... Baggy has a little brain problem. It's called cerebellar hypoplasia. It affects his balance and depth perception. If no one had taken him and his brother, they were going to take them to a shelter, and chances are... the shelter would have had to put them down. So, I researched it a bit, learned he'd be able to walk and drink and eat all in time. I rescued him. They delivered him to my door, all his tiny little self. And he became my little Sir Wobbles, Baggy, Bugger, Drunk Ninja, Bagheera.
He couldn't walk when I first got him, and, he couldn't drink out of a dish. He couldn't eat out of a bowl. He didn't really know how to use a litter box, because he couldn't stand on his own. Well... he learned to walk, little by little. I let him drink out of a baby's bottle for a long time by having him lick the end with the dribbles that came out. He ate off the floor or out of my hand by banging his head up and down, mouth open wide, catching one or two pieces when he could.... it was a long process. He still never got the hang of a litter box, really.
He eventually learned to walk, but he still falls over from time to time. Okay, well... more like every couple of steps. He has since learned to drink out of a water dish, thanks to me going on vacation, and Brandon forgetting to give him water. And, he has learned how to eat out of a dish by shoving both paws and his WHOLE FACE into the bowl. Eats a hole into the middle, and cries for more! Little fatty. :D Still isn't fully successful with the litter box.
The crazy little cat has got some upper body strength. He pulls himself up onto the couch or bed like he's scaling a mountain. And, if he doesn't have enough energy, or misses a foothold, he falls back off, gives up, and just lies on the floor. He doesn't seem to realize that he has a problem. Still thinks he can leap off anything, and land just fine. NOT. I have to watch him now, I fear he may hurt himself doing that. I think he's learned to opt for the floor unless someone is up on the couch with him. Or he uses the slide-off-the-couch or -bed-technique. He is OBSESSED with the outdoors and mirrors. He will sit there, bobbling his little head staring out a window, or at himself in a mirror. Here's where his depth perception problem comes in though... He doesn't quite realize how close the glass is... so, he'll lean in, and smack his face on the window. So, I try to keep him a safe distance away.
People have wondered why I didn't just put him down... why I still let him go on... But I mean, come on! Just because your child may have a problem... does that mean that you'd take them out back and shoot them?
He's one of the most beautiful cats you've ever seen. Pure black, with a few white stray hairs here and there, but absolutely gorgeous.
Bagheera may act funny, and be really really messy sometimes. But, everyone loves him, wobbles and all.
Spotty, a Very Special, Severe CH Kitten Who is in Need of an Angel in Los Angeles
A few weeks ago a stray gave birth to two kittens in our yard, and it appears one has CH. Sadly, the CH kitten seems to be quite affected, and hasn't been doing very well lately. According to the vet, who isn't familiar with CH, there isn't anything else wrong with the kitten (she has another check-up tomorrow); however, she's incapable of using her hind legs, and consequently, getting to the pan, eating, etc. (Her quality of life has been questioned, so that's a concern too.) She's a full-time job.
(DECEMBER 19th.) Well, I spent a day crying yesterday. I had put Spotty outside in the sun and sat her in the grass next to her basket. I wanted to see how she would do and if she can make it in to her basket on her own, or if her mom would help etc. But she couldn't get into her basket, and her brother used her as a moving toy, jumped on her, play bit her, kept coming back to jump on her. Every time, Spotty fell over and barely could get herself in a sitting position again before he came and jumped on her, roughing her as a cat would with a caught bird that's still alive, all while her mom watched. It was so heart breaking to watch and I realized he probably does that every day when we are not home, and I felt bad for both, the brother that wants to play and Spotty that she has no defense against her own sibling. I usually keep him away from Spotty, which is quite a chore while I am holding her up in the litter box or while I feed her.
Spotty's hind legs are basically nonfunctional and her front legs are too weak to pull herself anywhere. It's a full time job to take care of Spotty and if left alone she'll pee and poop in her basket, and she'll cry for hours.
As much as I love Spotty I am so torn between if it is us humans that want to help a suffering animal and keep it alive because we can't handle putting an animal to sleep, and the feeling that Spotty might be happy if she were in a home without other animals and someone there to take care of her.
Please contact me for questions, please!!
Wee, CH Kitty for Adoption in Indianapolis, Indiana
I have a 4 year old CH kitty looking for a new home. Wee is female with an all white long coat. 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 does make messes. She doesn't play but loves to sit on a lap and cuddle. I am from Indianapolis, Indiana, but if someone is interested I am willing to drive her out of state to meet you. She will come with her booda litter box, food, and bowls.
DESPERATE IN CONNECTICUT!
CH Kitty Wobols Desperately Needs New Home or Rescue in Connecticut!
Owner will transport to anyone who can help (within reasonable distance). For a RESCUE GROUP, will pay for his food, litter and care until he is adopted.
(Wobols is the one not wearing a sweater, the one in the sweater has been adopted.)
Wobols - Approximately 5 years old. He gets around well, although 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.
And the reason why I will need to find another location for Wobols 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,
Please Contact Kris ASAP PLEASE!
Faith, CH Kitty For Adoption On Pine Island, Florida
Meet Faith, who is a CH kitty. She is approximately 6 months old, female, spayed, UTD on all shots, and microchipped. Poor Faith was a victim of a hoarding situation and ended up in the shelter along with the other 70 cats. Faith has very mild CH, walks with permanent head tilt. She gets along with all my kitties and has been trying to play with my two Aussies. She is a busy girl who has discovered her love of toys! She is very sweet and wants attention but is not a lap cat....she is too busy. She is a little underweight but we are working on that. :).
She is just a sweet girl and is located in southwest Florida in the Ft. Myers area. (I would be happy to drive her to the perfect home in Florida!)
Please Contact Becky via email if you would like more information and are interested in adopting Faith.
Kirby, CH Kitty For Adoption in Baltimore, Maryland
Meet Kirby, a very special cat who was rescued from a high kill shelter. Kirby has CH, or Cerebellar Hypoplasia, a disorder that affects his motor skills. It happens when a mother cat is either vaccinated for, or exposed to, distemper/panleukopenia. There are varying levels of CH, and Kirby's is moderate. He can use a litterbox that has no hood or tall sides, but he cannot jump or go down stairs. He does much better on carpet than on hardwood or tile. The disorder gives him a bit of a high step, marching-type walk, and when he goes fast, he sometimes falls over. He also shakes a bit when he concentrates hard on something. Kirby, like all CH kitties, is extremely affectionate. He does not hiss or swat, he just loves. He doesn't require any medication, and can live a full life. Owners of CH kitties need to be mindful of things like stairs. Some mild CH kitties can go up and down them with no problem if carpeted, but Kirby will most likely not be able to go down them without a little help or practice, even if they are carpeted. He cannot jump on your furniture, tables, or countertops, but he will snuggle hard when you pick him up. If you're interested in this awesome guy, I encourage you to research a little about CH, and then apply. Everyone who's adopted a CH kitty preaches how much they just adore them, and it's true...you can't not fall in love with them. They are very, very special cats, and I'm lucky to be able to rescue so many.
Spayed/Neutered * Up-to-date with routine shots * House trained * Special Needs * Primary color: Black & White or Tuxedo * Coat length: Long
If you'd like to meet or find out more information, please email
Shadow and Oreo, CH Kittens For Adoption in Long Island, New York
Shadow (F- TUX) and Oreo (M-B/W) were found under a bush all alone at Cablevision on Long Island and were taken in by a short term foster. They are 16 weeks old, have had their kitten shots, have been tested for FIV and FeLV (both negative), and have been dewormed. Both kittens have very mild Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH). CH is NOT contagious nor are there any major medical issues these kitties face or will face. CH is a condition that affects their balance and coordination so they fall over easier or walk a little funny.
Please see more info on CH kitties.. Scroll down to see Charlie and CH facts below his video.
Shadow and Oreo are not severe like Charlie, they are actually mild CH kittens but this is an example of how CH affects cats.
Both kittens are big love bugs, love to play, cuddle together and love human attention. They are the most gentle and loving kittens I've ever met but most CH kittens and cats are. They are great with small children, other cats, dogs and all humans. They love each other very much, rely on each other very much and need to stay together as they would be devastated without one another.
Oreo and Shadow would love a forever home where they will be loved unconditionally even with their slight disability. A full vet report is available to any foster or adopter who would be interested in giving these love muffins a home.
TRANSPORT TO THE RIGHT ADOPTER IS AVAILABLE!!
CONTACTS ARE MONICA AT
OR BARBARA ANN AT
|Meet the Parents|
Meet Leslee and Kewpie!
By Kristie (Riley Dean's Mommy)
Leslee Womack lives in Hot Springs, Arkansas with her big, happy furry family. She has a
miniature pinscher named Cinnamon, and she has eleven cats (including two fosters); three are
special needs. One of them is Leslee's CH kitty, Kewpie, who celebrated his second birthday on
December 19th (happy belated birthday, Kewpie!).
"When Kewpie was surrendered to the shelter at six weeks old," Leslee says, "I absolutely fell
in love with him. The lady that surrendered him said she had his mom and brother. She noticed
him being wobbly and took him to her vet. She was told he would need extra care and attention
his whole life. She was working full time and going to school, so she was afraid, she wouldn't
have enough time to spend with him."
Leslee took him home as a foster, "And within a week he was 'mine.' I wasn't gonna let him
go!" After she brought him home, she immediately started searching the Internet to find the cause of his wobbliness. "Then when he was eight weeks old, I took him to Dr. Tina Fletcher, who also does all the veterinary care for the shelter. She asked me if I knew what it was, and I told her my suspicions of CH. She said absolutely! She told me what she knew and also
suggested I look it up online. I told her I already had, and I had already found this group by then.
She was very impressed!"
Kewpie's symptoms, according to Leslee, are extremely mild. "He walks fine with no CH gait
but has intention tremors. He has no problems with using the litter box. He can't jump 'up,'
and up is his favorite thing to do. So he climbs with his claws and swings like a monkey in the
process. So cute!!!" He loves to protect his mommy Leslee (from the "NonCHies"), and will do
so to the bitter end. "When he is next to me he wants all of my attention, so all others had better
wait their turns!" He does love his brothers and sisters, just not on his mommy time!
"One of his favorite things is to play with ping pong balls. No other ball will do. He bats them
around picks them up and walks around with them in his mouth, the whole time bobbing his head
around." Leslee says this is the cutest thing she's ever seen. He is also an accomplished thief!
"Kewpie absolutely loves to walk off with things in his mouth...If I am missing anything, I have
to look no further than my dining room."
His second favorite thing to play is "head bop" with his best bud, Bandares. "They chase each
other around, up and down the hall and up the cat tree. Then they proceed to bop each other on
the head. Kewpie moves in slow motion, so he can throw Bandares off a little. Then he goes bop,
bop, bop, on his head. Every once in a while Bandares will get one in, but Kewpie stays low and
uses the top ledge of the cat tree as protection...I swear, if I did not know better, I would think those two are blood brothers!"
Leslee helps run (as well as volunteers and rescues for) Guardian Angels Cat Rescue and
Adoption Shelter in Hot Springs, Arkansas. She stresses that they are a no-kill facility that runs
strictly on donations and volunteers. Some of their revenue for their rescues is generated by a
volunteer-run thrift store. The shelter has a spay/neuter program and also has a trap and release program for ferals: "We have several people in the community that feed ferals and have noticed the numbers are not getting any bigger in the areas we have completed."
Leslee's advice to new CH kitty parents is to NEVER DECLAW! "Even if they are very
mild, they still need claws for balancing and climbing." She also suggests that parents
start using a laser light while CH-ers are young: "It really helps with their coordination
as they get older. For example, Kewpie loves the laser light. When he was small he had
intention tremors really badly. I truly believe that the laser helped him tremendously with
his balance and coordination."
"Plus have lots of patience and understanding. They will pay you back in kind with
unconditional love and affection."
GUARDIAN ANGELS CAT RESCUE & ADOPTION SHELTER
by Janice Branwood
How fast time flies, as we are now reading the January 2012 issue of the CH Newsletter. January will bring many of us snow, cold weather, and in several parts of the country sun for the New Year. One thing we all have in common in this holiday season is our CH kitties, their wonderful stories and tremendous and unconditional love...a real present in itself.
There are 2 Fuzzy Tales that are related to the clean and cuddly side of CH. Our first is from Liz with her two boys. Both boys are kept in their own special room until Liz has time to get them some freedom. I guess they were a bit more demanding that usual this past month. Liz had not gotten there at her usual time, and the boys gave her a "big" surprise. Not just one, but both of them left a pile of "poop" just inside the door to show their disapproval. Not too sure who was first or second but needless to say the mess was far worse than the scolding they got. Let's just chalk it up to us all knowing that their time is just as important as ours.
Our next story follows suit with a poop-related tale. Lets just call it a "Fuzzy Poop Tale in real life" for Nanako. Elise wrote to me about Nanako's recent dealings with her allergies. The vet gave her prednisone, which did not agree with her stomach and unfortuately gave her bouts of diarreah. The worst part, as is always the case, is that it happened twice while they were out of the house. The second time they came home and found Nanako very proudly lying in the middle of the bed. The true tale comes in that her "poop streak" was left behind across their bed and blankets. We all know that the outcome will be a big bad bath, but for Nanako, she was proud to have gotten in mommies bed and let them know she was safe, and comfortable and ready for some loving. Don't we all have these days? It may be yucky, but the end result is a cleaner kitty and softer and cleaner sleep for the night...Sweet Dreams!
On to Missy and her new adventures with Effie and Lovey! The two girls continue to come out of their shells and have now started to be much more affectionate. This affection is also being mixed with a little agression as well. Lovely started out being the shy one of the two girls and is now showing her other side. She can get herself up on to the couch via a chair and will perch herself on Missy's shoulder when she is home and help her do computer work. On occasion she gives Missy a pat to know its time for petting. Another area where she shows her love is in the kitchen, and for some reason more so when company is present. Missy will be sitting in the open back chair and Lovey surprises her from behind with a somewhat awkward jump and literally latches herself onto Missy's back. Not only is this startling but as you may know painful until someone releases the "velcro" cat from her back. So at this point Missy then holds Lovey and gives her undivided attention while her visitors are there. The love also was shown to her son last week, but unknown to him, Lovey again wanted attention. This came via the front of the chair just as her son was in mid conversation! Lovey did her best leap and landed in his lap in the most unfortunate spot and again "velcro" cat had struck. Missy's son yelled and then was very embarrassed having to unattach the velcro kitty. Needles to say, he is now considering wearing full athletic protection for future chats at the kitchen table. Quoting Missy, "Despite this new habit of Lovey's, and the random body scratches we wear, we all truly love and enjoy our CH kitties and would not trade them for the world". Well- said Missy, I agree and know all of our readers feel the same way.
Our next story is from a new Fuzzy Tale named Princess. John wrote to me about how Princess truly enjoyed Thanksgiving. Princess is a mildly affected CH kitty who gets around pretty well on her own. John says that she eats normally, but instead of the "tripod" stance she is more like a slinky as she gets around. She has her hind legs that kind of do their own thing and when she runs they resemble a cat with ice skates on. After the Thanksgiving holiday, John brought home a bag of turkey. Almost on demand Princess came slinking out with her nose in the air, wanting to know what the new treat was. Princess followed John into the kitchen with wide eyes as he proceeded to dish out some to Princess and the other cats. Princess was instantly a fan of the this new present! A little later John went to the fridge for a morsel more, and out came Princess skating across the floor in a dash with her tongue hanging out. Who could not give in to a skating Princess? John cut up more turkey and placed it on the floor and Princess became the kitty vacuum machine, eating all of it up. She also learned that by positioning her body just right, it would also block out the other cats from getting their share. New tricks and new treats are always welcome with our CH babies. Now each time John goes to the fridge, Princess begs for her new best treat TURKEY.
Lastly, if you remember our last month issue we were left hanging with the mouse story at Kristies house. As you will remember the three amigos at her place were stalking the mouse, and my money was on Riley Dean to pounce on it. Well, the end of the story is that no animal was the winner there. Kristie had to use a humane trap and caught not only one but three mice! Much to the dismay of Riley Dean, they exited the house and were given a new lease of life as Kristie re-homed them a mile from their house on a trail with berries and plants for them to eat! So, as we close this issue we are once again reminded that...."not a creature was stirring not even a mouse"!
Happy New Year to everyone and may 2012 be filled with love, warmth, kisses and purrs with a side of catnip mistletoe!
The Rescue of Little Jackie From Our Shelter, Chesterfield County Animal Services (Chesterfield, South Carolina on November 19, 2011)
by Judy Purvis, volunteer at the shelter
When I first saw the little wobbly tuxedo girl at Chesterfield County Animal Services in Chesterfield, SC, I knew she had no chance unless someone helped. Cats and kittens with problems, sickness, or injuries are mostly overlooked when it comes to being adopted. I work with the Paws and Claws Rescue group in Chesterfield County, SC, and my job with them is to take pictures of the cats and kittens at the shelter and post them to Facebook in hopes of helping them get rescued or adopted.
I realized she was a special needs kitty when I was told that she had a wobbly walk. Having two CH cats myself, I knew her chances for getting adopted were almost none here, so when I posted her picture on Facebook, I also posted it on the SpecialNeedsInNeed's page. Before I knew it they had found a recue nearby, Midlands Kittens Rescue in Columbia, SC, to take little Jackie.
|Stormy with Jackie (now Bindi)|
I and our Shelter Director, Jerry Gaskins, were both contacted by Debbie Martin of SpecialNeedsInNeed who put us in touch with Stormy Leigh of Midlands Kittens Rescue. A couple of days later I met with Stormy so that she could take little Jackie to find a loving home. This sweet girl now has a chance because so many people cared enough to pull together and save her. Hopefully we can do the same for many more, whether they are special needs kitties or not.
Thank you all!!!!
Bye Bye everyone!
My name is Ziggy and I hope you had a wonderful holiday!! My mom got me a new toy, it was fuzzy little paws that played with me under the door!! I played with these paws for two months, then mommy opened the door.....there were little cats attached to my toys!!! I got SOOO mad, I attacked them!! Then mom brought her friend over to meet me and I attacked her and chased her right out of the house!! She probably brought those toys with cats attached to them!
Well! I need to retain control around here!
Hope you loved this month's newsletter, we love making it happen!!!
A PurrFect Face
President of The End
Founder of the CH Kitty Club (really)
Editor and Best Daddy Cat and Ziggy's best friend