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CH Kitty Club Newsletter

August 2012                                       Issue #23

Tardy Peebucket...In Loving Memory...You'll never be forgotten, my Little Prince

Hi all!

I am back to do the newsletter!

It's been a very hard few months for me, the loss of my Tardy boy is like a knife in my heart, not something that will ever get better.

I want to thank everyone who helped keep it all together during the last few months, all of you who sent me emails and kind words, I'm sorry I couldn't respond to you all personally, I couldn't respond to anything for quite a while.

And I especially want to thank Neal, who cried with me.

But, because of Tardy, and all he did for me and all of us, the newsletter will continue. I know that he would want it to keep going, that he would want us to do it all for him and all the CHer's out there who may live a full life now, when they may have never gotten that chance. we go!


I love you, Tardy
CH Kitty of the Month...Romeo

By Gina Lynn

Romeo was rescued from a high-kill Downey (CA) shelter on his last day to live. Because of his special needs (blind and CH), he was not considered adoptable, and thus "disposable", to the powers that be. Lucky for him, AND me, the rescue community saw differently! Darling little Romeo has brought more joy to my life in two short weeks than I ever could have imagined. The minute I held him, I KNEW we were meant to be together.... Instant foster failure!!

Ever since, I have had a hard time doing anything productive because I'm so obsessed with this tiny bundle of love. All he wants to do is snuggle all day, every day. And all I want to do is oblige! I am SMITTEN with this kitten!! And everyone else is too! Romeo has captured the hearts of many people all over the country with his charming ways. Many, many offers to adopt (and even cat-nap) have been made but it would take a large, well-powered army to pry this boy out of my arms!

One short week after coming into my life, Romeo had a seizure at 6.:30 AM. It was decided to wait and see before taking him to the emergency vet. The second one came at 9:30 AM and he was off to the vet where he spent the entire weekend, having two more seizures during his stay. My heart broke every minute that we were apart and not knowing whether he would even make it through. The amazing rescue community quickly pulled together and raised the $1000 needed for his vet bill and follow-up visit.
Many tests were run and we're still exploring the cause of his condition. For now he is stabilized with anti-seizure medications.

Romeo was very lethargic and sickly for the days following his seizures and vet stay, but he is now showing great improvement! He's finally using the litter box (semi-regularly) and back to showing his appreciation for any and all affection with his sweet purr-songs. He's such a cuddler that I even bought a sling so that I can carry him around while I do chores, etc. around the house.

Everyone who meets Romeo is completely taken with him. What's not to love? Romeo now shares a Facebook fan page with big sister Gisele, where you can follow his progress and see lots of pictures!!




The World According to Riley Dean:
And Nothing But the Tooth!

By Riley Dean (with a little help from Mommy)

Hello, my friends! Recently, I had to go to the vet for my yearly dental checkup! Believe it or not, tooth health is important, even for kitties. Did you know that dental disease is the largest
single cause of health problems in cats? This is because poor oral care can lead to an increase in harmful bacteria. As we breathe in, these bacteria can spread through our bloodstreams and also infect our other organs, like our hearts, lungs, livers and kidneys. This is why this month's column is dedicated to tooth health. Here are Riley Dean's tips to a perfect kitty smile!

Start early - The younger your CH kitty is when you start routine tooth brushing, the more they will be used to it as they get older. However, that doesn't mean you can't start anytime!
Remember to go slowly and be patient so that your kitty will see that it's no big deal. Daily brushing is the best, but a good starting goal is twice a week.

Find the right brush - Pet toothbrushes are made to suit the shape of our teeth and mouths. If you would rather use a human's toothbrush for your kitty, make sure it's a smaller child's toothbrush - adult toothbrushes are too big for our mouths. There are also soft brushes that will slip right onto your finger for more control - although not recommended if you think your kitty may bite!

Don't use "people" toothpaste - Swallowing toothpaste made for people can be dangerous - even deadly! - for humans AND pets. A toothpaste that is made for pets is safe for us to swallow. Some of them even come in flavors we love, like chicken and peanut butter! They can be found in most pet stores and vet offices.
Look for signs of mouth pain - If your CH-er seems to not want to eat, or even worse, cries or spits while eating, this can be a sign of a bad tooth (or teeth). According to the American
Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS), "70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age three, and 85% of all adult pets have periodontal disease." Bad breath can also be a tell-tale sign. Changes in mouth odor, kitty behavior and food intake can indicate that your kitty needs a dental exam.

Keep up with cleanings - For us CH-ers, this is a little bit of a worry because of our sensitivities to certain anesthesias. For this reason, it may be a good idea to schedule cleanings a bit less
often. My brother Gatsby gets cleanings once a year, but I can usually get away with every- other-year cleanings. Sometimes even less because I'm such a good brusher!

There are many good videos on the internet that show you the best ways to brush your cats' teeth. You can ask your vet as well! Remember that taking a few easy precautions like yearly
checkups and regular brushing can save you and your pet from costly and painful oral surgery in the future.

Well, that's all for now, everybody. Until next month, keep smiling! =)


Chipped Teeth: Should You Be Concerned?

By Amanda Maurer Woodhead

CH cats obviously endure their share of bumps, tumbles and injuries. Consequently, CH kitties can often chip their teeth. This can happen any time they head-bonk into the floor, tumble into something -- even if they knock their teeth against a food or water bowl.

Pets, even those without CH, can chip their teeth (usually their canines, the four longest ones in front), and it isn't an issue. Most chips are simply cosmetic and won't hurt your pet in any way. Since CH cats tend to fall on their faces more often, there's a higher risk that they may chip their teeth to the point that they need medical attention.

So, when my husband and I noticed that Ellie's canines were quite short (less than half of their original length), we decided to take her into the vet.

It only took a few minutes for the vet to confirm what we had been suspecting. Ellie's top two canines are definitely too short, and they'll need to be removed.

Ellie has been chipping her teeth since she was just a baby. During previous visits, our vet told us that her teeth (at that point) weren't anything to be worried about. But somewhere along the way they got worse.

While Ellie's teeth will need to be removed eventually, it may not be the right option for everyone. Here are some tips that may help you determine which move is best for your CH cat. When in doubt, set up an appointment with your vet.

Cosmetic chips: If you've noticed that little bits (a few millimeters) of your cat's canines have chipped off, chances are they're nothing to worry about. So long as you can only see enamel, you should be good to go.

Significant breaks: These chips are severe enough that they've revealed the tooth's root canal, where all of the nerves are. Depending on how severe your CH cat is, you may have several options:

Cap the tooth: Like with humans, your vet can cap the tooth so its root isn't exposed. This may not be the best option for all cats, since some CH cats may simply chip the cap off, making the issue worse.

Root canal: This keeps the tooth intact while deadening the tooth so it doesn't get infected. Again, depending on how often your cat chips his teeth, this may or may not be a good option. Some CH cats may continue to chip the root-canaled tooth, which may result in sharp nubs.

Remove the teeth: This is the best option for Ellie since she's chipping her teeth continuously. According to my vet, it can be a painful process to remove healthy teeth. If they're infected, they're much easier to remove and for her to recover.

Consequently, we face a difficult decision. Either way Ellie will have to go through some sort of discomfort, whether that's all at once or over time.

So as we ponder the best timing for Ellie's surgery, I urge you to monitor your CH cats' teeth. By checking them often, you can stay on top of any serious issues.

Of course if your cat's gums look inflamed or your cat is having trouble eating, you may want to take him in to get checked out. Often these signs and behavior changes signal that there's an issue.


Jasper's Adoption Story


by Jessica & Jasper 
I really wanted another kitten and saw an ad on Craigslist from a vet tech that had 9 kittens from two litters to find homes for. I called and asked if they had any males and was told yes, there was one left.  I really wanted a male as we have one male and two female cats already. So I got to the vet and the lady that found/brought them in brings in three tuxedo kitties and one grey one.

She points out the male and then proceeds to tell me that he's a special needs kitty (I was like, um, OK? Why wasn't I told this over the phone?) She tells me he has CH and informs me about this condition. Now, I've never heard of CH nor was I so sure that her promises of "everything else is fine with him, he's just wobbly on his feet" were accurate.

All I could envision was multiple trips to the vet, and all sorts of internal organ issues. I mean it's a brain malfunction after all. But something about him tugged at my heart and it also broke my heart that he'd been most likely passed up because of his CH.

But even running around with his litter mates I could tell he was going to be a LOVE BUG!!!! The grey one, a female, also had CH, but she was MUCH worse, probably moderate to severe. Long story short, I decided that since this little guy had already been passed up 5 times, and since everyone has something wrong with them, why not? I did make sure to ask the vet during the exam what other issues did this kitten possibly have and he reiterated that it just meant he'd be wobbly on his feet and have a head jerk at times.

No internal issues, everything looked good. So, the kitty came home with me, and we've had him now for 13 days. I researched CH in cats like crazy and did get a bit worried that his condition might worsen; incontinence, food/water issues, needing special places to eat and drink due to not being able to stand, etc. But I'd already witnessed him pecking at his food and water and stepping in his poop while trying to cover it up (thankfully we had him in a bathroom so the tile was easy to wipe clean).

He also climbed up his carrier pretty well as he could not jump up onto the toilet to say hello. Now he runs full force and darts down the stairs (often tumbling and would do much better if he just slowed down a bit). He jumps up to the couch cushion, gets his paws snagged on the top, then pulls his little body up onto the cushion...he'll soon have some really strong biceps for sure! He makes us laugh and is a riot to watch, Can't wait to see where Jasper goes!!!





What is your cat's name? Jasper (was Charlie for a day, then hubby liked my suggestion better! HAHAHA!)


Male or female? male


Age? 14 weeks old


How severe is his/her CH? looks to be mild, we've had him almost 4 weeks


Does he/she have certain limitations? Wobbly when walking, bobble head when focusing; jumps pretty well and uses his biceps to pull himself up the rest of the way onto whatever he's reaching for (couch, toilet); manages our stairs pretty well (would do better if he'd SLOW DOWN!!!) :D


How does he/she manage the litter box? Does fine so far, just occasionally steps in his poop when trying to cover it with litter, so I have to wipe his paw off Eating and drinking? pecks at both food and water like a chicken (but bowls are on the floor and he doesn't appear to have issues with that) Do you do anything special to help? not yet


What's one funny story about him/her (related to CH)? He LOVES, and I mean LOVES plastic trash bags/sacks. He pounces and attacks them all over the house. He's so funny to watch as he focuses on the bag (with his head bobbing) and then stagger-pounces on the bag. I feel bad for laughing, but it's so damn funny!


Share a story about how he/she figured out how to do something CH cats "can't" do. While he can't jump high enough to land on the couch cushion, he does lunge toward the couch, high enough to get his paws on top of the cushion and then pulls himself up, because he wants to be close to me (blushes) :o)


Has he/she ever hurt herself because of his/her CH? He has conked his head real good a couple of times, but it doesn't seem to phase him as much as it scares and startles me!


Each animal is special in his/her own way. How is he/she special? So far (in the 4 weeks we've had him) I'm amazed at how persistent he is to get around the house and to be where the other cats are (even if that's high up on a cat tree 4 ft in the air).


Have you found ways to help him/her with CH? How? Not so far (we have a carpeted house, so he does pretty well moving around)


Do you have any words of wisdom for other CH parents? Not yet, I'm so new to it I'm the one learning.


What do you think people need to know about CH? That CH cats are VERY loving.


What is your favorite and least favorite thing about his/her having CH? I love just how loving he is and hope it doesn't change.


Anything else you'd like to add? I'm VERY new to this CH thing so I'm learning as we go and hoping this site will be informative. Since he's a kitten that's only 14 weeks old, he's learning too, so I hope we can learn together!

New Family Members.....
Luna Süna & Spike

by Lizzie Holochwost

On the wake of the second most devastating loss of my life, these two little angels appeared from kitty heaven to try to help wipe my tears up.

Luna Süna and Spike are now eighteen weeks old, by the time you are reading this they are spayed and neutered and have all their shots and 'stuff'. It's been fun getting to know them and fall in love with them. They are so different from each other!!

Luna is fearless, impulsive, affectionate, exuberant!! She is so funny, she runs sideways, and if she gets going too fast, she will run head on into a wall to stop. She will go after any other cat, and they run! She runs on her tippy toes, it's the cutest thing you will ever see! She has scaled all the furniture like it is all her private mountain range.

Spike is gentle, sweet, loving, and loves Temptations treats more than almost anything! We found out he is mostly or completely blind, something we had already suspected. He still can't walk, but I think at some point he will figure it out. I don't think Tardy took his first step until he was about six month old. Maybe Spike will just be a slow starter.

July 31, 2012 10:41 AM
Ziggy, Luna Süna and Spike

Ziggy has finally gotten used to them; I even see him and Luna Süna playing together. The first time I had to actually do a double take, I thought I was seeing things!! Well, I WAS, I was seeing them playing together!! So cute! I felt like I had to go protect her from him, but in all actuality I would probably have to protect him from her. As much as I would like to see Spike playing with them, I don't think that will happen. He does sit near them and intently 'watches' them play. (Update: I saw all three of them playing with the ball in the spinny thing yesterday!)

WHOA!  The CH Moment.

by Shoshana Crumpler

We heard it before we saw it.

The unmistakable " scritch - scritch" of kitty hands scaling up the side of the bed.

Here comes Scooter, we said.  Our "front-wheel driver", with limited hind leg mobility, has developed an amazing degree of upper body strength and agility.

Hubby and I don't even look up anymore when one of us hollers, "Look out-Incoming!"; we know there's a Scooter-head with a devilish look in her eyes and Captain Hook hands ready to make an ascent up our blue jeans.

So we glanced over at the side of the bed to welcome the little Tuxedo face.

WHOA !!!
Don't try anything funny!

Holy Graceland, Col. Parker!

It was our little CH'er, not his sister, making his way like Spiderman up onto the mattress .

Sniff, sniff.
Proud Mommy Moment.

This is the CH Moment, when your kid surprises the bejeebers out of you, and your eyebrows spring up your forehead.
It is pride, but it's something more.

Awe, amazement, admiration on our face and on theirs, "Well, what?"

Never occurred to him he couldn't do it; it just now occurred to him that he wanted to.

They continue to happen, these CH Moments, and our boy's over a year old now.
Elvis on Harley's Trail
Elvis on Harley's Trail

We vary his routine, so he has new experiences. He loves supervised outdoor time in good weather.
Elvis Ambush !
Elvis Ambush !

Last month, something new:
Elvis - Bunny Run
Elvis - Bunny Run

He takes off sprinting in a bunny-hop after his friend Nala out in the yard.  Sometimes he gets so excited that he flips over in the grass, but scrambles to his feet like an NFL running back.
Often, she turns around so that he can "catch" her.
Elvis Ascends !
Elvis Ascends !

Each of these moments is extraordinary, but the most profound one is the first.  A new CH parent embraces their kid with adoration, but also with a little secret pity in their heart.

Up, eyebrows!
Your CH'er will show you how it's done.

In Memory of...Lovey
by Melissa B. (Missy) Green

My dear, sweet Lavinia:


Lavinia came to me with her sister, Effie in the Spring of 2011.  I had lost my CH cat, Otter, not long before and Fifi, my indoor, partially blind calico, was very lonely.  So I rescued two CH girls who came from Virginia via a big truck and a lot of love!  Lavinia, or Lovey as she quickly became known, was the loving one of the sisters, the one who bonded to me while Effie bonded to Fifi.  Oh, how I fell in love with both those girls, though. 


Though they sometimes disagreed, Effie and Lovey did get along.  Sometimes they would wrestle around the padding in the living room, and then fall asleep still curled up together.  Effie did warm up to me more after she had been there for a year, but no one was quite like my Lovey!  

One of Lovey's favorite spots was to curl up with me on the sofa while I typed.  She had the loudest purr, and I loved curling with her and feeling the comfort of that motor.  She was not nearly as coordinated as her sister, but she finally figured out how to get up on the sofa with me on her own.  When she first tried it, and succeeded, she was just SO proud of herself.  Within the past few months she even was able to get up there when no one was around and would end up in the funniest poses.


Lovey also became a favorite of my teenage nephew.  Asher had to run into my house one day to pick something up, and Lovey decided that she REALLY liked Asher.  She tried to show him this by rubbing up against his legs, but only managed to head-butt him over and over.  He was so amused by this that he instantly fell in love and would visit her when he could.

When Asher's family moved to New Hampshire, we inherited Asher's dog, Snickers, who Lovey also quickly won over.  Snickers would often walk by Lovey and just give her a quick kiss, causing Lovey to tumble across the room or down the hall.  Of course, Lovey seemed to enjoy this because she would also give Snickers many head-butts, often losing her balance and tumbling across the room after a few of them.  Snickers would always give me an astonished look like "I didn't mean to hurt her Mom!" but Lovey would immediately get up and head back to her for more love!


When I left for vacation on that hot July morning, I did make sure that I gave each of the cats some love and cuddles and assured them that I would be back in a week.  Of course, if I had known that Lovey would not have survived that week, I would have NEVER left!  They were not alone though, Asher's girlfriend Leslie stayed at my house and took care of them.  They loved Leslie and, despite not eating the first half-day, they settled in with her nicely and the week went fairly smoothly. 

It was the last day of vacation and all seemed well.  We packed and loaded and headed out for the five hour drive home.  I was missing my fur-babies a LOT and rushed ahead of the rest of the family in order to get home as soon as possible.  Then came the phone call from Asher.  He had bad news.   Leslie had stepped out that morning after feeding the pets (all were healthy and all ate well) to do some chores at home.  When she got back a few hours later, she noticed one of the cats lying on the living room floor beside Snickers, but something about it did not look right.  The cat was not moving and Snickers was not letting any of the other animals near her.  Leslie, in a panic, called Asher and was nearly incoherent with shock.  She could tell the cat was dead and was just as sure that I would think she had done something to cause it.  Asher assured her that I would not and agreed to tell me.  They could not tell me who it was at that time, but my heart knew it was Lovey. 

By the time I came home, a neighbor had managed to move Lovey's body into a box and remove her from the house, since Leslie was too upset to do so.  The problem was that Snickers, along with protecting the body, had cleaned her so thoroughly that she was soaking wet.  I wondered if Snickers was trying to wake her or just clean her.  I will likely never know, but it does give me comfort to know that Snickers was there for Lovey at the end.
The hardest part of all of this is that Lovey was so much my baby and now there is just something missing in my house!  And poor Effie, she is just beside herself.  She is eating and she has finally started purring again, but she looks for Lovey all the time.  I have to be careful not to say Lovey's name, because she will start looking for her again.  And Effie seems to have inherited Lovey's voice because Effie was the quiet one, and now she talks to me just like Lovey used to.  I know we will all get through this, and I know that she will be waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge, but once again a part of my heart is torn away, once again I have buried that piece of heart in the hot Georgia soil.

So, to Lovey, I know I only had you for a little over a year, but you truly owned my heart and I will love you forever!  I know you are in the capable hands of my beloved husband, Jason, now and waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge.  Thank you for loving me and giving me the opportunity to love you!

 Meet the Parents ...
 Raeanne, Henrietta and Ca$h! 


By Kristie (Riley Dean's Mommy)

Raeanne lives in Queens, New York. She has six cats (named BabyGirl, Peanut, Ca$H, Henrietta, Buttercup, and Avitar) and two small dogs (Mookie and DeeDee Rose). All of her pets
have disabilities, but Henrietta and Ca$h are her two CH kitties. Raeanne has had them since they were two weeks old, and they have since grown into healthy two-year-olds.

Ca$h, who is a white and buff polydactyl male, has a head bobble and walks with a swagger. "When stressed for any reason," Raeanne says, "his eyes go back and forth."

Raeanne's orange female CH-er, Henrietta, has the pecking motion when eating and runs "like a crazy drunk." She bangs into things sometimes, and when trying to jump, she occasionally
overshoots. "Climbing steps [looks] more like she is flying through the air."
Raeanne found out about CH while working and fostering for Little Shelter, a no kill shelter in Huntington, Long Island in New York : "I was fostering Ca$h, and he had problems with his head bobbling and eye tremors. I was told by the vet he was a CH kitty." Meanwhile, Henrietta was also having issues at the shelter, and so Raeanne took her home, too! "I love them so much!"

She makes sure to never leave windows open unattended - even with a screen - for fear that Henrietta may possibly fall through them. She uses mats under the food bowls for Henrietta's
pecking and a covered litter pan to help Ca$h. "When he feels scared and begins to have a head bobble, it makes him fall over sometimes."

Sometimes, CH kitties can have a hard time playing with non-CHers. Their movements and balance issues can cause their non-CH friends to be afraid. This was true for Ca$h.

"Because he was a bit different from my other fosters, he had a hard time playing with them during playtime," Raeanne says. As a result, Ca$h began to feel more comfortable playing with
Raeanne's dogs, Mookie and DeeDee. "He plays tag with them, and they all have a blast.

Now when they play, he sounds like he is barking, and he pants like a dog. He was raised by the dogs, and now he thinks he is one! He loves to steal their jerky treats. Once I caught Ca$h fighting with Mookie for the treat, so now he gets his own. Silly cat!"

Raeanne wants potential new CH kitty parents out there to know that they are making a big commitment when adopting a CH kitty, but it's totally worth it: "There are many different
degrees of CH, so try to understand them before you adopt. These kitties need our support. Many people think they are cute as kittens, and then as adults, not so much. Make sure you are ready for these babies because they do need a lifetime of love.

Change is stressful for CH kitties. Learn what their limitations are and help them grow and enjoy life."

"They are wonderful kitties and have lots of love to give. They are the best kitties I have ever adopted."

A Little Cat Named Betty

by Ruth Hartman Berge

When a little black ball of fluff ended up at our house in 2005, we thought we'd take care of her until she was old enough to be adopted, and then find a terrific home for her. Hah! Betty was diagnosed with cerebellar hypoplasia on her second vet visit and we've never let her go. Our experiences raising a special needs cat proved to be more than we ever expected and taught our family quite a bit. Betty has mild CH and can, with difficulty, do pretty much everything our able-bodied cats do, except for leaping up onto high surfaces. For Betty, climbing stairs is more than just prancing up or down like the other cats, she has to claw her way up and roll down. Yet, she does it--every day and several times a day. She gets insulted if we pick her up.

I walk several times a week with my best friend, Becky Young. Every time we met, I'd regale her with stories about Betty's latest antics. Becky always shook her head. "That cat," she'd laugh. After a year of hearing tales about Betty, Becky, a third grade teacher, suggested I write a book about Betty to teach children about disabilities. And the challenge began. As I wrote the story, Betty curled up on the hassock in front of the window behind me, it slowly began to be more than just a book about a cat with a disability.

In truth, the story about Betty's determination and persistence to do things her way and with tremendous personality, not only became a way to teach children about disabilities, but also a way to encourage disabled children to work hard to be the best they can be. 

Betty's little story has brought cerebellar hypoplasia some publicity, too. When Betty found her way to our house, we knew nothing about CH. When the vet told us Betty was a "bobblehead" cat, we looked at her with blank faces. We had absolutely no idea what it was or what it meant to raise a cat with CH. The book is helping shelters and vets explain the condition to those who are considering whether or not a CH cat is one they could adopt. 

Betty Tales: The True Story of a Brave Bobblehead Cat  is available at I'm available to speak to any organization in the South Florida area and am willing to appear by Skype with any book club, parent organization, or group outside of the South Florida area. I currently have speaking engagements scheduled at several schools and book fairs as well as a book launch scheduled for September 30 at Murder on the Beach Bookstore in Delray Beach, Florida. Please feel free to contact me through the website.

It is my hope that this little book will teach and inspire. I hope the story of Betty encourages everyone to "climb those stairs" no matter what obstacles stairs may represent in their lives. If Betty can do it, so can you!

The Interviews


by Amanda Maurer 













Goobie Girl  











Chairman Mao 





 Timmy & Tia 












Starr Blue 





Aiden Grace 




 To have your cat profiled, visit us here!!   




Pet Trusts:
What Happens to my pet if I die and what you should consider for them now.

From: ASPCA   

1. What happens to my pet when I die?
Pet owners have several options available to them to ensure the care of their animals in the event of death or hospitalization.
2. What is a pet trust?
A pet trust is a legally sanctioned arrangement providing for the care and maintenance of pets in the event of a grantor's disability and/or death. The grantor is the person who creates the trust, which may take effect during his or her life or at death. For more information on pet trusts, see the
3. What are the Pet Trust Laws in my state?
For the pet trust laws in your state, see our
4. What information should I provide the designated guardian and/or caretaker of my pet?
It is important that designated guardians and/or caretakers know the following information about your pet:
- Your pet's habits (eating, sleeping, exercising)
- Your pet's personality (ok around other animals?, good with children?, etc.)
- Your pet's veterinarian and any relevant medical history
5. Can I put my pet in my will?
Yes, you can put your pet in your will. However, you can not name your pet as a beneficiary, because animals are legally defined as property. You can, however, create provisions in your will for your pet's care.

6. Are there precautions I can take regarding my pet in the event of an emergency?
It is important for pet owners to have instructions for the care of their pets readily available in the event of an emergency. Pet owners should carry a copy of instructions in their purse or wallet with information on who should be called in the case of emergency, how they can be contacted and what arrangements should be made.
7. As a multiple pet owner, can my pets stay together in the event of my hospitalization or death?
Realistically, if you are an owner of more than two pets, it will likely be a burden on one caretaker to care for all your animals. It is therefore extremely important for you to find options for all your animals.
8. Is there a limit to the amount of money I can leave my pets?
Although there is no set limit as to the amount of money an individual can leave his or her pet, it is recommended that owners leave a reasonable amount of money so your request is not challenged by family members or invalidated by the court.
9. Are there pet retirement homes?
Yes. There are several sponsored by schools for veterinary medicine. Purdue University, University of Minnesota and Texas A&M University's Stevenson Companion Animal Life Care Center just to name a few. There are others that are privately operated. As a pet guardian you must make a decision as to which situation works best for you. Do your homework and thoroughly investigate the possibilities and especially the organization you ultimately select.
10. Is it possible to create a pet trust even if my state does not have a pet trust law?
As long as you establish some connection with a state that has a pet trust law in your trust. For example:
- the trustee may live in a state with a pet trust law;
- the caretaker whom you have named in your trust may live there;
- the retirement home that you have chosen for your pet is located in that state; or
- you may own property in that state.

11. Where can I get more information on pet trusts?
ASPCA experts recommend the following books:
by David Congalton & Charlotte Alexander
by Peggy R. Hoyt
by Rachel Hirschfeld

Poppie (Poppy) the Movie
An Epic Journey Through Life - The Cat From Afghanistan

Poppie (Poppy)  the Movie - An Epic Journey Through Life - The Cat From Afghanistan

by Janet F. Katz

Poppie is an unusual cat because he comes from Afghanistan. He walked into our compound in Kabul in December 2007 and immediately rubbed against the legs of everyone including
the guards. We think someone might have dropped him off with us, hoping that foreigners would feed him. He was very weak and thin and my husband insisted on bringing him into our little house in the compound. This meant, in my view, he would then become "our cat" and we could not leave him behind when our assignment ended. My husband agreed, not knowing the consequences of this action.

We noticed that the cat walked oddly and the Afghan vet thought he had been hit by a car and needed ground up calcium tablets to speed up his recovery. This vet also gave him a rabies shot
intended for dogs, we discovered later.

In the meantime, Poppie ended up with a name "borrowed" from another cat in Kabul who was a) female and b) had a red tail. Poppie, who is male and black and white, has not suffered
from gender identification issues as our British friend has threatened since Poppie or Poppy is a popular name for female cats in the UK. The poppy is a significant and red flower in
Afghanistan, of course. We added the "ie" to try to make it slightly more masculine.

When Poppie's walking did not improve, we consulted a British vet who was in Afghanistan as an advisor for an agricultural program. He had done some small animal practice but could not
identify the problem specifically; only that it was part of the central nervous system and probably would not get better. It didn't matter as Poppie, who the vet declared to be about eight months old, was using the litter box (yes, there was very expensive litter in Kabul) and responding to his new name. There was also very good and relatively inexpensive cat food in Kabul and Poppie gained weight. He wasn't very affectionate at the time, pulling his head away when we petted him but we would wake up with him sleeping between us. He would come running up
to me in the garden when I came home from work making the guards laugh, as his gait was so peculiar.

"He's drunk!" the Muslim guards would say to me.

We did connect with Tigger House, the animal shelter started by Pam Constable, the Washington Post reporter. The vets there, who had been trained by British and other foreign vets, neutered Poppie.

The time came when we had to leave and Poppie was going to come to the U.S. with us. I had to depart before Poppie was able to get on a plane to Islamabad, Pakistan, the first leg of his trip to the U.S. Poppie could not come with us, as we had to travel through Dubai, which had complicated quarantine issues. He had to fly a different route by himself.

We dropped him off at Tigger House and hoped for the best. After getting stuck for weeks in Islamabad because of illness and then delays with the airline, Poppie arrived in New York. He then had to stay there with a woman who rescues animals until Pam flew in with other dogs from Afghanistan and drove them all back to Washington, DC, our home town.

"I didn't know a cat had so many meows in him," said Pam of Poppie, who does not like to travel. He was happier on someone's
lap and after an emergency stop at a McDonald's in the middle of the night to feed all the passengers in the car, including the four legged ones.

In Washington, Poppie was diagnosed with CH by the vet for our other (Macedonian) cat, Ficho, and was able to settle in and try to adjust to a multi-story house. After we carpeted all the bare
stairs and put in gates and aids, Poppie was soon exploring every inch and getting up on the most comfortable furniture. My husband built a cat fence so the two cats could go outside.
A year and a half later a new assignment beckoned in Aqaba, Jordan, and Poppie and Ficho once again had to fly to a new home. After some adjustments, the two cats have settled in, with Poppie enjoying the huge terraces of our apartment overlooking the Red Sea and the outdoor litter areas my husband has created on the terraces. Poppie, the star of "Poppie - The Movie", with his own web site and Twitter account with - followers, is the luckiest cat from Afghanistan!

Adoptable Angels

gathered by Debbie Martin...CH Kitty Club Adoption Specialist

Penelope, CH Kitty rescued from the streets needs a home! Northern New Jersey 

JerseyCats is a foster based rescue in northern New Jersey. We have just taken in a cat that we believe has mild to moderate CH. She is gorgeous, and the sweetest thing you've ever met.
She has just had her first vetting, received vax and dewormers and tested FeLV and FIV negative. She is safe in foster care and is not yet ready for adoption. However, I wanted to make you aware of her in case you might know of any potential adopters in the metro NYC area looking for a CH kitten.

Please do let me know if you have any questions or I can provide any further information or if you would like to meet Penelope.




Los Angeles California

These two are in the laundry room now!! The daughter is desperate to help these kitties be safe, her mother is pushing for these kitties out.
These are not my cats but was contacted by the owner.




From Erin who has these kitties now:

Phineas-  (the grey tabby) and Ferb (brown and black) were born on our front porch in March of 2010. We took them in because their mother wasn't taking very good care of them. As a full-time college student with a part-time job it's gotten difficult for me to give them the care they need even though I love them so much, and it has gotten difficult for my family to have them around when we already have 4 other cats and 2 dogs. Phineas is a cuddly little boy who loves to be held 



Ferb is a sweet and rather stoic little guy who loves to be around people. They have been together since the day they were born and I would prefer that they stay together if at all possible.



They have a hard time getting around (Phineas especially), but with the proper care and attention that could change. They seem fine around my family's other cats and even our two small dogs. They have both been neutered and are up-to-date on their shots. I live in the Los Angeles area, but I would consider driving them almost anywhere to find them a good and loving home. Please let me know if you have any questions or are interested in giving them a home.

Debbie Martin is the contact for these boys.
 I will forward you the owners phone number


Need Rescue or adoption for CH Kitty in Barrie Ontario,  Her cats are beating on her.


My kitty Portia has pretty moderate CH. I've had her for five years now. She's so sweet, and I love her to pieces. Here's the issue I have, my other cats are beating on her, before it wasn't too bad but its gotten worse and worse over the years. Now poor Portia flinches every time someone touches her because she's so afraid that she's going to get beat up. It's not fair for her at all. I've tried keeping them separated but I live in a very small space so that doesn't help. I'm looking for rescue for Portia, someone who understands CH and would be able to take care of her, but being from Ontario I can't seem to find any in this province. Do you know of any?  


 Contact Jenn -


Bobby - CH Kitten in Deerfield Beach. Florida. Now safe and ready for adoption 

Last month you may remember me pleaing for help for a CH Kitten in Boca Raton Florida because the vet was determined to put him down.  Well, Bobby had a guardian Angel in Deerfield Beach Florida who took him to help him to safety! Bobby is not very severe at all and Bobby is a fun and happy loving kitten who can eat, drink and use his potty box!  He also is a lover boy too and will make a wonderful addition to any loving home!  


Facebook Videos :
Video #1


Please open your heart and home to Bobby!!!!  


To find out about Bobby and fill out adoption application please contact Nicole : 


 CH Kitty for adoption in North Carolina (can be transported along the South East Region to approved Adopters)


Check out Mr. Hansel! He is a beautiful, five year old cerebellar-hypoplasia cat, which means he wobbles a little when he walks, but isn't in any pain. He is a moderate CH cat, who loves hanging out on the second story of his cat tree. He is the sweetest gentleman, who adores chin scratches, lounging on the couch, and hanging out on the cat tree. He does great with other cats, as well as dogs, and is seeking a loving home to call his own. He is fully vetted, including neutered and FIV/FeLV negative.

If you are in the market for an adorable special needs kitty, please contact He is currently located in Chapel Hill, NC but can be transported anywhere along the East Coast or South East region for approved adopters.


CH Kitty for adoption in North Carolina (can be transported along the South East Region to approved Adopters)

This is Bishop, a sweet six month old male, who is fully vetted (neutered, FIV/FeLV negative, microchipped, dewormed, and vaccinated). He has mild CH, which is a non-degenerative neurological conditions that causes him to wobble a bit when walking, however, he is excellent in every way - no health problems, can jump onto couches, and uses the litter box like a champ. Best of all, he ADORES people, and loves nothing more than friendly scratches while he purrs wildly.

If you have room in your heart and home for a special needs kitty, please contact He is located in Chapel Hill, NC, however transport is available within the East Coast and South Eastern regions.



CH Kitty for adoption in North Carolina (can be transported along the South East Region to approved Adopters)  




Wren is an adorable, six month old kitten with moderate to severe Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH). CH is a neurological condition that causes her to wobble when she walks. It causes her no pain, and she is a happy, healthy kitten who loves to play with other kittens, get ear scratches, and nap on the couch. She is laid back and does well with other cats as well as dogs.
If you are looking to adopt an sweetheart, please email She is currently located in Chapel Hill, NC but transport is available to approved adopters up and down the East Coast and surrounding areas.


Here are our boys Seth & Spencer in Ontario Canada who urgently need a home...they just lost their foster home :(
 Meet Seth & Spencer!


These moderate CH boys are full of life and they never stop purring!! They are just under one year old and have been fully vetted. Both are short hair black and Seth has a bit of
white and is also a polydactyl...just makes him that much cuter!!



Seth is the goofy, fun guy and Spencer is the more serious and observant of the two. They make an amazing and funny pair and are bonded brothers...they must stay together!! They have been socialized with a friendly dog and both boys love to be held and cuddled. Seth has the loudest purr and he starts as soon as he sees you! SO SWEET!


They are moderate CH and perfect litterbox users and eat and drink with no problems. They are perfect for a loving family. You will need to do very little in order to have these kittens live happily in your home. The biggest thing they need to kept away from is stairs, although is they were carpeted, we are sure they would give it a go!



Seth & Spencer were rescued from outside. Born into a feral colony that resided around an old gas station they are so lucky
to be alive. Rescued by an amazing woman, they then came to join Urban Cat Relief in Toronto, Ontario Canada.

They are currently available for adoption. If needed, we will travel to get the right permanent home for Seth & Spencer.
Please email with any questions ~
Heather ~  - 

~ Lots of pics and video


 CH Kitty Fox in Audubon New Jersey For Adoption 



Fox is 10 weeks old, combo negative with moderate CH.  He will be neutered soon.  He is an adorable tabby boy that is a love one minute and an ornery kitten the next.  His manners are improving though, we believe he was separated from his siblings at a young age.  He was brought into a shelter as a stray by himself, he may have not been able to keep up with his mom and siblings so he was left behind.  He loves a good shoulder to sleep on.  He loves to play, gets along great with other cats and dogs.  He travels well as he just returned from the mountains and loved the two hour car ride back and forth.  He is able to use the litter box and eats on his own.  




Joyce -
Joa's Arc
PO Box 243

Audubon, NJ 08106 

Baltimore Maryland, 4 CH Kitties for adoption with Charm City Animal Rescue

This is my new litter. All four have CH, from very mild to moderate. All can climb and use litterboxes.

Christian the Grey: long haired grey male, huge paws, very likely part maine coon. mild-moderate

Charity: calico female, very sweet, long hair. Mild

Christina: medium haired dilute torbie, timid, beautiful, mild/moderate.

Chaz: all black male, incredibly affectionate, very mild.


Nine CH Kitties who need homes with K9Kastle in Brooklyn New York
Please contact Emily at
What a funny boy! Xavier is a ten month old kitten with cerebellar hypoplasia, a pre-natal neurological condition that affects motor skills. This darling is TINY compared to his siblings. His fluffy fur can get dirty, have you known a toddler who stays clean? He has some litter box issues, but they can be managed with the proper cleaning and boxes/wee wee pads. Xavier loves to play with the big boys in his foster home and even the dogs! His littermates include to Tiger, Mina and Champ. Xavier is neutered, vaccinated, negative for FeLV and FIV, and he is microchipped.

Hi! I'm a three-year-old sweetheart of a kitty who just LOVES to snuggle. In fact, I'll follow you around the house like a little puppy, meowing for affection. I just love to cuddle up with the people I love and curl up under the covers with you at night. As if I weren't cute enough already, I have a condition called Cerebellar Hypoplasia. Basically this means my balance is a little off-kilter. I'm not in any pain, it will never get worse, I don't need medication and I'll have a normal, long lifespan. My condition just means I walk a little funny and fall over sometimes. I just love people and am ok living with another cat. I'd probably also be pretty good with gentle kids. Do I sound like a good fit for you? Come meet me!

Henny is a beautiful 4 year old cat with a special condition called cerebellar hypoplasia, which causes balance issues. A result of an in utero infection (now long-gone), it affects motor skills. CH cats all have different levels of challenges, but as you can see from Henny's photos, she is stunning and has no problem getting around. She may wobble or tumble occasionally, but she doesn't care. Henny, like some cats, can be very mouthy, like a teething puppy. So she shouldn't be around small children or anyone who has conditions that love-bites would exacerbate. She's spayed, vaccinated and negative for FeLV and FIV.


Perli is severely disabled with CH, but that doesn't stop her from getting around and getting what she wants! She's timid with people and other cats, but if you stop and love on her she just soaks it up! Perli had severe eye infections when we got her and she came away from it with a scarred eye and some chronic tearing. Perli is spayed, vaccinated, tested (negative) and microchipped.

Tiger is Mina and Champ's brother. He's a handsome sweet boy who's great with other kitties (he and his sisters become a three headed monster in the kitty bed at times) and people. He has litter box "issues" but they are manageable with the proper boxes and wee wee pads. Tiger is neutered, vaccinated, tested (negative) and microchipped.

Noah is about 4 months old, mild to moderate CH. He's funny and loving with a severe swagger and predilection to make you say OOPS! Noah was rescued when K9Kastle realized he was in danger of euthanasia because of his disability (all three of his siblings were euthanized before we were aware!) He uses the litter box and eats on his own just fine! If a little messily. He loves to play with other kitties and just STRUT HIS STUFF! Noah is tested negative for FIV/FeLV, microchipped, vaccinated and neutered.  

Mina is a darling little girl of about ten months, with a condition called cerebellar hypoplasia, which affects motor skills, but not health. She is friendly, playful and loving, a veritable purr box. Mina's "CH" is moderate to severe, but she uses the litter box. She loves other other cats and shouldn't be an only cat. Her littermates are Champ, Tiger and Midnight. Mina is spayed, vaccinated, negative for FeLV and FIV, and is microchipped.
Champ, like her sister Mina, is a darling little girl of about ten months, with a condition called cerebellar hypoplasia, which affects motor skills, but not health. She is friendly, playful and loving--a veritable purr box. Champ's "ch" is also moderate to severe, but uses the litter box. She loves other other cats and shouldn't be an only cat. Her littermates are Mina, Tiger and Midnight. Champ is spayed, vaccinated, negative for FeLV and Fiv, and is microchipped.
Whiskas is strikingly beautiful Siamese mix girl with stunning blue eyes and a WOBBLE! She has cerebellar hypoplasia, which means she has trouble controlling her motions. So, she walks like she's drunk and falls down a little. But otherwise, she's simply perfect. Whiskas loves people, but takes a little bit to warm up. Oh, and like most Siamese, she's a talker! Whiskas is about three years old, spayed, vaccinated, FeLV/FIV negative and is microchipped. 
 URGENT! The next CH Kitty who will be going to the Brooklyn Shelter in New York if no home or rescue found!I am at loss of resources for this precious kitty!
From Erin: 
I live in Brooklyn, Bay Ridge. 

I asked all my friends and close family members. They were only willing to babysit, but not take Nibbles as their own pet. 
I was hoping to find her a home by September of this year. Not sure if this is reasonable or too soon. 

Nibbles has pretty severe CH. She can walk sometimes, but wobbly and falls sometimes.  
She is not litter trained. For five years I have placed newspaper on the ground.
She pees and poops on the newspaper, so she knows where she has to go to release.  


Sad situation and story for two CH Kitties who need a cat rescue or an adopter please. 




My name is Sarah and I volunteer with a rescue near Chicago. I was at another rescue facility today where I met the owners of two beautiful cats. The owners were sobbing and I asked them if the kitties were sick. They told me that the cats were injured inutero with vaccines and that they had tried everything they could but could not get them to use their litter boxes. The medical staff at the rescue told the owners that it was likely the cats would be euthanized if they were surrendered there. To make a long story short we ended up with the kitties. I am hoping we can work on the litter box issues as they are quite mobile and can definitely get into the box without a problem. The thing is, the rescue I work with primarily resues and places dogs and I am not sure how to go about getting these two homes. They are absolutely beautiful, friendly, 18 months old, fixed, vaccinated, playful, I just do not want them to wait around forever at our rescue for a home to love them. Can you offer any advice? Thanks so much.




In the meantime here is what Sarah knows about the kitties,


They are brother and sister, 18 months old, both are beautiful, and otherwise healthy.  The surrendering owners had originally adopted them on the wife's birthday so their names are, Anna and Versaire, (combined it means birthday in French, they said).  They are both very well socialized, know their names, come when you call them and will follow you if you snap for them.  They are able to get around quite well as they do have some use of their back legs.  I saw Anna in the litterbox last night before I left so I know she can manage getting in and out fine and I am pretty sure the same is true for Versaire.  They both have their favorite toys, Anna's mouse and Versaire's bear, and according to the former owners they will carry them around the house for hours, especially Versaire.  I wish I had gotten more info from the former owners, but everything was so emotional and I wasn't thinking about all the details. I will try and get in touch with them through the original shelter they were going to be surrendered to (euthanized at). They are both up to date on vaccines and spayed/neutered.  Hopefully I can get copies of those records when I reach out to that shelter.

The main reason the cats were being surrendered is because they (I am assuming both, just going on what the owners said) will go to the bathroom outside the box.  They said that usually the cats will go near the box, but not always in their box.  I am not a cat expert, but I am a cat lover so I have had the need to work on correcting box issues and know there are various ways to correct on it.  I am hoping maybe we can get a better handle on that with these two, but I have no experience with CH kitties so maybe it is not an issue that can be fixed with traditional measures? 



The former owners said they tried everything and could not make it work.  I do not usually have too much empathy for surrendering owners when it seems the choice to surrender is hasty and for selfish convenience, but this couple was heartbroken.  They were both crying and  were in the shelter lobby for so long agonizing over what to do, pleading with the head veterinarian and shelter manager, that finally I decided to ask what was wrong.  We had originally come to pick up a dog for transfer to help that shelter free up space for pups and when this happened we felt like we were there at that time for a reason.
These kitties were rescued by a dog group who graciously stepped up to help these two kitties and their owners who were upset and crying over their cats.  It is a shame the previous owners never found the CH Kitty community to assist them on CH kitties and potty issues, which is sometimesvery easy to fix with a pee pad in a pee pad try that is clamped down or in a cat bed.  Actually pee pads are so much easier for clean up anyway then the litter all over the floor. Is there anybody who can take these kitties into their rescue or someone to adopt them please?


Contact Sarah at 


Bye Bye everyone!   


Lots of love went into making this newsletter, I hope you feel it too : ))


Thanks to every one of you who helped make it happen. 









Hope you loved this month's newsletter, we love making it happen!!!


Ziggy Wigg'n

Little Demon 

A PurrFect Face    


Elizabeth Holochwost

Founder of the CH Kitty Club (really) 


Neal Helman

Editor and Best Daddy Cat and Ziggy's best friend  


Debbie Martin

Adoption Specialist  


Elise Murphy

Temporary Newsletter Editor


In Loving Memory of Tardy Peebucket

President of Love and his mommy's heart  


I miss you Tardy  

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This month's Wonderful Articles!
Hi all!
CH Kitty of the Month
The World According to Riley Dean
Chipped Teeth: Should You Be Concerned?
Jasper's Adoption Story
New Family Members...Luna Süna & Spike
WHOA!...The CH Moment
In Memory of......My dear, sweet Lavinia
Meet the Parents
A Little Cat Named Betty
The Interviews
Pet Trusts
Adoptable Angels