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CH Kitty Club Newsletter
April 2013                                                                                                         Issue # 30

Welcome to the CH Kitty Newsletter 


30th Issue Edition!!!!


                                                         Debbie     &      Elise


 CH Kitty Mac and Sidekick Trouble Have their own Comic Book Series!
        Comic Writer:  Rusty Gilligan 
    And Dad to CH Kitty Mac and Trouble
  Mac and Trouble are real-life house cats, my best friends actually.
They're very comical, and have hysterical personalities, so it wasn't hard to imagine them with human characteristics and mannerisms... and eventually, their own comic book.
  Mac was born with an ailment called "Cerebellar Hypoplasia" ( which causes him to have problems with his movements and he becomes very uncoordinated. He often has a problem walking, and at times falls down. He really can't jump or run, due to these problems as well.
Trouble was a kitten that came right after Mac. He's larger than most cats, a little clumsy, but an all-around best friend to the others... whether they want it or not LOL
Trouble and Mac got along famously right from the start, giving Mac the only playmate he's ever really known. They eat and often sleep together, and, you really can't think of one without the other.
For years, I had been working in the comic book industry as a writer and artist... but over time I developed a nerve problem with my back and hip that causes me a lot of pain. As such, I had to stop attending comic shows and eventually stayed in my bed or chair. The idea to re-enter comics hit me last year. Since then, I've worked on some really nice comic and art jobs for others, but nothing for myself.
This time, it's for me... for something I care about :)  

The Adventures Of Mac And Trouble

Mac and Trouble are average house cats who fall through a wormhole in their litter box and land in the middle of the Nexus of realities. But... was it an accident, or were they meant to be there ? Only the evil Professor Wormhole knows for sure.
The 'Nexus' is a place outside of space-time, where a mysterious group known as the 'Collectors' base their operations. For all intent and purpose, it appears that they're operating out of a Movie Studio filled with all sorts of amazing characters and props, that interact with reality.
During their adventures, you will meet all sorts of characters on their comedic travel through the universe... some familiar, some not. Among them, long lost heroes, movie monsters, and historical figures to name a few, on a wild journey of the absurd.
 Rusty Gilligan Blog                                                                   
To Contact Rusty Gilligan, please
The World According to Riley Dean: Road Trip Road Tips
By Riley Dean (With a Little Help From Mommy)  


Hello all! I just got back from our lovely annual family vacation to Reno, Nevada! Every year, my whole family takes a road trip to Reno from our home in the San Francisco Bay Area. All of us cats get to go too! It got me thinking about what travel tips I can pass on to make kitty-included road trips as peaceful as possible. So if you're thinking of including your CH fur-baby on your next family vacation, here are some things to keep in mind: 


1. Are we there yet? Whenever we go on a road trip, my mommy rents a big passenger van so that there'll be plenty of room for CH-ers, non-CH-ers, and non-kitties (meaning the dog and people). You may not want a large van, but it's important that every kitty on the trip is in a secure covered carrier. There should always be enough seatbelts to secure each carrier, and never stack the carriers on top of each other. Stacking cat carriers can be very dangerous. Safety first! Also, remember never to leave your kitties alone in the locked car. Very hot or very cold temperatures can be big trouble!  


2. Find a pet-friendly place! There are many major hotel chains that have no problem taking pets. However, always be sure to call ahead and make sure cats are included in that definition. My mommy once took me to a hotel near Santa Cruz (which shall remain nameless) that CLAIMED to be pet-friendly, but she was told once she arrived that this did not include cats! Luckily, when they found out that I was a CH-er, they made an exception. Many hotels allow dogs, but they are afraid of cats scratching furniture and spraying. Always double check, and be prepared to pay a pet fee. This is usually a $50 to $100 non-refundable deposit. There are many in-print and online guides to pet-friendly hotels.


 3. Familiar is good! If possible, bring as many of your kitty's things from home as can fit in your car. I like to have my own bed, food and water bowls and litter box with me when I travel. Having to get used to new things on top of a new place can causes added stress. I also travel with my usual food and treats, so as to not give myself an upset tummy. No drive-thru food for me on this trip, thank you!


4. Please do not disturb! Even though it's sometimes fun to have housekeeping service while on vacation, it's always better to refuse service if your CH-er is in the room with you. Having a stranger come in while you're not there, especially with a loud vacuum, can be scary! And though some of us can get around faster than others, there's always the chance that we'll get so scared, we'll run for the door! Please leave the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door when you leave the room, and even call to clarify with Housekeeping just to be sure. Better safe than sorry! 


5. Let's go for a stroll! I don't know about you, but I love going for trips in my pet stroller! It provides a safe, covered place for me to take in the sights, and I even have my mommy put a nice fleece blanket in there in case I get chilly or want to hide. Many restaurants will also allow cats in strollers to sit in outdoor patio seating, much like they would for dogs! It never hurts to ask. If you love to take your CH-er with you when you go out, it's definitely worth it to invest in a pet stroller. You can get some great deals online, and you don't just have to use them when you're on vacation. They're great to use for walks near home too!   


Well, that's all for this month! I hope you all have fun on your next road trips, especially now that summer is just around the corner. Remember to send me a postcard! 


Cerebellar Hypoplasia vs. Spina Bifida: Tia's Misdiagnosis
By Catherine Case
My girl Tia was born somewhere between 2005 and 2007-her shelter records have different possible ages listed. I received no records from the shelter that covered the time period prior to 2008 when the shelter examined her and did blood work.

I first learned about Tia in 2008 when a volunteer working at a shelter in Berkeley sent an email with video about CH cats. The next day the volunteer called and explained she'd become very close to Tia, a CH kitty who also has a deformed front paw. The volunteer was quite distraught because a home could not be found and Tia was now on a kill list. The volunteer said she could get Tia transported to L.A. if there were a home for her. Moved by her story, I said bring her down.

At the time I didn't know anything about cats with disabilities so I did some research on CH. It seems strange to me now, but I didn't question the presentation of her as having CH. I assumed the vet at the shelter got it right as did the volunteer and I didn't carefully examine the medical records to question the diagnosis. I brought Tia to a vet right away with concern mainly about her front paw. That vet reviewed Tia's records and did not bring up the possibility that Tia might not have CH.

Four years went by and Tia could race me across the house and win. Once she got her back legs moving in a grove, however unusual, she was fast. She could climb into the windowsill and jump quite well. I often remarked to people that Tia was unaware that she was different from my other cats. She was quite content with her abilities and the love of our family.

At the end of 2012 Tia suddenly started having difficulty getting one of her back legs to go down. After numerous falls Tia could no longer get up and walk, though strength in her back legs remained. Eventually, after much confusion, in part due to the original conclusion that Tia had CH, I was referred (by Deb Martin via Elise Murphy) to an excellent neurologist (Dr. Pettigrew with Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital) who, upon exam, presumed Tia had been misdiagnosed even before he ordered her spinal MRI which confirmed this to be true. Tia is now suspected to have been born with spina bifida and during all of her years a spinal malformation had been worsening with time-though not in such a way that there was any visible or functional manifestation. With physical therapy there is the possibility of her being able to do some spinal walking in the future, though due to her deteriorated condition, she will always be extremely fragile. Sometimes during physical therapy or on her own she somewhat gets up and takes some shaky steps and I'm researching an appropriate wheelchair that will encourage walking.

In conversations with employees from the shelter while trying to research her history, I found out that the shelter no longer had any record of Tia nor of the volunteer. A closer look at the medical records that I first received revealed that the CH diagnosis was suspected rather than the result of details about birth, x-rays, etc. The main reason it is important to share this story is that the neurologist who diagnosed Tia, though not sure, contemplated that there may have been something that could have been done for Tia approximately two years ago had we known she did not have CH and explored other reasons for her neurological difficulties.
 Parting Words Parting Ways, Saying Good Bye to your Pet
Parting Words/Parting Ways: Saying Good-Bye to Your Pet
Author LAURA RITTER CARLSON and CH Kitty mom and Rescuer
Also founder of Harbor Hope Cat Rescue, Gig Harbor, Washington.
It's always hard to say good-bye to one we love. When that loved one is a pet, intense feelings of responsibility and guilt can make our good-byes even more painful. Laura Ritter Carlson offers creative, comforting methods for coping with the loss of animal companions, as well as imaginative ways to honor and memorialize them. Parting Words / Parting Ways features a collection of heartfelt letters showing the boundless love people feel for animals. These letters share the heartbreak of the loss of beloved pets, joining the grief-stricken in a circle of compassion and assuring them that they do not suffer alone. While offering understanding and consolation, this caring guide through the grieving process encourages people to help heal themselves by writing their own letters to their special lost friends.


From her many years of experience in pet-loss counseling, pet-assisted therapy, pet behavior counseling, and animal rescue, award-winning newspaper reporter and columnist Laura Carlson offers creative, comforting methods for coping with the loss of animal companions, as well as imaginative ways to honor and memorialize them.


    Parting Words/Parting Ways: Saying Good-Bye to Your Pet 
              can be purchased on Amazon buy clicking HERE
    (100% of the proceeds of this book goes directly to Harbor Hope Cat Rescue, Gig Harbor Washington)
April Birthdays
Birthday Dedication
By Megan Cousins 
My little Fatty Cakes, Darby, is turning a year old this month. All of my kitties are special but her adoption is particularly sentimental to me...In December of 2011, one of my dearest friends lost her home and all of her possessions in a house fire. Two of her kitties also perished in the fire, one of them being a tortie kitty named Jade. She was devastated, as was I, for her. I told her that I would rescue a kitty in her kitty's honor. Then, in April 2012, I got a call from a friend who works for a local animal shelter. She told me they had a tiny, 5 week old kitten that was CH and it needed to go into foster, otherwise it would be put to sleep. I immediately said I would take it and headed to the shelter to pick her up. To my surprise, she was a gorgeous little tortie girl and I instantly knew she was the one I was destined to have.
She has turned into a beautiful girl and I couldn't love her more. She honors the memory of Jade every day with her feisty and loving personality. 

 Trixie from Ontario, Canada

Will be 1 years on April 4th.

Proud mom is Dianne Brittain 

Swagger from Florida

 Will be 1 years old April 4th.

Proud mom is Andrea Sisko


About CH Cats


Printable Handouts for Shelters, Vets Offices, Adoption Events and to Give to your adopters of CH Cats!!!!

View/Print: Cerebellar Hypoplasia Handout
View/Print: Tri-Fold Cerebellar Hypoplasia Brochure

What is Cerebellar Hypoplasia?

Cerebellar Hypoplasia (cer·e·bel·lar hy·po·pla·sia) is a disorder found in cats and dogs which causes jerky movements, tremors, and generally uncoordinated motion, just like ataxic cerebral palsy in humans.  A cat with CH often falls down and has trouble walking or cannot seem to walk at all.  CH in cats is non-progressive, meaning it does not get worse with age.

Cerebellar Hypoplasia occurs when the cerebellum, the part of the brain which controls fine motor skills and coordination, is not completely mature at birth.  Symptoms of CH can usually be seen immediately at birth.

Cerebellar Hypoplasia is most commonly caused by the kitten's mother contracting the Panleukopenia virus while pregnant. If the mother passes on the virus during the end of pregnancy, the kittens can be born with CH. Kittens with CH are not infected with or carriers of the Panleukopenia virus, it has only stunted their cerebellum's growth while in the womb. Cerebellar Hypoplasia can also occur if a trauma, including malnutrition, occurs to the kittens while in the womb.

Cats with Cerebellar Hypoplasia are often euthanized, as people misunderstand the condition as being painful and/or contagious.  However, they have a normal life expectancy and are very affectionate, sweet, and loving.  They return the extra care they need with an intense love for and bond with their adoptive families.

The Truth About CH Cats

At this time, many veterinary and rescue professionals are still unaware of CH.  Many CH cats are needlessly euthanized before given a chance at a proper diagnosis and life, making it harder for awareness about the condition to grow.


Cats with CH:

  • Are not in any pain
  • Are not contagious
  • Have a normal life expectancy
  • Live happy, healthy lives
  • Learn to adapt their abilities and compensate over  time
  • Can be spayed/neutered safely
  • Need to be indoor-only & should never be declawed
  • May require no extra care, or a great deal of extra care, depending on their severity
  • Can be more prone to accident-related injuries, like chipped teeth or broken nails




Severity Levels of CH Cats


Cats with mild CH are very capable and require little to no extra care.


  • Unusual gait (high step or waddle)
  • Occasional balance loss
  • May have subtle head tremors when excited or stressed


  • Walk
  • Run
  • Jump
  • Stairs

Special Care:

  • Cannot live outdoors
  • May prefer a modified litter box with high sides
  • Prefer carpet or rugs, but not a necessity


Cats with moderate CH can get around on their own, but one end of their body may appear to be doing something else than the other end.


  • Walk with legs splayed in a wide stance
  • Frequent balance loss, falls
  • Noticeable head tremors, especially when excited or stressed


  • Walk short distances
  • Expert climbers

Special Care:

  • Cannot live outdoors
  • Prefer a modified litter box with high sides to support themselves against; can be messier than non-CH cats
  • Have an easier time balancing on carpet or rugs
  • Raised food & water dishes
  • Modified furniture to protect them from getting hurt when they fall (e.g. adding bumpers)


Cats with severe CH cannot walk on their own and require a great deal of special care.


  • Cannot walk or stand
  • Flip and Flop to get around
  • Constant head tremors


  • Expert climbers

Special Care:

  • Cannot live outdoors
  • May need help using the litter box;  prefer a modified litter box with high sides or pee-pee pads
  • Prefer carpet to help grip and propel themselves forward
  • May need help getting set up at their food dish
  • Modified furniture to protect them from getting hurt when they fall (e.g. adding bumpers)
  • Are ideal candidates for wheelchairs, which can help improve mobility and coordination


To learn more, or get assistance with a CH cat, please visit the following resources:

CH Kitty Club

Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cats

Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cats and Kittens Facebook Group

Life with CH Cats Blog

Wesley the Wobbly Kitten!/fuzzy.butt.foster.pets

View/Print: Cerebellar Hypoplasia Handout
View/Print: Tri-fold Cerebellar Hypoplasia Brochure

Interviews: Life with CH Cats
Sign up to be a CH Kitty Rescue Warrior!


We need people ALL OVER the country to sign up as helpers in cases where urgent CH kitties pop up in your general area.  


This can include help:

  • fostering                                                                                                                      
  • adopting
  • transporting
  • pulling from a shelter
  • offering place at your rescue
  • chip-ins
  • crossposting with other rescuers and animal lovers in your area                  
  • Sign up using the form here!
The "Scout" Walker, PVC Walker for CH Kitties 


The "SCOUT" Walker

 PVC Walker for CH Kitties

by Susan Mertz  and Leon Mertz
Here are directions to make an inexpensive walker/cart/wheelchair for your cat.  This size walker is for a cat 6lbs to approx. 12 lbs. 
(Adjust length and height cuts for a small kitten)
Homemade Cat walker 
Homemade Cat walker
1.   One 8' to 10' length of ½" cpvc
2.   Eight ½" cpvc T's
3.   Four 1/2" cpvc 90 degree elbows
4.   Twenty -Eight ½" #4 screws     
       (cheaper to buy the whole box)
5.   Four 2" caster wheels
6.   Four caster inserts
          (bring a piece of the cpvc with you to fit the caster insert)

1.  PVC pipe cutter
       (hand or coping saw will work also)
2. Tape measure
3.  Drill with 1/16" drill bit
4.  Phillips head screw driver

1.   Four pieces of cpvc  5/8" each
2.  Two side pieces of cpvc  21"  each
3.   Four pieces of cpvc to7" each
4.   Four pieces of cpvc to 3 1/2" each
5.   Four pieces of cpvc to 7 ¾" each
Front and back are identical.  Take one T and insert a 7" piece into the straight side of the T. Repeat this four times.  Insert 7 ¾" cpvc into the 90 degree elbow.  Take the other T's and place them on the top of the 7" piece keeping the 90 degree section pointing up.  Insert 3 ½" cpvc into top of the T and then take 90 degree elbow and place on the 3 ½" cpvc facing them towards each other.  Now take 7 ¾" piece and insert into the elbows.  You should now have a rectangle.
Take the two 21" pieces and put into one side of the rectangle then insert the other end into the other rectangle.  Set the cart upright and press all connections together to seat the fittings.
Flip cart over and pre-drill a 1/16" hole ¼" down from the ends of the T's and elbows. (The T's will have three holes and the elbows will have two.  Insert the #4 screws, leaving one end of the sides out so the sling can be slid on.  After sling is on, insert the other two screws.
Turn cart over and place the 5/8" piece of cpvc over the caster insert and press down firmly.  Insert these into the bottom T of the cart frame and then insert the caster.


We used a rectangular towel approx. 24" X 16".  Measure your cat from the middle of the front leg to the middle of the rear leg.  Leave about 1" for the front (this will help your cat hold its' head steady if they have attention tremors).  Mark your cats length on the width of the towel and cut circles 2 ½" for the cats legs.  Using safety pins (three per side) place towel over the sides of the cart and fasten with the safety pins.  Put your cat into the sling and adjust the height of the sling to best fit your cat.  When you are satisfied with the height remove the sling and sew the towel using your safety pins as your guide.  (Most cats hind quarters will be higher than the front legs.)  Also, you could use a Velcro strap over your cats back for more stability.


We had two of these for our cat, one for exercise and he also ate while in this. We just elevated his food and the lip of the towel/sling held his head steady so he could eat.  The second one was made without wheels and placed in the liter box with just half a sling so his behind was free to do his business.  Hope this helps!

In memory of our beloved cat, Scout!

 Adoptable Angels
CH Cats Available for Adoption Interactive Map

Search for your town and find the CH cats closest to you! Click on the points in the map below to find information about CH cats available for adoption around the world!  
*hint* click on the name of the pet after clicking on their map point to view their Petfinder bio or Facebook album
CH Cats Available for Adoption in a full screen map
Please Click this link:
Northern Nevada 2 CH Kitties For Adoption Feline Rescue of Northern Nevada Have 2 CH Kitties For Adoption
Mr. Bill In New Jersey needs a Home or Rescue!!!
Bill gets around well.  He falls but he runs around chasing the other cats and the dog just fine! 
He uses the litter box but sometimes he doesn't have the best aim (His butt sticks out over the edge).  I think what he needs is a long litter box with low sides.  His problem is that he can NOT lift his back legs too high and therefore he can not climb into the standard large litter box.
He is a great little guy, a bit of a lap cat and a bit of a daredevil .   Please call Loida (973) 987-5582
Mr Bill in New Jersey
Mr Bill in New Jersey

Tiny Timmy Needs a Rescue or adopter In Virginia!
Tiny Timmy was rescued by a gal who was transporting Timmy and the foster backed out, fearing for his life if he was brought back to the shelter, she brought him home.  Having a dog and horses she never head a cat, let alone CH Cat but she really needs to find someone who is a cat person and CH willing and able PLEASE!!!


We have training pads (3-4) held down with bricks to keep them from moving when he scratches in the kitchen. He falls down sometimes due to the CH whilst doing his business, and sometimes gets it on himself. Good news good about being washed off in a tub.  
He must be watched because every now and then he will go someplace else if he can't get to them. Good news is he is on a schedule: twice a day feedings(some wet and dry is easier for him to eat because his head bobs a lot) and peeing/pooping. He drinks out of my Weimaraners's big water bowl that he can get to easily.
Tiny Tim the CH Kitty Virginia/ Maryland Area
Tiny Tim the CH Kitty Virginia/ Maryland Area
Call Lisa now please!!! 301-466-1285

Tiny Timmy in VA./Maryland


Penny, CH kitty in South Elgin, IL needs a home!
Penny came to us in August of 2012 when she was only three weeks old. She was unable to walk, eat, or drink on her own. Later, she was diagnosed with a neurologic disorder called Cerebellar Hypoplasia. With the help of the clinic staff and volunteers, she learned to eat and drink on her own. Penny is currently in a foster home where she is making great strides towards walking. She is able to get around by rolling and crawling to where she wants to go. She loves to run and tumble around and play with her toys, and when she's tired she loves to cuddle in bed. Penny is litter box trained and requires a modified litter box that she can roll in and out of with ease. She is good with the foster's big and small dogs and her other cats. Penny has so much love to give and is looking for the perfect owner to love her and her special needs.
Please call the shelter for more details and to schedule an appointment to meet Penny. 
All of our animals are spayed/neutered, micro chipped, and up to date on all their vaccinations prior to adoption. For more information on this cat, or any of our other animals, please give us a call at 847.697.2880 ext. 22 or stop by the shelter during our open hours.
St. Joseph, MO - Terra the trilling CH kitty needs a new home
Terra is a sweet CH kitty who trills in place of meowing. She is occasionally litter-box trained, but mostly paper-trained. She lives in NW MO, in a town called St. Joseph. Terra needs a good, secure home w/ understanding parents.  If you're interested in adopting Terra, please contact Elise at
Eight CH kitties in North Carolina need homes!  Transport available!
All of the beautiful cats in this album have a neurological disorder called cerebellar hypoplasia (CH). CH is a non-painful congenital condition that results in cats having a cute, wobbly walk. It is not contagious, does not worsen with time, and does not require medication. CH cats live and act just like any other cat, minus their adorable walk. All cats are currently in foster care in Chapel Hill, North Carolina but transport is available. Everyone is fully vetted (spayed/neutered, vaccinated, FIV/
Felk negative, and microchipped) and does great with dogs and cats. Please help our special needs cats find homes - hit share! Email  if you are interested in adding a special member to your family. Transport is available to anywhere in the Midwest or along the East Coast for qualified adopters.  
                                                              View all of the CH kitties Below: 


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


Bye Bye Everybody! Love Ziggy

Elizabeth Holochwost

Founder of the  CH Kitty Club

CH Kitty Yahoo Group

CH Kitty Club Newsletter Archives



Neal Helman

Editor and Best Daddy Cat and Ziggy's Bestfriend 

Debbie Martin

Adoption Specialist/ Temporary Newsletter Editor 

Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cats and Kittens                        


Elise Murphy

Temporary Newsletter Editor

Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cats and Kittens






In Loving Memory of Tardy Peebucket

President of Love and his mommy's heart


We miss you Tardy!

Ziggy Wigg'n