Attention all pet owners:
I’m going to be hosting black pet appreciation month. I’ve done black cat appreciation and decided to include all black pets.. so if you have a dog, cat, guinea pig, hamster, lizard, goat, etc., and are interested in being a part of black pet appreciation month please comment, email me, message me on the facebook page, send a smoke signal.
I’ve got 29 spots I would like to fill and would love to share your pet’s story.
I’m one year old. I was born in May 2014, in St. Petersburg Florida.
The human I rescued last August was one of four admirers petting me (at PetSmart) the day we met. I was being passed from lap to lap. It was a pretty competitive situation! After choosing and going home with my new Mom, it became clear that I was the most affectionate, cuddly kitten she had ever known. By this time, I had already met some family friends, and my abundant cuddles were like medicine to humans. Mom made my name official five days after I rescued her. She named me after the song by KISS!
I was pretty much born into it. These days, I take continuing education at my home school so I stay current on the latest advances in cuddling.
One of my hobbies is hunting bugs. The flying kind are the most challenging, and the most rewarding! Another activity I try to do often is practicing my mouse hunting. We don’t have any real mice, so I hunt toy ones. Often, an unfortunate toy mouse can be found lying in my food bowl after being “killed”!
I’m out there every day, without fail. I like to look at passing neighbors, and catch any stray lizards, frogs, or bugs foolish enough to invade my precious catio! Rebel is out there even more than I am. She guards it most afternoons.
Every speck of dust shows up on a house panther’s black fur. One thing that helps a lot is having a human run a comb through my coat every two days, especially during shedding season. We use flea combs because they are fine enough to remove a lot of loose hair and lint. Hold one section of fur tight and comb the undercoat, then the outer coat, and move on to the next section. Don’t forget the tail! My whole body takes a couple of minutes, provided I don’t start biting the comb. Comb biting is fun though. Oh, well.
My message to anyone who thinks black cats are beautiful but scary: We black kitties are in no way bad luck. We are gentle, loving, and as a bonus, you can hug us without need for a lint roller! Believe it or not, that’s a MAJOR plus for most working humans. If you want to peek in on how we house panthers interact with the world, check out my Facebook page, and several of my house panther friends’ pages as well.
Jake: I’m two years old and my favorite hobby is a game called “Treat Chase”. That’s where a human tosses treats one at a time and we catch or chase them down. I catch lots of treats right out of the air, with my huge fluffy paws.
Tia (Mom): Dr. Love is my first ever house panther. I couple of years ago, I got to know a close friend’s black kitty and could not get over how silly and warm he was. Then I heard this was common for black cats – a super-fun and affectionate personality. The day I was rescued by Dr. Love, three other people were competing with me. Somehow, I ended up with him, and the rest is history. I’ll finish with one secret almost no one knows about the little doc: he does not meow. He sweetly SQUEAKS!
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Moonpie & Kiwi’s mom for letting me ask questions. Pictures were used with permission. You can follow their adventures on their facebook page : Moonpie & Kiwi
What type of bunnies are you?
Hello its Moonpie. I am a white dwarf Lop-Eared Rabbit and my breathtaking girlfriend Kiwi is a dwarf tobiano in white with black markings (such a lovely natural „make-up“).
Where did your names come from?
Ohhh that’s a good story. My human „parents“ watched “The big bang theory” in TV.
In one episode came out that the grandma of Sheldon gave him the nickname “Moonpie“.
Sheldon said that his grandma called him that way because he is so sweet that she could eat him.
And so it comes that mom and dad called me Moonpie because I’m so sweet too.
The first time i met with Kiwi, she was a small, sweet, round beauty, like the fruit Kiwi
(now she is grown up, but still a sweet beauty, isn’t she ? :).
Do you two live in a cage together?
Yes we live together, but „cage“ is not really the right word for our home. 😉 My human „grandfather“ built a very large enclosure, which was planned and designed by my mom. One bunny should have 2 square meters available throughout the day. So our bunny mansion is nearly 170 cm (5.6 feet) high and 160cm (5 feet) wide. When mom or dad are home after work we have an additonal place in the huge living room, where we can play, sleep and jump around.
What do you like to do?
We like to do a lot of things. One of our favourites is playing with the snackball. We roll the ball across the floor and then drop out our treats. It’s a lot of fun. My mom buys often a tunnel of willow we can nibbling. Sometimes she also fills small paper bags with hay and little treats. While digging we have a lot of fun. To cuddle with Kiwi and to brush each other its also very nice.
Where are you favorite places to hide?
Our absolute favorite place is lying under the big couch.
Do you get baths often?
Oh no. No bunny must be bathed. Bunnies are very clean animals and groom themselves several times a day and if they have a partner they preen themselves also mutually. There are of course exceptions: is an animal sick or has very matted fur then you have to help.
What is your favorite foods?
Our favorite foods are fresh vegetables, and occasionally a bit of fruit. Parsley and dill are particularly yummy. We also love herbs, broccoli and carrots. Twice a day we get fresh fodder and throughout the day portions are hay. Hay is very important for tooth abrasion and for digestion.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to adopt bunnies?
We Bunnies are not cuddle toys. We cuddle with you when we want. We need lots of space and definitely a partner. Otherwise we will quickly feel uncomfortable and become very sad and feeling lonely. Try not to buy animals from pet stores, in the majority they are all grown up under bad conditions and you only would support the horrible trade. There are really great and cute Bunnys in shelters, from reputable breeders or on farms. Even Bunnies need plenty of exercise and employment they are very intelligent animals which need to be busy with a lots of toys. Even small animals such as bunnies need your attention every day. If you are taking good care, they thank you for being one of the greatest and cutest animals.
may I ask how old you are? Where did your name come from? How did you come to live with your family? Were you born blind or did you have an accident to cause you to be blind? How long did it take you to learn your new surroundings? Do you live with any other fursiblings? What are your favorite things to do? What advice would you give to other cats like yourself looking for a permanent home? What advise would your humans like to give to those who are worried/concerned/scared about adopting a blind cat? Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself or your humans would like to share about you? Maybe I borrow pictures of you for the article? I will state they were used with permission. I will also link your facebook page. Thank you for your time.
I was rescued in Stephenville, Newfoundland. A lady found me huddled in the snow. She called Port Aux Basques and Area Scaredy Cat Rescue, who then got me to a vet. They thought I was approx. 4 months due to my size, but the vet determined I was roughly 8 weeks old at the time based on my teeth. I had pneumonia as well as upper respiratory infection, conjunctivitis etc. My eyes were so infected, they swollen shut. As they healed the vet realized that I had been born with eyes that hadn’t formed properly. My rescuers called me “Matt Murdock” after Daredevil the blind comic book character. After a few months of healing I was adopted by a gentleman in Cornerbrook. Sadly a few month later our house burned down. One of my kitty brothers died. I was then found the next day in the basement of my house soaked and terrified. I had severe smoke inhalation. I then returned to my previous foster home where I spent many months recovering from the trauma of the fire. It took me a long time to recover from that and it broke my foster parents hearts. I had been such a loving fella when I left and returned scared and withdrawn. They then decided I would stay with them forever because it took so long for me to settle in their home again, to send me to yet another would have been hard on me. It doesn’t take me long to map out a room. Usually within one day I have it memorized. I climb the cat trees just like my furry siblings (I have 7 others kitties living in my home), I can navigate just as well up onto the furniture as they do. Sometimes something might be left on the floor like a suitcase, box etc and I just feel it with my whiskers and go around. I spend lots of time on the Victrola greeting people who come visit us. My forever mom and dad run the rescue so we have lots of visitors! Besides lounging I love playing with soft balls…I carry them around in my mouth. MY favorite thing to do is bumming vittles from my humans. My nose is super strong so I can smell all their good food. My advice for other kitties who are blind is just be yourself and let your true self shine. Change may be scary, but when your forever home comes through its the best feeling ever! While the thought of adopting a special needs cat might seem to be a lot to take on, really having Matt has been no different then having any other cat in our home. As long as we’re not moving the furniture around drastically he does quite well. We’ve made small furniture adjustments in the livingroom, and it he mapped it out quite quickly. Feel free to send us anymore questions you may have. Also take whatever pics you need. I’ll be posting more in the next day or so. Thanks so much for sharing Matts story. Hopefully in convinces others to consider adopting a bling kitty. =^.^= Matt, Bob and Kat
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Lola’s parents for letting me ask questions about her. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit her facebook page – Lola’s World.
How old is Lola & what type of bird is she?
Lola is a 9 year old Lutino Cockatiel.
Does she live with any other pets?
Lola lives in Coastal Virginia with her family which also includes a pet hedgehog named Cactus. She has also lived with cats and a dog in the past.
Where did her name come from?
Her name was selected by her family’s daughter and matches her personality.
Does Lola speak & what does she like to do?
Lola is a quiet bird and doesn’t talk. (which is true with many female birds) She enjoys spending time out of her cage and in the screened porch. From the porch she can watch the other birds outside and the neighbor’s cat. She also has other bird friends that will visit when their owners are out of town.
Lola loves attention from her family and wants be where there is activity. She loves to eat millet and pretzels with no salt. Lola was hand fed as a baby and is very tame…her bites do not hurt. She loves having her head scratched and will beg for it to be done. She comes out of her cage when she wants and remains out when her family is home to supervise.
What would you like to say to people considering having a bird as a pet?
Birds are great pets…both beautiful to look at and entertaining. Please remember that buying a bird is a long term commitment and not for everyone. Many bird species live well over 50 years and they also require love and attention. Many birds will bond with their owners while other bond to other birds. I always suggest to anyone thinking about buying a bird or any pet do research and make an informed decision. If you select a cockatiel like Lola and you invest your time and love for your new pet you will be rewarded with their love in return.
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Scooter’s Mom for letting me bombard her with questions. Please stop by Scooter‘s page and give her mom some love as she is missing her furbaby dearly. Many thanks to Miss Tami for letting me borrow pictures for the article.
The next morning I got up and went out I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.
It had gotten down to the below 30s that night.. I didn’t think it would have survived.
As I stepped outside and let my dogs out, I hear her crying, this time a bit more loudly.
I tracked her to the brush pile and asked a neighbor to help me get in to it, as it was on his side of the fence.. I told him, Something is in there crying, as we tore the branches away he spotted her all nestled up against a pile of bagged leaves. Poor little baby. She was shivering. I brought her inside and wrapped her in a warm towel, as well as my sweater. She was so cold.
My daughter and I got into the car and went and bought her supplies, formula, and what not. Thank you to Iowa Pet Foods & Seascapes for all your help!
We then noticed after we got her home that her back legs weren’t working, she was pulling herself with her front legs.
So off to the vet we went. Turns out she is a very healthy lucky kitten who was a bit dehydrated but otherwise in good health. According to the vet she was born a paraplegic, therefore, that is why we think her mama left her.
The vet had taken xrays and noticed her joints in her hind legs were all backwards and her pelvis is extremely small and he predicted that she would not live past 6 months of age due to her organs being crowded. Due to being a paraplegic she has no control over her bodily functions so she does wear a diaper.
Scoot aka Baaby, is now a active and busy 8 month old kitten. She has really no issues at this time, other than she for some reason has begun to chew her foot. We are not sure why she is doing this so we currently keep it covered and that helps her leave it alone.
Is she on a special diet?
We did PT with her when she was a baby using water therapy and moving her muscles.. over time her hips and legs began to stiffen more and eventually fused so that they no longer bend. No medication is needed for her condition. She is in no pain.
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Bounce & her caretaker. If you are interested in reading more abut CH Cats, I have included two articles at the bottom of the interview.
Thank you so much for letting me interview you.
-Well, my daddy and mommy came to Best Friends Adoption Center looking for a calico, but as soon as daddy saw me, he fell in love and took me up to the counter to adopt me. I thought that was funny, because he wasn’t supposed to do that. He was supposed to have the really awesome helpers there get me out of the little house and bring me up.
Did your dad make any adjustments to your home to make sure you don’t hurt yourself?
-Not really. A few little things, like making sure I don’t get by the stairs by shutting that door, and moving some of the harder things that I could bonk my head against if I’m trying to run, but otherwise I mostly just flop my sides against the walls and stuff. They keep a good eye on me though and learned very quickly that even though I can’t jump, I can climb great! Daddy was so funny, the first few times he saw me figure out how to get OFF of the bed or couch. I learned to grab on with my hands and sort of flop my butt to the floor then let go. I know they love me a lot and will always make sure I’m okay, even if I get huffy and grumpy when they try to help me. I’m a very independant kitty.
What would you or your dad like to tell people about ch?
-Cuddle! I love to cuddle! I also like eating… a LOT! I use a lot of energy just getting around. With the way I move, I essentially travel twice as far, sometimes more, to get somewhere. It’s also made me super strong though. I even like to go on car rides! Traveling is super duper fun!
Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself?
-About myself, no. I just want to reinforce what daddy said about adopting CH kitties. Don’t walk away from us just because we move a little funny. We are an adventure unto ourselves, as we don’t know where we are going all the time, and when we play we don’t really have any idea where our toys are going to end up. We’re just a little different physically, but we are still wonderful, smart, loving cats who want to share your life and your heart. So please, when looking to adopt a kitty, don’t shun one just because it has a difference. Just because a kitty might be missing an eye or a leg or is clumsy or deaf, doesn’t mean it doesn’t still have a heart and a lot of love to give you.
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
7 Things You Should Know About Cerebellar Hypoplasia
1. CH arises because of exposure to a virus or prenatal trauma
If a pregnant cat is exposed to the virus — or the vaccine — for panleukopenia late in her pregnancy, the developing kittens’ brains can be affected. But not every kitten in a panleukopenia-exposed litter will develop CH. The condition can also be caused by prenatal trauma, including malnutrition.
2. Kittens are born with the condition
You may be able to see right away that a kitten has CH because she doesn’t seem to be able to get herself into the right position for anything. If you don’t notice it at birth, you’ll certainly notice something is amiss once the kittens start crawling and walking around.
3. There are different levels of severity
Cats with mild CH have few symptoms. They may have a slightly waddling gait, but they’re quite capable of getting around like other cats. Moderate CH is a bit more challenging for cats because they can’t seem to get their whole body to work together sometimes, and they tend to have a splayed walk. When stressed, they can develop head tremors or have more difficulty getting around. Cats with severe CH need a lot of special care: They typically can’t walk on their own, have almost constant head tremors, and flip and flop to get around.
4. CH is not a progressive condition
A cat’s cerebellar hypoplasia isn’t going to get worse over time. It’s not going to get better, either, but as a cat learns to adapt to the condition it can appear that she’s improving. Physical therapy and hydrotherapy can help a CH cat to adapt to her disability.
5. CH is not contagious
There’s no reason to fear bringing a CH cat into your home, because your other cats won’t catch the disease. CH is congenital — kittens are born with it — and don’t acquire it later in life.
6. CH cats can live with non-CH cats
It may take a little while for a non-CH cat to get used to a CH cat’s body language, since CH cats don’t move like ordinary cats, but CH kitties can be integrated into a household just like any other cats.
7. CH cats have a normal life expectancy
Cerebellar hypoplasia is not a life-shortening condition. Although their lack of coordination can increase their risk of injuries, it does not predispose them to any other illnesses.
There’s no reason to be scared of cats with cerebellar hypoplasia. They don’t suffer, they’re not in pain, and they love and purr just as much as ordinary cats.