How old are you Miss Junipurr?
I am a little over a year old. mommy made my birthday June 10th.
How did find your furever home?
I was an unwanted kitten, taken to a kill shelter. A lady saw me there and didn’t think anyone would adopt me and I was at the top of the dreaded “list” there, so she decided to foster me. While she fostered me, I was being taken to petsmart for adoption events with other cats who were also fostered by the rescue group my foster lady volunteered with. All the other cats seemed to find homes easily, but I was always left behind and taken back to my foster home until the next adoption event. I was in foster care about 6 months and my foster lady needed space for more cats who were in the same position I was in before-at the shelter and on the kill list. I was listed on pet finder.com as special needs, and most people avoid searching through those adoptable animals. My mommy happened to be one of the people who DID NOT avoid the special needs section, and was browsing the photos when she came across mine. she read about how I had been in foster care too long and they had to find me a home asap or make the decision to return me to the kill shelter.
Where I would undoubtedly be put to sleep, or release me in the country somewhere on a farm to be a “barn cat” but I am not a feral cat and never was, so I wouldn’t have known the first thing about fending for myself outside-and the foster lady was worried that people could run across me since I would be outside and see my facial deformity and do mean things to me or hurt me. My mommy contacted the foster people, and after a few emails and an adoption application-she was turned down and told she could not adopt me. Mommy has excellent vet references and takes the best care of us and has 3 other cats who could vouch for that at the time!
A few days later, after mommy was disappointed she could not adopt me, a woman emailed her and said she made the final decisions about adoptions and she didn’t approve of the way her employee (the foster lady with the rescue) had turned Mommy down the way she did. They had no other potential adopters and mommy had a perfect application.Tthe issue with distance was the primary reason for the big NO mom got from the foster lady, but after discussing it further, they said that if mommy was willing to drive almost 4 hours one way to get me, she was welcome to adopt me! That following weekend, they met mommy at a petsmart in the town I was in, and mommy and daddy adopted me and drove me 4 hours to my furever home and fur family.
Were you born with a cleft plate or did something happen to you?
Mommy was told by the rescue lady that I was born with a cleft palate and was too old to have it repaired by the time I was adopted, but when mommy got me and took me to our vet, he looked me over and said he thinks my cleft palate is more of an injury that I could have gotten very shortly after birth since the roof of my mouth and my nasal cavity is intact and most cleft palates are not like that.
What would words of encouragement would you like to give to other cats like yourself who look different and need special care?
I would tell other cats who look different not to worry about it. It took me awhile to find my furever home because of how I look, but it was worth it to find a family to love me and a place to belong. I would tell them not to feel bad or sorry for themselves, because we are all different in so many ways, looking different is just one of the many things that sets us all apart from one another and makes us all special in our own way. looking different doesn’t have to mean “ugly” and instead can mean “unique” or “special” and embracing our uniqueness makes us more beautiful. the same goes for kitties who are “special needs” because of the care they require. they may be different because they rely on their guardian a bit more for things since they may not be able to do those things themselves, but it just makes them that much more special and the bond they have with their furever family that much stronger because of their needs.
Do you live with any other cats/dogs? If so do they have special needs?
I have other kitty siblings. a sisfur named calico jack who is 4 years old.
A brothfur named Screech, 3 years old, who is also “special needs”-he is blind in one eye from a horrible infection he had when mommy adopted him when he was just a kitten. He almost had to have the eye removed but our vet and mommy took good care of him and they were able to save his eye, but he is blind in it now. He also has irritable bowel syndrome and glandular issues and feline upper respiratory disease (AKA feline herpes) and is very prone to infections in his lungs and eyes. he takes medication and supplements daily to help control everything.
I also have another brothfur named Cleo, 3 years old, who was adopted with brothfur screech. they are very close and only a couple month apart in age. Cleo has asthma and feline herpes and takes medication daily.
And finally, I have another brothfur who lives outside, who is the newest addition to our family. His name is Clyde, he is around 12 years old. the vet had a hard time with his age because he was neglected for so many years that his teeth are mostly rotted away, and what teeth are left behind have become abscessed and broken.Clyde is FIV+ and also has high blood pressure. he has a condition called “cardiomyopathy” and all 4 of his heart ventricles are badly damaged and not functioning properly. He will eventually end up with congestive heart failure and that is what will kill him.
The vet told mommy that it will happen soon because clyde’s condition is so far advanced and all we can do is give him “comfort care” and keep him as healthy as he can be until his time comes. he was an outside cat in the neighborhood we moved from and mom would feed him everyday. he lived on a porch that was littered with broken glass and trash and no one fed him or gave him water. in the winter, his fur was covered in icicles and in the summer, he was panting and dehydrated. When we moved to the house we are in now, mom kept going back to feed and water clyde and finally one day after getting upset over his condition worsening-she grabbed him and took him to our vet.
He had to stay there for a couple of weeks because he was so sick and they gave him antibiotics and xrays and ultrasounds. that is how we found out about his heart. we planned to fix his teeth surgically, but once we found out his heart was so damaged, our vet said they couldn’t put him under for surgery or he would die. his bills were $4,000 and then some, and many people in our facebook community (my furiends on my page) donated to our vet to pay clyde’s medical bills.
They also donated the 3 enclosures that are connected in our yard to make clyde’s 15 foot space where he has a small cat tree, a house that looks like a little castle with a bed in it, toys, food and water and his litter box. he stays in the enclosure at night and when mom and dad aren’t home so he is safe, but when someone is home, he is out in the yard, wearing his skull print harness (donated by a furiend) hooked to a 100 foot rope to keep him from wandering too far. We live near an interstate and it is very busy, so mom didn’t want to risk him getting too close to the road and getting hurt. he lives outside because he was an outside cat his whole life from what our vet could tell, and with him having a contagious illness, we can’t risk him spreading it to the rest of us.
Brothfur cleo and screech have such weakened immune systems from their illnesses as kittens that being around clyde could be detrimental to their health. Clyde never says he doesn’t care that he can’t come inside…he spends his time lounging in the sun, digging in the dirt, or sleeping in his kitty houses.
Where can someone send you fanmail?
A lot of fans contact me through my facebook page. I hold auctions to help other special needs cats for their medical care or needs they may have, because everyone needs a little help every now and then with things.
My fursiblings and i also get mail at home. a lot of people like to send clyde supplies and donate to him because he has to have ongoing care for his advanced illnesses.
He has an amazon.com wishlist and people send him stuff from that. he shares the stuff with us too sometimes. the list has his favorite foods and toys he might like and things he will need for his care. we had someone send heated water bowls for the winter to him and a weatherproof insulated “kittytube” cat house.
How can someone donate to help with your furfamilies vet bills?
Donations for our care can be made to our vet’s office
Village East Animal Hospital
1305 S Green River rd
Evansville, IN 47715
They accept check/money order and make sure to note it is for the KISSINGER account.A lot of people have donated to clyde that way.
They also take phone donations: (812) 477-2131
We also have clyde’s chip in for his ongoing care which does also help the rest of us with our needs (I didn’t mention, but I have intestinal issues and will possibly have to have a biopsy at a specialist a few hours away if the current treatment doesn’t help with my issues)
The chip in is listed below. you can also view info about our vet on their facebook page (also listed here)
What would you say to someone who is scared of adopting a special needs pet?
I would tell someone who is scared to adopt a special needs pet that they really aren’t THAT different from pets who are not considered “special needs” but some of them do require a little more time and effort for their care. you have to be willing to give it your all for any pet, but special needs pets can be more time consuming and expensive. Everyday, mom has to administer medications to all 3 brothfurs for their different ailments, and she gives my sisfur jack and me supplements (L-Lysine and probiotics and vitamins) to try to keep us all as healthy as possible. It takes her about an hour every morning to do everything for the 5 of us that she has to do, but she does it without complaint and it is the first thing on her agenda everyday-nothing else comes before our care.
Special needs pets will give you so much love and trust once you show them that you are going to care for them the way they need to be cared for. many special needs animals have never known a furever family or the love that is possible when you find the place you belong, but they are just as deserving of that love as every other pet out there is.
Were your guardians always involved with animals?
My mom and dad got my sisfur together, but it has been my mom who rallied for the rest of us because no one else was going to help us or give us a home. Sisfur jack was adopted by mom and dad when she was a tiny kitten and she wasn’t unhealthy or special needs. Just little and cute. mom decided to get cleo and screech for sisfur jack when she turned a year old-well, mom decided to get jack A KITTEN, but ended up seeing cleo and screech at an adoption event at petsmart when she was buying jack’s kitty litter. Cleo and Screech were in a huge cage with multiple other kittens and they were oozing, sneezing, having breathing issues and meowing frantically to mommy. mom said she knew that if she didn’t take the 2 of them, they would probably die because she knew they were very sick.
She paid $20 to adopt them and took them straight to our vet, where their care over the next few months would be stressful and cost almost $2,500!!! they were given a 30% at survival because they were so ill. the vet said they were 2 of the worst cases he had seen-they had pneumonia, feline herpes, 3 different intestinal parasites, secondary infections in their noses, eyes, throats, etc. it was very scary but mom stayed up all night making sure they were okay for a long time-she gave them medicine multiple times a day and had many days where they had to be rushed into the vet’s office as an emergency visit because of their declining health. They knew how much mom cared for them and loved them though, and that she was fighting for their survival-and they pulled through. Our dad helps take care of us monetarily and he plays with us, but it’s mom who is the caretaker for all of us and she tries to be to any cat who needs it if she can. She hates saying no.
Are you a part of a rescue group/organization that you would like to share the link to?
We are not involved with any group or rescue, but we do try to donate supplies to our local rescues when and if we can.
Are there any links you would like to share?
I would like to share my facebook page