Author’s Note: Happy New Year everyone! Let’s start this year off with a heartwarming story of Miss Merida.
How old is Merida?
Merida is 18 months old now.
Where did her name come from?
She is named after the very brave and rebellious Merida, in Disneys movie Brave. Funny story, anytime vets or friends would ask me her name I simply said she had no name yet. In the background almost every time, the commercial to promote the movie would play on the radio, tv, or in some pop up window on the computer. After thinking how fitting the name would be for her, especially with how brave she really was struggling to survive through starvation, dehydration, trying to walk through the pain and dizziness.. I felt it really was suitable for her.
How did she end up living with you?
When I saved Merida, I planned to get her the medical attention she needed and help her learn to walk, then find a home for her since we already had 4 pets. Due to the vets unwillingness to help, over time I grew to love and adore her. When she was diagnosed after all the tests, about 8 months, it was impossible to give up this hard working little love bug! My fiancee and I talked it over and decided there was nobody better to care for her forever than us.
Is she currently on any medication or doing therapy?
Merida is treated almost 100% holistically and eats a raw food diet. She sees a holistic vet once a month for a regular checkup, and acupuncture. At home we do physical, vestibular, and play therapy. She did not take to water therapy since she can sometimes have trouble holding her head up. She is not currently on any herbal medications, nor chemical medications. We did try some, and none of them have done much for a benefit in day to day life, but they did help with overall healing.
How long did it take for her to learn how to walk again after getting sick?
She has walked off and on since 4 days after I saved her. But if she slept a day or two away, she lost the ability due to weight gain since kittens gain so quick and then she would not have the muscles to support those extra 1-2lbs she gained. I can respond to this one when I know a bit better what you mean.
Does she live with any other fursiblings?
She lives with 2 senior cats, and a large dog, as well as any animals I end up coming across that need to be saved, Most recently, a litter of 3 kittens. She loves the dog the most.
Today she is doing much better than when I first saved her. Merida has really come a long way with the therapy, and acupuncture treatments. All she really needed was someone to take the extra time to help her. Her latest accomplishment is kneading on her blanket. Before our therapy work at home, she had no clue how to use her wrists, or elbows to properly get a hold of things and kneading was impossible. She can also go down 3 stairs by herself without stumbling.
What would you like to say to people who are hesitant to care for a cat that has extra needs?
If you are hesitant about caring for a cat with special needs, you need to know there are all sorts of wonderful businesses and groups that can help supply you with everything your special kitty needs. From diapers, to what to ask or tell your vet. The information and products are out there to help you care for your special needs kitty, and they really do not know they are special, they make take just a little more of your time and from your pocket book, but it isn’t as much as people think since most things can all be done at home DIY style.
I would like to add that Merida is improving all the time. The thing with nerve damage is that is it impossible to say when or if it will fully heal. There is still a possibility that Merida may have an untestable and progressive illness, but this can never be confirmed. Only time will tell. There is no listed or known treatment for her, and her vet and I do the best we can dealing with specific needs or symptoms as they come. So far so good!
Here are the links to her pages:
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Merida’s mom for taking her in, nursing her and sharing her story. Pictures were used with permission.
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