Extra Love Needed: Meet Sable Tilthead

Author’s Note: I wanted to end the Extra Love Needed Theme this month with a very special interview. This is the story of Sable Tilthead, though he is no longer with us, he is a shining example of how love &  patience can greatly improve the life of any pet. 
Sable Tilthead
How did Sable come into your life?
Sable’s mother was a feral in the colony that I take care of…Someone had put her outside when they moved and I started taking care of her along with the others…I had no Idea Fluffy(Sables’) mother was pregnant…she isappeared for a few days and i was worried but after about a week she came back and brought this tiny little black thing in her mouth…it wasn’t moving so I thought it was a dead bird…she dropped it at my feet and then I realized it was a kitten…for the next 18 years he was mine…
Sable was born in October

Where did his name come from?He got his name because he was a black kitten that had a deep red in his fur…


Do they know why his head was tilted?

They think this is why his head was tilted…he simply came this way…
Vestibular disorders are common in cats. The vestibular apparatus (called the labyrinth) is a complex sense organ composed of three semicircular canals, plus the utricle and the saccule. The labyrinth is stimulated by gravity and rotational movements. It plays an important role in balance and orienting the body in space. Inflammation of the labyrinth is called labyrinthitis.

A cat with labyrinthitis has a problem with balance. The animal wobbles, circles, falls and rolls over, and has trouble righting herself. She may lean against the wall for support and crouch low to the floor when walking. The cat often shows rapid jerking eye movements (nystagmus), and her head will usually tilt down on one side. When picked up and turned in a circle, the cat will act even more dizzy. There may be vomiting and deafness.

A common cause of labyrinthitis is inner ear infection. Other causes include stroke, braintumor, head trauma, brain infection, drug intoxication (especially by the aminoglycosideantibiotics), and thiamin deficiency.

A congenital vestibular defect is seen in Oriental breeds. Kittens show a head tilt, circling, and rolling behaviors. Siamese kittens with this condition may also be deaf. There is no cure.

Idiopathic vestibular syndrome is the most common cause of labyrinthitis in cats. The onset is sudden and the cause is unknown. The signs include a head tilt and nystagmus, and cats may have difficulty walking. There is an increase in these cases in July and August in the northeastern United States, suggesting an environmental cause.
He was also diagnosed with Cerebellar Hypoplasia(CH)

Did you have another furry children in the house?

At one time we had up to 16 cats…if I couldn’t find homes for them I kept them…most of the ones I kept were Specially abled…I kept them all until they went to the Rainbow Bridge…I now have 6 left…Plus a feral colony made up of peoples cast offs…I had them all TNR’d and adopted if possible…I currently have 10 in the colony…

Sneaking some key lime pie from mama when she got up to get something to drink
Was there anything he couldn’t do?

Sable didn’t let anything stop him…He would jump on the windowsill even if it took him a few tries…he would shake it off and try again…He was a wobbly boy but that didn’t stop him from doing much of anything…he had head tremors especially when he got excited (like I would put his special food plate down)You see I cooked for Sable…almost everything I ate he would eat…I would make his plate first and put it down then make my own…he loved all meats and fish and he loved broccoli and carrots…he had to have dessert after his meal also
he loved Cool Whip…there are pics on his page with it all over his face…he was a messy eater b/c of the tremors but we didn’t mind…He couldn’t run very well…he would fall over and get up and try it again…he used the litter box fine but sometime b/c of the CH he lost his balance and got dirty…his Daddy(Fabio) would give this gentle kitty a bath and he would just sit there like he knew you were helping him…There are pics of him and Fabio on his page also…

Sable’s rocking chair
What were is favorite things to do?

Sable loved to sit on “his” rocking chair or on the desk while we were on the computer…he would stay there for hours(pics also on his page)…He loved to follow us around…we would always have to look down to check if he was there…especially if we were cooking…he loved the smells of the kitchen…he loved to hang out in the kitty house that one of his FB friends sent the cats for Christmas…also in the tunnel(also a gift)…he loved cuddling on the bed…he spent many hours there with his daddy when I was hospitalized for several months…Sable had rough experience on October 29 ,2012…Superstorm Sandy…we live near the bay and were flooded out…it was quite sudden…we had no where to go so a neighbor told us to come upstairs to higher ground but we couldn’t take the cats…the next day when it stopped storming Fabio checked on the cats…all were on high ground except Sable he came out of the bedroom soaking wet…we can only imagine the other cats went high and he got swept up in the water that came rushing in(we had 3′ of water in the house)…bthim being Sable just took it in stride…walking around thru the trashed huse w/o a care in the world…we dried him off cuddled him and he was fine…Sable was the most laid back cat i’ve ever met…my husband(Fabio) and I had to find a place for our cats and ourselves…unfortunately we had to be separated…they went to a sanctuary in So.Jersey and we went to a hotel…for 5 months!! we were separated from our babies…it was pure hell…especially since most are seniors…but as soon as we got back in our home we had our kitties back…

Is there anything else you would like to share about him?

There will never be another Sable Tilthead…Fabio and I still cry about him…would I ever adopt another CH kitty?…absolutely!! We learned a lot from Sable…he was loving…funny…and he never gave up…he was a determined cat who led a full and long life…he always got along well with the other cats…the house seems so empty w/o him and our hearts hurt…

Sable won his first photo contest for Feb 2014…they prize was a mosaic picture of him…as soon as I can afford it I’ll have itframed and hang it over the bed that he spent so many hours on…

I received close to 4000 condolances when Sable passed and he had only had a FB page since the end of January…everyone loved Sable Tilthead he was quite a little character ♥

You can use any pics from his page…I also have more if you need them…Thank you for honoring a very special and deserving boy…Sale Tilthead…Mama and Daddy love you dearly ♥ ♥

This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Sable Tilthead
Fly free little one.

Author’s Note: Many many thanks to Sable’s mom & dad for sharing his story. Pictures were used with permission. You can find his facebook page – Sable Tilthead, where his mom spreads the word about other cats in need.
This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme & Black Cat Appreciation theme, please click on the badge below for more articles on pets that need extra love & care.

4 Replies to “Extra Love Needed: Meet Sable Tilthead”

  1. What a truly inspiring story about Sable Tilthead!!
    18 years of living for a cat with his problems is a testament to his owners love & devotion to him!!! Thank you so much for sharing Sable’s wonderful story!
    Run free sweet boy & KNOW you aill always be loved.
    Sherri-Ellen & Nylablue xoxoxo

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