Extra Love Needed: Meet Snickers

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Miss Suzi for letting me ask questions about Snickers. Pictures used with permission. 

How old is Snickers?

Snickers is 14. She just had her birthday!

How did Snickers come to live with you?

I owned her and her brother, Milton’s mom. I went on vacation and my nephew was supposed to be watching her but let her out and she got pregnant. I got to watch them be born! So I have had her since day one!

Did she have asthma when you got her or did she develop it later?

Snickers was diagnosed with asthma later in life and she gets a shot when needed. Two years ago she started walking funny so I took her in and her blood work came back with a blood sugar number of 598!!! She will sadly never go into remission for her diabetes because of her asthma shot. The steroids in it will always affect her blood sugar.

What are some of the signs of asthma?

Some signs for asthma is coughing but not trying to cough up anything. And labored breathing.

What about signs of a diabetes flair up?

For diabetes some signs are drinking lots of water, weight gain, peeing a lot and most will develop neuropathy, which is damaged nerve function and the cat will start walking funny in the back legs.

How often do you check her sugar?

At the minimum I check her sugar twice a day before I give her an insulin shot. Usually I test her about 4-6 times a day. She gets her shot in the morning and at night.

What kind of medication is she on?

She gets a shot for her asthma when needed but she can also use an inhaler just like people do! I have asthma as well so if she is having a rough time and for some reason I can’t get her in she can take some puffs from my inhaler. She has an extension called the Aerokat so it’s not going directly in her mouth.

What are her favorite things to do?

Her favorite things are playing with earplugs, lol, snuggling with me and she loves to go out in our backyard.

Are there any other pets in the house?

I do have one of her litter mates, Milton and I have my mom’s cat, Olivia, whom I adopted and my mom passed away. Her and my cats do not get along at all! Even after a year and a half.

Are they protective of her?

She’s not protective but I am the only person she loves. She tolerates my husband. She does stare at the door if someone knocks, that’s about it.

I love to educate people on feline diabetes and this little girl is my everything!

Here is some additional information on Feline Asthma and Feline Diabetes

https://www.thespruce.com/treat-feline-asthma-555454

Feline Diabetes

Extra Love Needed: Meet Sora

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Miss Julie for letting me interview her about Sora. Pictures were used with a permissions.

How old is Sora?

My cat is 22 months. He will be 2 in September.

How did he come into your life?

I bought him from a cattery. The woman was reluctant to sell him because he was such a good cat.

What breed of cat is he?

Sora is a persian cat.He breathes heavy at times.

Why does he have problems breathing? 

It’s the way his nose is. It’s hard for them to breath sometimes. It’s just the breed of cat. Oh, he has trouble eating sometimes because of his flat face.

What kind of medication does he need?

He needs colloidal silver in his eyes and nose.

What is his favorite thing to do?

He likes to sleep and take up my side of the bed. He likes to chase bugs. Loves bugs. He will stare at bugs for a long time if they are on the wall. He likes to walk in between your feet as your walking. He likes the laser pointer and toys on a string.

Does he have any unusual habits?

He does this thing where he knows where the treats are so when you are near it he will start gently clawing at the cabinet. If he hears any kind of crinkling he thinks it’s a treat and comes running. We have cathedral ceilings and he likes to sit on the wall opening between the kitchen and living room.

Extra Love Needed: Meet Matt the Blind Cat

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

Extra Love Needed: Meet Scooter

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. 


 

 

How did Scooter come into your life? 
Scooter was found on Oct 31, 2014 under a pile of brush. I had heard her softly crying the night before, but could not locate her. I actually thought I was looking for a injured bird.
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? 

Scoot is on a normal dry cat food. I cant switch her diet up as it gives her really bad diarrhea. She eats “Fromm” Cat food.
Did she have to do any physical therapy or medication?

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.
 
How does she get around?
She gets around on her bum… by scooting…  🙂 Her favorite activity is going down the stairs and meowing for me to come get her as she cant get back up by herself.. but going down is so much fun for her.. 🙂
 
Does she have any fursiblings?
Scooter is the baby of the family.. she has 3 older furbaby dogs.. Rosco who is 12, Carli who is 6 and Zoe who is 3. They love to watch over her and really snuggle with her when its nap time… We also have 3 geckos and 2 fish tanks.
What would you like to tell other cats that need extra love? 
Don’t give up, keep fighting… there is someone out there who loves you, they just may not have found you yet.
Dedication:
This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Scooter
Fly free sweetheart, know you will never be forgotten and you will always be loved.

Extra Love Needed: Meet Bounce

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.

bounce2

Thank you so much for letting me interview you. 

-My pleasure! I love talking with all my friends, especially if they are snuggling me!


First, where did your name come from?
-At first, the wonderful people at Best Friend’s Animal Sanctuary called me “Blip”, which was because I think they just didn’t quite understand me.  I was just a baby, so my words still didn’t quite come out right.  When daddy found me, though, and asked my name, he understood.  He’s had kitties for a loooooong time. (He’s old, you know)
I have the name “Bounce”, though, because I don’t move quite right.  I bounce and flop around some because I have something called Cerebellar Hypoplasia (or CH for short).  It varies in severity with different kitties, but basically the Cerebellum didn’t develop quite right, so it seems like we CH kitties are drunk all the time.  Some of us just walk a little stiff legged, or high step.  Some of us can’t walk at all.  I’m somewhere in the middle.  But I still get around just fine and use the kitty box okay… most of the time.
How did you come to live with your dad?
-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.
Do you do any therapy to help your balance?
-Not specifically.  Sometimes daddy or someone will give me a treat, and because I can’t really keep my head steady sometimes, it’s hard to pick up.  When that happens, the figured out that if they just put a couple fingers on the back of my head and neck, I’m able to get the treats a lot easier.  I also fall over a lot more when I get excited, so when that happens, they just talk to me or stop me for a second and calm me down.  Mostly, though, I just get to run around and get strong and play how I play.  It’s a little different, but I still have a lot of fun and do just fine.
bounce1
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 independent kitty.
Do you have any fur siblings you live with?
-I sure do!  Eden is a very pretty grey kitty, and Ken-Oki and Ryo-Oki are “tuxedo cats”.  Eden took a little while to warm up to me, but she’s a super hero to me.  She’s so graceful and fast and smart!  Now she loves me, and I love her a whole bunch.  The Okis are a lot older, they’re 14 now, almost 15.  Ken-Oki is the more friendly one, and we will hang out together a little bit sometimes.  Ryo is super pretty, but very shy.  She’s really nice, but we don’t interact a whole lot.

What would you or your dad like to tell people about ch?
Hi everyone, James here now.  If I could tell people about CH cats, I would tell everyone that CH is NOT contagious.  CH cats are generally not helpless at all, unless it is very severe.  I would also say that CH cats are just like any other cat, they are just wobbly.  They are lovable, sweet, and although physically not quite as capable they seem to be outlandishly clever.  There are a couple concessions one needs to make with CH cats, such as making sure that they can eat and drink okay, and occasionally giving them a bath, if they fall into the litter box incorrectly.  I’ve found that a Litter Maid litter box works great to fix that last issue though.  CH cats make GREAT lap cats, because they are comfortable laying down and leaning against things for support.  Most importantly though, they just want to be loved and have a forever home with people who care about them, just like every other kitty out there.

What is your favorite thing to do?
-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.

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

Mild

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

Symptoms:

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

Abilities:

  • 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

 

Moderate

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.

Symptoms:

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

Abilities:

  • 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)

Severe

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

Symptoms:

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

Abilities:

  • 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

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.


If you are interested in adopting a ch cat, please visit – http://chcat.org/

This article is a part of the extra love needed theme, for more interviews with pets that need extra love and care, please click on the below badge.

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Meet Tooga & HRH BlueBelle (revisited)

Author’s Note: I had the wonderful chance to meet the amazing Miss Linda (Tooga & BlueBelle’s mom) in person nearly 2 years ago and she asked me if I wanted to do a follow up interview and I lept at the chance to check on these two. Little did I realize that it was exactly two years ago that I interviewed them (3/19/2013) my how time flies! So here’s an update on how they have been doing and what has been going on.

Here is the original interview in case you would like to read that before this one. Please visit their page – Tooga Tales – to see how they are doing. 

Pictures were used with permission. 

 


How old are Tooga/Bluebelle now?

Tooga is 4 and BlueBelle is 13. Tooga is improving and will lick food sometimes. He most likely will never be able to eat enough on his own to sustain himself.
Have there been any other health issues that have popped up with Tooga or Bluebelle since the last time they were interviewed?
BlueBelle has developed chronic pancreatitis and is in the early stages of kidney disease. It’s a 50/50 chance of being age relayed or Hartz related….

Is Tooga still needing to be syringe fed every four hours?

Tooga still gets syringe fed approximately every 5 hours. BlueBelle does have tummy issues and Tooga still has constipation problems. Poop is a big deal here!!

Have you heard from Hartz about your case?
I did hear from Hartz and a settlement was declined. I will not sign a nondisclosure agreement. It’s more important that people are aware that OTC flea products are classified as insecticide and therefore controlled by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Products from your Vet are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies and controlled by the FDA.

Have you met any other pet parents that have experienced the same issues with their pets after using Hartz products ?
We’ve met many friends who were exposed not only by drops but collars too. One friend puts “post-it” notes on the shelf at her local store, warning of the dangers. Our goal has always been and continues to be, save one more pet.

Is she on any meds that help??? 

On Blue…no. She can take Pepcid ½ tablet for nausea but she eats around it. When she starts throwing up…it’s massive. Last time it took 3 bath towels and a mop… The only thing is getting a shot. Cerenia. With a high protein diet hopefully slow down the kidney issue but…. It’s progressive.She’s doing very well with flare ups..

Extra Love Needed: Meet Beanie

May I ask how old you are?

About 5-6 years old. The shelter didn’t have an exact age.

Beanie in his new home

Where did your name come from?

It came from the woman I lived with before my new home. She had to go to a nursing home and her other cats (my mom and dad don’t know how many) were all adopted but me. No one wanted me because I was blind. That made me very sad. Then the Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary in North Carolina put up a notice about me on Facebook and my new mom saw it and called them immediately. She filled out the application, but was number two on the list. The number one lady lived in Connecticut and she decided it would be a long scary ride for me to take so she let me go to my mom since we were both in Maryland. My new mom said she didn’t want to change my name because she knew that it would be the only thing I’d recognize when she took me to my new home.

Were you born blind or did you become blind over time?

I was born blind.

Were you excited to get your very own forever home?

When I first got to my new home, I was very afraid and I hid under a bed for about two weeks. I’d slink out to eat and use the litter box and quickly run back under the bed. But as I got braver and started coming out more and more I found out that my new family was nice and only wanted to love me and take good care of me. What kitty wouldn’t love that?! And I felt good knowing there was another cat to keep my company when the humans weren’t home.

Meeting Buster his new brofur

Was it scary riding in the car?

It was! I was very quiet and didn’t move even though my new mom spoke to me all the way home. I didn’t recognize any of the sounds and none of the voices. My mom and dad had to come to what they call the Eastern Shore in Maryland to get me from the shelter and take me back across a big bridge to where they live.

How long did it take for you and Buster to get used to each other?

Not too long. My new mom and dad put up a baby gate so that Buster could see me and I could smell him, but I surprised them by jumping over the gate the first day! MOL! I might be blind, but that doesn’t stop me from being a cat! Ever since then, Buster and I have been friends.

Did your mom have to make any adjustments to make sure you could get around easy?

Not really. With my long whiskers and super-power hearing, nothing much gets by me! She was afraid I wouldn’t find my food or the litter box so she kept everything in one room with me. After a few days they started moving everything back to where Buster always had the little box and food and I had no trouble finding either one! Buster and I have a very tall cat tower with three perches and I jump up into the bottom one and Buster uses the middle one. My mom and dad were surprised to come in the door one day and see me lying up in Buster’s! To this day, they don’t know how I got up there! MOL!

Picking out a toy to play with

What are you favorite things to do?

I have a favorite mouse that used to be tethered to a pole, but I wanted it so bad I pulled it off! Now I walk around with it in my mouth and meow very loudly so everyone knows I caught it again! I also love to take it to my mom’s pillow every night as a gift and she’s most appreciative and tells me what a good hunter I am!

My favorite place to be is wherever my mom is. I sleep with her at night and when she’s home, I lay down next to her.

I also love to stalk and chase Buster through the condo! Sometimes he gets upset and bats at me, but that never stops me. It might not be fun for him, but it’s fun for me! (My mom said it’s kitty karma because Buster used to chase Chi-Chi!)

Enjoying some time in the cat tree

Questions for your mom – Is this your first blind cat?

Yes. I read the book, Homer the Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper, and it made me want to have a blind cat myself. I was super excited to go get Beanie once we were approved and I’ve never regretted a second of having him share our lives. I would recommend having a blind cat to anyone.

Are there things that Beanie can’t do?

One thing I don’t allow Beanie to do is to go out on the patio. I will occasionally let Buster out there, but I’m afraid to let Beanie out because we live on the second floor. He might be fine, but I’m afraid he might try jumping up over the railing so I don’t let him go out there. Other than that, I’ve haven’t found much of anything else. No one told him he’s blind and he doesn’t feel limited. One day I was listening to an email a friend sent me that contained the songs of different birds. As I was playing the various songs, Beanie was sitting in front of our patio door and looking up out the window with his head tipped listening for the birds. Even though he’s never seen one, his instincts still kick in! We also feed hummingbirds on our patio and Beanie listens to the hum of their wings when they’re at the feeder.

Also, I travel to New York quite often to visit my family. I used to bring Buster (and Chi-Chi, our other cat who has since gone to the Rainbow Bridge) with me when I went. I won’t bring Beanie because I know he’d be lost and scared there and wouldn’t know where anything is. I know it would also be a frightening ride for him since it’s six hours of driving each way. So we now hire a cat sitter to come in to check on the cats each day when we’re gone.

How long did it take for Beanie to get used to his surroundings?

It was only a couple of weeks. He warmed up to everything quicker than we expected and we were amazed at how well he adapted.

What would you like to say to people who are hesitant on adopting a blind cat?

Don’t hesitate at all! Beanie is such a joy and he’s a truly affectionate cat. I can’t imagine my life now without him and I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to adopt another one.

Relaxing Sundays are the best!

How had Beanie changed your perception of blind cats?

I always thought it would be very limiting to have a blind cat in the home, but I now know that they’re just as easy to take care of as a sighted cat and the joy he brings is unlimited! I now encourage people to adopt blind cats.

Is there anything you or Beanie would like to add?

Beanie would like everyone to know that he and other blind cats will bring you love and happiness like you’ve never known before. And I can’t stress enough how much my life has been enriched since we brought Beanie into our lives and home. If anyone decides to adopt a blind cat, you will never regret it! I will definitely do it again.

Buster & Beanie

 

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Beanie & his mom for letting me interview them both. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit Beanie on his Facebook page – Beanie (The Blind Cat)

 

This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed Theme. Please click on the below page for more articles on pets that need extra love and care.

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Extra Loved Needed: Meet Melody

How old are you?
I just turned one year old! The nice people at the shelter estimated my birthday to be July 16, 2013.

Where did your name come from?

My mom rescued me at a music festival, so she had to name me something music related! My name at the shelter was actually Melody Star (for the Star of Bethlehem, because the music festival was in Bethlehem, PA). Often mom likes to call me Mellie or Moose!

How did you come to your forever home?
Answered by my mom: In August, there is a local yearly festival called Musikfest. While we were there one night last year, we walked passed some teenagers standing by a box. The first time I contained myself and just kept walking. The second time we passed that area, I saw another teenager walking away from them with a kitten sticking out of her purse. That was all I needed to see! I walked over and started talking to the young boy “watching” the box. He said they had found the kittens and were trying to find homes for them (I do commend them, they were trying to help!). There was 1 kitten left, but it was already “promised” to someone. While talking to him, I observed that the kitten was too young to be away from its mother, and that they had a little dish of tuna they were trying to feed them. Then, as one of the girls came over and picked the lone kitten up, I noticed she had what looked to be very infected eyes. Long story short, I was able to convince them to give me the kitten to take to the shelter we volunteer and foster for (The Center for Animal Health and Welfare in Easton, PA) since it really needed medical attention. At this point, I didn’t know what I was getting into and hadn’t even called the shelter to be sure they would accept her, but I knew the kitten needed help.
The next morning, I took the kitten to be evaluated at the shelter and kept her to foster. At that time she weighed 7 ounces. On Melody’s half-birthday- January 16, 2014 we officially became foster failures and signed her adoption papers! Melody was born with Microphthalmia, so her eyes never developed. She was blind from birth. It was recommended that we remove her eyes as not to have a risk of cancer in the future.

Do you live with any fursiblings?

I have two fur brothers: Socks and Sawyer, and two fur sisters: Mona and Eclair. Mom and Dad still foster for the shelter, so there are also always a number of foster kittens or adults for socialization in the house to play with.

What is your favorite thing to do?
I love to play with toys- especially ones that make noise that I can follow easier. I also enjoy when Mom takes me places and I get lots of love and pets from people!

This is a question for your mom: Have you ever had a blind cat before?
No! I’ve seen cats at the shelter that had to have one eye removed or had some scarring, but never one that was completely blind. We were a bit hesitant taking her into foster, but we had read Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper about a blind cat and knew she would be fine.

Did you need to make any special adjustments to your house for her?
Not really. Melody has been with us since she was very tiny, so she grew up with everything how it is. She did go to my sister’s house while we were on vacation and learned the layout of the house in 2 days!

What would you like to tell others about blind cats?
Don’t feel bad for them! I had people tell me when she was little that she should just be put down because she wouldn’t have a good life. Melody was born blind, so she doesn’t know any different. Get to know them and you will find that they are just normal cats- they eat, walk around the house, use their litter box, play, and snuggle (and get into trouble!).

How long did it take for her to heal from her surgery?
Melody has had 3 surgeries so far. The first she was spayed and they removed a portion of her third eyelid on each eye to be sure it wasn’t blocking any vision she might have had. The second was to remove her left eye. The third was to remove her right eye. She recovered from all of them within a few days. The third one she ended up ripping out half of her stitches the night after her surgery so we had to go to the emergency vet and they put staples in.

Does she need any additional help/care?
Melody needs no further surgeries and is a happy and healthy girl!

Is there anything you would like to add about her?
Melody is a great cat, and I feel like she was brought into our lives for a reason. She opens people’s eyes about how normal a “special needs” cat can be. She loves being pet and being social when we have her out, so we are thinking about getting her certified as a therapy cat. I just need to find the time to be able to take her to places on a regular basis! We love that it makes her happy to make others happy and do good for others- both humans and other animals waiting for their forever homes!

 

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Melody & her mom for answering the questions. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit her on her Facebook page – Melody the Rescue Cat: Love is Blind

 

This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed Theme. Please click on the below page for more articles on pets that need extra love and care.

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Extra Love Needed: Meet Pip

How old are you?

I turned 2 in March

Where did your name come from?

Mom thought I looked like a Pip.

I read you made quite a journey to your forever home, can you tell me about it?

A woman in Nebraska found me amongst a litter of stray kittens. All of my brothers and sisters had average legs; I’m the only special one. But the lady who found us felt she couldn’t care for my special needs, so she reached out to social media. Word spread, and Tenth Life heard about me. Within a day, volunteers had agreed to transport me ALL the way to St. Louis!

Were you scared?

Nah, I’m an outgoing guy who loves an adventure. Plus, I was only 4 weeks old and didn’t know the dangers (and excitement!) that the world held.

How many different vets did you see about your legs?

I started off seeing my favorite vet, Dr. K. She took X-rays of my legs and sent them to specialists all around St. Louis. When they couldn’t decide what to do with me, she enlisted the help of an orthopedic specialist at the University of Missouri. Clearly, I’m special – it took a lot of super-smart people to figure out how awesome I am 😉 They all agreed that I was getting around fine just the way I was born. So I’m on a “wait-and-see approach,” as mom says. So far, so good!

How many fursiblings do you live with?

I have five permanent fur-siblings, and an ever-changing number of foster siblings. Mom always has someone new she’s trying to help!

Does anyone treat you different?

If you think being adored by thousands is being treated different, then yes!

Is there anything you can’t do?

Absolutely not!!! I run, jump, play, and even attack my siblings. Although I do prefer carpeting.

What would you like to say to cats that are like you awaiting their forever homes?

Hang in there, my friends! Though it may take longer than you want, the perfect family for you is out there! They just have to realize how awesome you are. And if a different-looking fellow like me can find a loving home, you can too!

These questions are for your mom: Have you ever had a cat like Pip before?

Pip was Tenth Life’s first kitty with a congenital condition like this. However, after we helped Pip, we had several other kitties with the same or a similar condition to him. Though kitties like Pip may have physical difficulties down the road, they fare well if simple accommodations are made in the home. Soft surfaces are easier for them to handle, and a close eye must be kept on their joints, since those bear the brunt of the cat’s weight. Pip has a very strong callous on his left front elbow (he holds the other front leg up against his body when he walks).

What are some adjustments you had to make for Pip?

We added rugs to our mostly-hardwood-floored home. Other than that, not much. We already provide low-sided litter boxes for our other kitties with special needs, so he assimilated very easily!

Why did you choose not to take the specialists recommendations for Pip?

We actually did take the recommendations of the specialists. The only alternative to letting him live as-is was athrodesing his joints, which presented another whole category of problems; he wouldn’t be able to bend his legs at all and would make him more susceptible to breakage every time he jumped down from somewhere. Our regular vet and the orthopedic specialist agreed that Pip was better off without medical intervention. They did advise that we reevaluate his comfort regularly and make adjustments accordingly. But so far, he shows ZERO signs of discomfort 🙂

What would you like to say to people who are worried that cats that need extra love & attention won’t have a high quality of life?

It may be more work to care for cats with special needs, but the rewards more than make up for the extra efforts. In my 3 decades of experience with cats (over 10 years professionally), I’ve found that the cats who need our love the most seem to appreciate it the most. There’s something very special about one’s bond with a cat who has been through a lot of medical treatment, abuse, or mistreatment. It’s something I can recommend to those who truly love companion animals.

What tips/advice do you have for first time parents of pets that need extra love & care?

Find an amazing vet you trust. Many vets don’t understand cats; do your research. I’ve encountered too many veterinarians who have only a perfunctory knowledge of cat care. Coming to appointments prepared, yet not combative or defensive, can be your greatest asset. Additionally, please BUDGET for pets with special needs. Medical bills add up incredibly quickly, and nothing is more upsetting than being unable to give your pet the care he/she needs when the time comes.

Is there anything you would like to add about Tenth Life Cats?

Tenth Life is my heart and soul; my passion. I want the world to know that cats with special needs are so incredibly deserving of wonderful lives, but they need our help. Additionally, ourcounty needs help when it comes to appreciating cats and their amazing qualities. Tenth Life exists to elevate cats’ status in the public eye and to do everything possible to make life better for felines with and without special needs.

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Pip & his mom for letting me ask questions about Pip. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit his facebook page – Pip the Wonder Kitty.

This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed Theme, click on the badge below for more interviews with pets that need extra love & care.

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Extra Love Needed: Meet Kona

May I ask how old you are? 

I am one year old today!  

 

Where did your beautiful name come from?

My mom said it means King of the World…and I am king of my world!

 

How did you find your forever home?

 My mommy wanted a rag doll kitten so she looked for breeders in Tampa, Florida.  

 

Can you tell me a bit about FIP and how you were diagnosed?

FIP is a terrible virus that some of us get sick from.  You can read more about it on catvirus.com.  

 

Are you on any medications?

I was diagnosed 2 months ago because I was not acting right, not eating as much and seemed uninterested in play.  My mom took me to the doctor and they found out that I am very anemic, and my protein levels were very high.  They took X-rays and round that I had enlarged kidneys, lymph nodes and heart.  I then had a sonogram done by a specialist and they found that my spleen was enlarged as well and my retinas were slightly detached also.  They gave me weeks to maybe a few months to live.

 

Does your mom have to take any precautions if she touches you?

I am on prednisolone which is a steroid and Buprenex, which is a painkiller.  Mom tried PI but it did no good and will not use it anymore.  No, I am not contagious….anyone can play with me.  I actually caught the virus from another cat at the breeder and my immune system could not fight it so I got really sick, where other kitties do not.  

 

You have such a beautiful coat, are you part Siamese?

I think I am part Siamese and Burmese….I am ragdoll.

 

What is your favorite thing to do?

 My favorite thing to do is play and be with my Mom.  I follow her all over.

 

 

Is there anything your mom would like to say about FIP?

 My mom hates FIP and never heard of it until I got sick.  She had 3 kitties before me who were healthy.  She thinks people and vets should learn more about it.  


Author’s Note: Many thanks to Kona’s mom for answering the questions and letting me borrow a picture for use. Please visit Kona on his Facebook page – Kona’s Story – Fighting FIP

 

This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme. Please click on the below badge for more interviews with pets that need extra love & care.

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