Extra Love Needed: Meet Jinx

  Author’s Note: Thanks to Ty for letting me ask questions about his girl Jinx. Pictures used with permission
What is her name and how old is she?
My little girl is called Jinx and she’s now 7 years old.
Where did her name come from?
Erm…well….she was quite accident prone in the early months so I thought she was Jinxed.
How did she come to live with you?
She found me when she was about 5 months old. I was dropping my partner home when a fluffball darted across in front of the car. I stopped, turned off the engine and put the window down. A tiny little face looked up at me and meowed. Once I knew she was out of the way I drove on, parked the car and went in to find food for her. I made a sound with my lips that I never made before, a popping noise, and she came running to me. She followed me in doors and it was then I noticed her eye. She sat under a table, head tilted to the side and watched me. I sat on the floor across from her and watched her. I was living in a rented apartment at the time and my housemate had said no to any pets so I ended up taking her up to the local SPCA.
Once I got home and told my housemate about her he said I should have kept her. It took me 3 months but I got her back on New Years Eve 2010 and she’s been with me since. We got another cat when my partner and I moved in together in 2012.
His name was Dougal. They didn’t get along. Dougal died in 2014. We then got Jaded and Gonzo. Jasper loved Jinx but Gonzo has never liked her. Jasper died in 2015, same way as Dougal, hit by a car.
So now it’s Jinx and Gonzo. I tried making her an indoor only cat but she had no intention of complying. She’s both I suppose – she comes and goes. We have a microchip cat flap which she uses.
When did you notice her eye?
I saw, on the night we met, that her eye was not right. Once I got closer to her I noticed it was infected and she couldn’t open it as there was so much puss Etc. She doesn’t need drops or anything like that. I don’t think she knows that she’s not 100% so she just does her thing. I *would* keep a close eye on her but I can’t keep up with her.
 

Extra Love Needed: Meet Tigress

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

What is her name and how old is she?

Her name is Tigress, she will be five in (I’m guessing) mid November.

How did she come to live with you?

She came to me after my sister’s husband found her and her brother on the side of the road, out in the country. We suspect they were dumped there. She didn’t really bond with my sister, so she was going to find her a new home. I said no because I already had 2. I went to her house on Christmas eve (an little under 2 hours away) and ended up falling in love. She came home with us that night, cuddled and purred the whole way home.

Did you know she had asthma if not, how did you find out?

I did not know at that point that she has asthma. I found out when she was 2. I thought she had a hairball problem, googled remedies, and came across a video of a cat having an asthma attack, it was identical. A trip to the Vet, with x rays revealed that she does in fact have it.

What are they doing to treat flare ups?

It was the first case her vet had seen in real life. At the time, we treated with a steroid shot during flair ups, when they became more frequent, we decided to try her on a preventive medicine (terbutaline) and oral prednisone as needed. Over time, with positive reinforcement, she learned to come to me for her medicine. She rarely needs prednisone anymore and hasn’t needed a shot in over a year. As far as I can tell, dust triggers her asthma, but it’s hard to tell. She is strictly indoor, but I know we can bring stuff in on our clothes.

What advice do you have for others who have a cat with asthma?

The best advice i can offer is to take it seriously and to treat it. We have 3 other cats, one of them attacks Tigress on a regular basis but I don’t know that it really has to do with asthma. One cat appears to attempt to comfort her when she has an attack.

Extra Love Needed: Meet Lenny

Author’s Note: Miss Claire for taking time to answer questions about her extra love needed furbaby Lenny. All pictures used with permission.

I am curious how the other members of the family react to him (assuming you have other cats).

I have 5 cats in total. They all seem to let Lenny away with everything! With food Lenny will run round and take food out of their mouths!!! It’s like they know he is special.

How did he come to live with you?

When he was a kitten the breeder wasn’t sure if he would survive as he was so small. When he was 13weeks old he was 710g. When we went to see him he looked very poorly. He had gooey eyes and was very smelly. We were hesitant to take him but after many discussions with my husband we felt he needed our help as eating communally wasn’t helping. At the time the breeder had 18 cats in a small mobile home. He couldn’t possibly be getting the attention he needed.

Did you have to syringe feed him? Did the vet say if this a disorder he developed as a kitten?

He had no problem eating he just face plants everything you give him. It ends up his nose and all round his face which he can’t wash himself. He had conjunctivitis. We treated that and it cleared. I then received an email from the breeder that she had sine test results for Lenny. He had 3 bacterial infections one being pseudomonas. The conditions where he was born was not very sanitary especially the amount of cats in one place. So hearing he wasn’t well wasn’t a surprise. When I took him to the vet she was shocked. She said I should take him back to breeder. I couldn’t. I’d had him 2 weeks and had fallen in love with him. Instead I emailed the breeder and explained what the vet said. She said she would take him back and I could have Jimmy instead. I said no I would have Jimmy and keep Lenny. I would look after Lenny through whatever happens. If he grew into a normal cat then I would make a payment for Jimmy otherwise we were quits. She agreed. So we got Jimmy who is Lenny’s half brother.

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

I have to clean Lenny on a regular basis as he often poops his pants. I have trimmed his fur to avoid having to get clumps out his fur! When he is really bad he gets a bath which he really hates!

The vet thinks he was either born like it or that it was a difficult birth. He said in natural selection he probably wouldn’t have survived….

He is a funny little boy. He doesn’t know how to ‘cat’. He can’t jump or climb. He has the tiniest Miow which we it hear when he wants his wet food. He spends most of the time sleeping or just watching the others hare round the house. He likes to play with string and bugs and flies!

We have a catio so if I let him he stays out there all night bug watching. If I bring him in I put him on the bed and he sleeps on the pillow with his head propped. If I scratch his ear he puts his paws on too of my hand and puts his head on top!

The vet doesn’t know what will happen with Lenny. Without expensive scans it’s hard to say. Who knows. All I know is I will care for him for however long it takes. Whether that will be 6 months or 6 years.

We both had doubts whether the breeder would keep Lenny or have him put to sleep. For us we had to keep him.

Does anyone else have a disability?

This last one is Cookie she is a rescue. She was found living in a greenhouse living on insects and bird food. She has an air pistol pellet in her knee. When she came she was a nervous wreck. Now she is very confident and likes a fuss

 

Does anyone try to groom lenny?

We do but he hates it. I can only think it’s because he is so skinny it’s not very comfortable. But because he can’t wash if I brush him within a few minutes he’s back looking a scruff! He tolerates a certain amount then screams to be let go. I usually get enough time to clean up his bits and his face. Bath time involves the husband as I can’t hold him as he wriggles too much.Jimmy his brother sometimes pins him down and washes him…. I wish he would do an all over! Lenny doesn’t let him for very long. I think he likes being a stinky teenager!

After a bath he is super fluffy. And smells like a baby! Then he goes and rolls in the dust outside!!!

Sounds like a petulant child

Very much so. He almost knows when I need to clean him up and he leads me a right merry dance. He rubs behind the sofa and hides under the chair where no one can reach him lol. The smell of food usually gets him out!!!

 

Anything else you want to add about him or his siblings?

They all get on great. When Jimmy or Penny (both 11 months) play fight with lenny they seem to be very gentle with him. Yet Lenny will climb on top of Jimmy and try chewing at him. They are funny to watch as Jimmy could slap him down in a second but he doesn’t. Even cookie plays chase with him but doesn’t get her claws out. It’s like they know he’s not like them. Animals are just awesome.

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.

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..

Meet Samson the Blind Cat & Company

Author’s Note: This has been revised as the pictures and editing did not show up when it was published. My apologizes.
Many thanks to Samson’s mom for letting me interview her about the furry family. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit the facebook page – Samson the Blind GA cat to follow their story.

How many pets do you have that need extra care?
We have four are blind or partially sighted, one is deaf, one has FIP.  Gracie, a little long-haired tabby, is about ten months now, and was thrown from a car as a kitten.  I found her in the street, injured, with a concussion, and unable to walk.  As a result, one leg is paralyzed.  But she gets around very well.  She can outrun me!
 samson
How many of them are blind?
Sammy, Cricket, and Bones are totally blind.  Stevie has a little sight in his one remaining eye.  He sees as we would if we were looking through a small circle.  He has to move his head to align his field of vision.
May I ask if they were born blind or lost their eyesight due to infections/disease?
All are rescues as adults so we really don’t know the causes.  All the blind ones came from high kill shelters.  Two are black and blind, pretty much a guarantee of euthanasia in a shelter.  Black cats are the last to be adopted.  Black and blind cats stand almost no chance at all.
We had a lovely Siamese named Li who was adopted as an elderly fellow.  He had gone blind from untreated glaucoma, as did another blind senior girl named Abigail.  Li passed away last year, and Abigail about three years ago.  With the others, we really don’t know the causes, except for Stevie.  He was born with Microphthalmia, meaning his eyes were underdeveloped.  One eye was completely blind.  His lashes turned inward and irritated it so badly that we had that eye removed.  It wasn’t even attached to the optic nerve.  He’s much more comfy now.
Samson (Sammy) was born without eyes.  He was caught as a kitten in a feral cat trap in the mountains.  His rear leg had been broken at some point and healed a bit crooked.  At first he was terrified of being off the ground, so we figure he broke it in a fall.  Now he’s probably the bravest of the blind cats and loves to climb and explore.
Do they have full reign of the house or do they stay in one section/room?
They’re allowed all over the house, except in the formal living and dining rooms.  We have a screened porch in the basement with a cat door, and they all love being out there in pretty weather.  The blind ones navigate the stairs with no issues.  Only Cricket, who is the shyest, doesn’t go downstairs.  She can, but she chooses not to.
How long does it take for them to adjust to their new environment, or does it vary with each cat?
When bringing in a blind cat, we start them out in just one room.  For how long depends upon the cat’s personality.  When they seem comfortable and curious about what lies beyond the door, we will let them have access to another room.  It just increases from there as they seem ready.
We have found that cats born blind are pretty much normal cats.  When they go blind, as from glaucoma, it is more of an adjustment.  Those born blind know no other way to be and think nothing of it.  Those that go blind are usually more cautious and take longer to adapt.  Our Earl Grey was born blind and LOVED exploring.  We nicknamed him Houdini.  If there was a way to get outside, he would find it.  Earl knew no fear.  Sadly we lost him from a probable aneurism a couple of years ago.
Can you tell me a bit about the other cats?
Shamrock is a lovely white Maine Coon with stunning green eyes who is totally deaf.  He startles easily, so we’re always careful to let him know we are there by flicking the lights or waving at him.  If he’s asleep, I’ll hold my hand by his nose.  He’ll eventually pick up my scent and wake up without being startled.  I didn’t know he was deaf when we brought him home.  I figured out when he didn’t run from the vacuum that something was up.  Like the blind ones, he can never go outside, but Shammy loves the porch and lying in the sunshine.  He does understand hand gestures.  If I want him to come, since I can’t call him, I gesture for him to come to me.  He usually does.  He is difficult to treat medically – give pills or meds – as you can’t talk to him to soothe him or calm him down.  Blind cats are pretty easy to treat since they can’t see what’s coming!  🙂  Shamrock loves traveling and often accompanies us on vacation.
Shamrock – white with green eyes – Maine Coon – Deaf
1467229_10152113576362701_758265308_n (1)
Cricket – Orange and white – Blind
10269474_10152394549947701_5782808917971802112_n
Grace – Young tabby – paralyzed leg  after being thrown from car
10612935_10152430343317701_1237577502147312469_n
Sammy – black with no eyes
1979761_10152144441002701_1303611588_n
Stevie – grey tabby with one “bluish” eye
1378852_10151756700202701_512835282_n
Bones – Black standing on couch – blind
 Bones (1)
The blind cats really need nothing special.  We provide toys that make noise – bell balls or crinkle balls, and they love furry mice.  The laser pointer does nothing for them.  If I move something in the house, they figure it out.  People often ask if they can find their food or litter box.  Not a problem!  They climb, play, and run just like all cats.  Cricket is the shyest of the blind ones.  She is more cautious about climbing steps or jumping down from a bed.
Can you explain a bit about FeLV, FIP & FIV?
We’ve had many FeLV cats over the years.  That is Feline Leukemia.  There’s a good article here with details: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/feline-leukemia-virus
We’ve had FeLV cats live from 8-10 years but others not even make it a full year.  We’ve lost a few immediately after neutering.  Surgery can cause the FeLV to ‘kick in’ and they crash quickly.  FeLV cats CAN live good, happy lives.  Too many vets recommend euthanizing them immediately.  There are precautions you can take to help them.  Our Bo lived 8 good years, and Nala made if over 10 years.  It’s not necessarily a death sentence.  Avoiding stress, a healthy diet, and giving L-Lysine to boost the immune system are all good things for an FeLV kitty.  A positive result could mean the cat is a carrier only and won’t show symptoms.  One of our vets had an FeLv+ kitty who lived 17 years.
Our Biscuit is positive for FIV.  That is Feline Aids (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)  https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/feline-immunodeficiency-virus-fiv
Again, not a death sentence.  Positive can also mean he is a carrier and may never show symptoms.  This disease weakens the immune system, so like with FeLV, avoiding stress, a good diet, and supplements help keep them strong.  If another cat is sneezing or sick, I isolate Biscuit from that cat.  He was a Tom living on the streets, but he’s loving life as a pampered indoor boy.  So far, he shows no signs of the disease at all.
FIP is the one I most dread and hate.  There are two forms – dry and wet.  We’ve dealt with both over the years.  While there are some experimental treatments, they are extremely expensive.  There isn’t a diagnostic test for FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) so by the time the cat shows symptoms, the disease is usually in the latter stages.  Sadly it often claims kittens.  Our Luna lived with dry FIP for about five months longer than expected, maybe because we tried the expensive treatment with her.  She hated taking the oral liquid meds, though, and fought so hard against them that we opted to discontinue, plus the cost – hundreds of dollars a month – was too high for us to continue longer.  I hope one day they find a way to diagnose and treat this horrid disease.

What has been the hardest thing about having cats that need extra love & attention?
Nothing hard about it at all!  We love each one so much and are blessed to have them in our family.  The vet bills can mount up with one of the diseases, but there aren’t any drawbacks to having blind and deaf kitties.
What has been the most rewarding thing about the experience?
Just knowing that these cats who would have been euthanized as ‘unacceptable’ now have a happy and loving home.  Rescue kitties know you saved them.  All the rescued blind cats are very attached to us and like nothing more than being close by.
What would you like to say to people who are hesitant to adopt a cat that may need extra love & attention?
To quote Alana Miller, director of Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary  www.blindcatrescue.com, blind cats are just…cats.  The rewards are so great.  With the ones who have FeLV, FIP, and FIV, you have to go in with your eyes open and know the possible outcome.  But if you believe that these animals deserve a chance for a happy life, regardless of length, it’s easy to open your heart to them.  You may be surprised how hard they fight and how long they will be with you.  I can’t imagine living without a blind cat now.  They amaze us daily with all they can do.  For anyone interested, visit Blind Cat Rescue’s website and read a book called Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline’s Tale or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wondercat.  You’ll never think about blind cats the same again.

Meet Cassandra Cat

Author’s Note: I wanted to thank Miss Donna Drury for her patience and letting me borrow the images of her pictures for the article (they were used with permission). This is a correction of the original article as it posted without edits and pictures.
Please check out her beautiful work on the following pages:

My name is Donna Drury, I have two declawed cats who have health problems. I will let my Cassandra tell her story below. I am an artist and I paint her dreams, she needs beauty in her life after what was cruelly and brutally done to against her will.

My name is Cassandra Cat, I have been front declawed nine years ago. My previous owners dumped me into the woods because I started to bite them. My paws have nerve damage and are always numb. I shake them all the time. I wake up from my naps because I hiss and growl in my sleep. I have nightmares all the time, flashbacks of my declawing. A veterinarian who does not declaw cannot examine my paws unless they medicate me, I may have bone fragments in my paws from a botched declaw. The veterinarian said she did not want to put me through medication, X-rays, possible correction surgery because it would traumatize me further. She used to declaw many years ago and stopped. I take herbal medications daily for my mental instability and pain. I will never forget laying on the operating table while each of my toes were being amputated. I heard the snap, and saw my claws on the table next to me. It was the most horrible experience, I cried and cried and no one heard me. I bite my new owner, she cannot pet me. I am extremely heartbroken humans have done this to me. I cannot knead, climb, hunt, and I never purr. Declawing is a major orthopedic operation, it is amputation of the leg bone.


My new sister, Cameo Cat, is also front declawed. Her owners did not want her anymore because she started to develop skin issues, her immune system was compromised with her declaw. She had an infection for months. Her previous owners could not afford the vet bills, so they brought her back to the shelter. She also has ‘horns’ growing from her paws, they are scurs (growth of deformed claw segments).We are fighting hard to make declawing illegal. The Paw Project is our best friend, they are working very hard to educate people regarding the absolute horrors of declawing. Declawing should never have been legal, never. I, Cassandra Cat, will cut through the red tape that is keeping declawing legal with the same surgical instrument that amputated my leg bones. This is a promise.

Please visit The Paw Project FaceBook page and please use a veterinarian who does not declaw cats. If you have dogs only, still do this. Do you want hands that mutilate healthy cats touching your pets? Pets know, they sense what veterinarians are doing, they know. They only want your money and could care less when your cat develops the following…also, all cats hide their pain very well. If she does not look like she is in pain, she is. Amputations have side effects. If you feel your cat is in pain, you may want to have her paws x-rayed to see if there are bone fragments.

MEDICAL COMPLICATIONS FROM THE PAW PROJECT
Reported medical complications after a declaw can include: pain, hemorrhage, laceration of paw pads, swelling, reluctance to bear weight on affected limb, neuropraxia (transient motor paralysis), radial nerve damage, lameness, infection, abscess, tissue necrosis, wound dehiscence, incomplete healing, protrusion of 2nd (middle toe bone) phalanx, claw regrowth, scurs (growth of deformed claw segments), retention of flexor process of third phalanx, chronic draining tracts, self-mutilation, dermatitis, lethargy, palmigrade stance (walking on wrists), chronic intermittent lameness, chronic pain syndrome, flexor tendon contracture, and cystitis (stress-associated bladder inflammation).
Well, I have an ETSY for prints, and I started to paint when I was a child, I used to paint flat rocks with sea scenes on them, and did a lot of paint by number. I grew up near the sea, and it was very inspiring. I did not paint again until about the time my Cassandra cat arrived, nine years ago. I raised a family before that. My mother made sure I always had paint and rocks, everyone wanted one. We would go to the beach and pick out rocks. I did enjoy painting them. I also sew quilts and make soap and woodwork. I cut my own boards for painting. I give my Cassandra cat a lot of credit for the inspirations for my paintings, she gives me the ideas through intuition. The prints here are all 8″x10″. I need to paint more paintings, and then eventually offer prints and paintings. https://www.etsy.com/shop/UntoldCatDreams?ref=si_shop

My Artist FaceBook page. I have been trying to get more paintings done, but, my main focus is to get the word out to everyone regarding declawing. Veterinarians will not explain what declawing is, they offer coupons also, and they sometimes declaw the wrong cat. I have read many stories of vet techs who quit because they cannot stand to hear the cats screaming for hours when they wake up.

Extra Love Needed: Meet Champy Pants the Blind Siamese Kitty

Champy Pants
How old is Champy Pants the Blind Siamese Kitty?
The Vets estimated he is about 8 years old but could be as young as 6 years by the quality of his teeth. Because he was rescued from a shelter will never know his true age.

Where did his name come from?
When Champ was rescued he was in extremely bad shape. We think he was hit by a car in NYC and left for dead on the side of the road. North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, NY rescued him and worked around the clock tending to his severe injuries. He was in the emergency care unit for months trying to survive. They said he was such a fighter they named him Champ, short for champion. We kept his name because he is nothing short from being a true Champ. Each morning he starts his day out by putting his “Champy Pants” on!

* You can find his hospital photos from NY here:

Can you tell me how he came into your life?
I first saw him posted with a picture of him still injured on facebook. He was found by some woman and she took him to a kill shelter where he stayed for 3 days with a broken jaw, split palate, and both damaged eyes. After 3 days I saw he was rescued but did not know who rescued him. Only a month later did I see that it was North Shore Animal League who had rescued him and I was able to read his update. He had new photos showing his jaw wired shut and a feeding tube in his neck trying to survive. When I saw these photos and his updates I knew from that moment I had to adopt him. I started writing to the shelter constantly on how much I loved Champ and had to have him in my life. I couldn’t imagine my life without him. It was love at first sight; it was love online!

Still handsome as always, Champy
How long did it take for him to be able to walk again?
He was in a cage in ICU for months trying to heal. He was very weak from his injuries and his weight dropped to 5.4 lbs. (He’s over 10.5 pounds now.) It wasn’t until he was improving and was able to be moved from the ICU to the shelter unit that he was able to really stand and start to walk again. When we adopted him and took him home, he walked very slowly and didn’t know how to climb the stairs. This is when he really started to get his movement and strength back. He also had to learn to navigate without his sight.

When did the vets realize he lost some of his hearing?
Only 3 weeks after adopting him, I woke up on morning and he was on my bed. He could not walk and was curled up and making circles trying to get up. I rushed him into the ER thinking he had a stroke. I was so scared for him after everything he just went through in the past few month and trying to recover. We found out he had a inner ear infection and he could not balance not to mention stand or walk. Only at this point did we discover he had some type of blockage in his ear. We didn’t know if it was from the ear infection itself or a ear tumor or scar tissue from the accident. After weeks on his antibiotic and his ear infection cleared up did we know his ear canal was still blocked off. This was the first indication something was not right with his ear. It wasn’t until a bit later that I noticed he was not picking up sound with his right ear. He only responded with his left ear for noises but he responded really well to them. So this is when I realized I have adopted not just a fully blind kitty but a half deaf one too! But that didn’t matter to me, I just loved him even more!

His thoughts on people who doubted him
How long did it take for him to “map” his new home?
This is what really amazed me. He mapped out our 2 story home so quickly. He walked slowly till he learned where everything was and where all the furniture was laid out. I was ready to adjust anything for him to make his life as easy as possible. The only new things I had to learn was to look under my feet and to open doors slowly incase he was behind one. I didn’t want to step on him or bump a door in his face, so I had to learn to be more patient and be aware of him. Now its just a normal part of my day and it comes naturally. He actually did better than me with all the new adjustments. Everyday I am still amazed by him!

Does he live with any fursiblings?
He does. He has 3 “seeing eye cats” to help him live a productive and happy life. We have Muppet who is a Himalayan. She is the sweet girl that likes to be the mama of the house! We also have Monkey & Chewy Bear who are Siamese brothers. Champy really loves to play with them and rough house as boys like to do. They all wear bells on their collars which helps Champy hear where they are. All my cats are rescued and adopted.

I see a lot of pictures of him and his tunnel, is that his favorite toy?
Champy has many toys he loves. He loves the because it make crinkle noises. His favorite toys are ones with bells, catnip, crinkly sounds and toys that you can run across the floor as he can chase it by listening with his one good ear to the sound the toy makes on the floor.
Champy & his tunnel

Do you have any plans for his year adoptaversary?
Yes, we plan on contacting North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, NY and letting them know how his first year has gone since being adopted. We will also have cake, balloons and catnip to celebrate 1 year of his healing and rescue and a celebration on his facebook page with all his 9,000+ fans.

Is there anything else you would like to share about Champy or your life with him?
Champy is just a amazing little blind kitty that just wants to love and be loved. He has given me so much back for rescuing him. I just can’t imagine living one day without him with all the sunshine he brings. He makes me want to be a better person and help even more disabled kitties like him by raising awareness. He is in the process of making and coming out with a children’s story book this year.

Would you like me to add a dedication to anyone at the end of the article?
Yes. I would like to dedicate this to my two Siamese kitties that I lost which tore my heart out. Meeko on 8/21/11 and Simba on 2/7/13. I want to thank Simba from the bottom of my heart for sending Champy my way just 3 weeks after he crossed over Rainbow Bridge. I also want to thank my peanut, the love of my life for making the long 7 hour round trip drive down to Long island, NY with me to pick little Champy Pants up and bring him home where he now lives a happy and very spoiled life in Worcester, MA.

Champy meditating

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Champy Pants and his mom for letting me ask questions about him and sharing his story. Pictures were used with permission. You can find him on his facebook page – Champy Pants the Blind Siamese Cat 
This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme, please click on the badge below for more articles on pets that need extra love & care.
elnbadge

Extra Love Needed: Meet Gatsby

Gatsby
How old is he?
Gatsby is approximately 4 yrs old
Where did his name come from?
Gatsby came from Jay Gatsby of The Great Gatsby. My favorite movie.  Gatsby is a grey tuxedo and quite dapper, so I thought the name was very fitting for him.
How long was he in foster care before he came to you?
He was found living in a busy industrial area. Some wonderful people initiated his capture, as they realized he was blind. Once caught, he was fixed, tested and in a foster for about 10 days. I found him on a cross post on Facebook. I had just lost a cat to cancer 3 weeks prior.
Enjoying some quality time with his mom
Did it take long for him to “map” the house?
Not long at all. I would say all of a day! I posted a number of videos of Gatsby on Youtube. One of which is his first walk around the house. It can be seen under Gatsby the blind kitty on Youtube
Have you ever cared for a blind cat before?
Never
What tips would you give to people who are caring for their first blind cat?
Treat them as if they have no issues. Just let them explore and find the right and wrong way themselves. Gatsby was born without eyes, so he thinks all cats are like him! Gatsby has a chip and his claws just in  case he gets out. I keep a close eye on the door!
Loving the sun puddles at the new house
What are some of the things you’ve learned since adopting Gatsby?
Lots. He overcomes obstacles every day with poise and dignity. When I am having a bad day I just think of Gatsby and everything is OK
Do you have any big plans for his “birthday” this year?
His birthday is coming up in March. There will be lots of catnip, toys and extra treats! He is also getting a kitty as a playmate!!!
Does he have a favorite toy?
My feet are his favorite toy! OUCH
Is there anything  else you would like to say about Gatsby?
A blind cat requires no special care. They navigate perfectly well and make fantastic pets. Have a heart and adopt a blind rescue
Gatsby even shows some leg from time to time

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Gatsby and his mom for letting me interview him. Pictures were used with permission. You can find him on his facebook page Gatsby the Blind Kitty .
This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme, please click on the badge below for more articles on pets that need extra love & care.
elnbadge

Extra Love Needed: Meet Trip & Yoga

Trip loves her crinkle balls
Trip, how old are you?
I am 9 months old. My birthday is April 20.
Where did your name come from?
A lot of CH kitties have cute names like Tipsy and Wobbles, and Mom wanted something unique that sorta fit my personality and condition. I trip all over myself when I’m excited about something!
How did you come to your forever family?
My catmom was an outside kitty. My first humanmom realized I was different than my siblings and took me to see a doctor. They told her with my condition I wouldn’t survive outside on my own. So she began searching for a rescue that would take me in. She found my mom on Petfinder and explained the situation. My Mom has a soft spot for special needs animals, so she was excited about fostering me. But it didn’t take long for her to realize she wasn’t going to let me go, and I was really thriving here, so I went from being a foster kid to being a purr-manent member of the family!
Can you or your mom explain what CH is?
CH stands for Cerebellar Hypoplasia. It is a condition in which the cerebellum, the part of my brain that controls my motor skills, is underdeveloped. It is something I was born with, and it won’t ever get better, but it won’t ever get worse either. When I was really little I had a hard time sitting up, and didn’t walk very much at all. But with time, we CH kitties learn to adapt and cope with our wobbles and shakes, and I am walking better and farther every day!
Do you need any physical therapy to help you walk better?
The best PT for CH is play, play, play!!! Playtime helps strengthen my muscles and gets me moving. Mom and Dad built me a cart when I was an itty bitty kitty, and I used it a little, but I didn’t really care for it, and usually did better without it.
Trip's close up
Do your fursiblings treat you differently?
Mostly everyone treats me pretty well here. Sometimes I think my movements confuse my “normal” fursiblings. But they’ve really accepted me since I’ve been here. My sister Popcorn mothers me and grooms me. But my BFF is definitely Yoga.
Yoga, how old are you?
I am about 10 months old.
Photo: Sleepin' 'n Smilin' ~Y
Where did your name come from?
Mom named me Yoga because of my super straight paralyzed back legs, and the sometimes crazy positions I put them in.
How did you end up a part of the family?
I was found severely injured, with a broken pelvis, severed spine, and big open wounds. I am also unable to go to the bathroom on my own. I went home with Mom so she could help me potty over the weekend while the awesome vet clinic I was staying at was closed. And she never took me back! She enjoyed having me here, and like Trip, was thinking she would find me a good forever home once I was healed. But I bonded pretty quickly with Trip, and Mom realized she was really attached to me….. So I get to live here too!
Yoga & Trip
I’ve seen a few pictures of you wearing clothes, is it only when it’s cold?
I have quite an assortment of pants, and socks, and even some shirts! Because I scoot around on my butt, I wear a diaper to keep my bum clean. The pants are so I don’t develop sores on my legs from scooting them on the floors/furniture. The socks I wear when I’m in my cart so I don’t make my feet sore, and the shirts are strictly for Mom’s entertainment. 🙂
May I ask how you became paralyzed?
I don’t really remember that day. It all happened so fast. But my best guess is I was either hit by a car, or maybe attacked by an animal bigger than me. I’m just not sure…..
Do you use your wheels often?
I do! I’ve gotten really comfortable in my wheels. Plus, I think I look pretty great in hot pink! Though I can get around really well without them, Mom thinks it’s good for me to get up into a more natural position when I can.
I saw a video with you chasing your tail, have you caught it yet?
That tail! I know it’s back there…. but every time I turn around to grab it…. it runs!
What about that pesky red dot?
I don’t think ANYONE has ever caught that red dot!!!! It drives me crazy!!
How many siblings do you both live with?
We have each other, and 5 “normal” kitty brothers and sisters. We also have a dog sister…. and there’s a tortoise that lives here too! We love to follow her around the house, and touch her shell when Mom’s not looking. She feels neat! We have one human brother. He’s 14, and is great to us kitties. We have a pigeon foster brother right now too, he was injured so he’s staying here til he gets better. Mom won’t let us play with him, and we think that’s really not fair!
Yoga's all dressed up
Is they anything else you would like to share about yourselves or your family?
We want people to know that pets that aren’t perfect can still make the perfect pet! Depending on their individual needs, they can take a lot of time and patience….. Yoga needs her bladder and bowels manually expressed, she wears diapers and clothes (which are cute, but they are also an added ‘chore’ to her daily care!), and she can’t be left alone for long periods of time during the day like other kitties can, so she gets to go to work with me on my longer days. Trip can’t use a regular litterbox, so we use puppy pads instead, and she also has some stomach sensitivities so she can’t have any old bag of cat food and we are feeding her a grain free diet with probiotic and canned food twice a day. So they take some effort…..But for someone that has the time to give, they are definitely worth it!!!

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Trip & Yoga and their mom for answering all the questions I could think of (and more!). Pictures & Videos were used with permission. You can find the entire family on their facebook page Trip the CH Kitty & Yoga the Disabled Kitty.
This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme, please click on the badge below for more articles on pets that need extra love & care.
elnbadge