Friday, October 04, 2013

And Babies Make...You Don't Want to Know

About two months ago, my daughter looked out her apartment window to see a mama cat and three kittens on her patio. Then the mama cat and one of the kittens went away, leaving these two guys...

It didn't take my daughter long to realize there was something seriously wrong with these kittens. They shake. Constantly. And when they try to walk, they fall over. At first we thought they had some deadly disease, but it turns out they're not sick; what they have is cerebellar hypoplasia, basically the kitty form of cerebral palsy.

I did not want to adopt these guys. I already have a house full of cats (in addition to the usual crew, I'm also currently taking care of two of my older daughter's cats while she's in San Antonio). And CH cats have elimination issues. Except that unlike our other cats with minor elimination issues, theirs are pretty extreme. And they can't live on the porch because they don't have the coordination to walk on those widely spaced boards. But they were barely surviving by hiding amongst my daughter's flower pots and eating the food she put out for them, and with a hurricane barreling down on us....

I now have two new kittens. We took them to the vet today, and thank heavens they found nothing wrong with them except the cerebellar hypoplasia. I thought they were about four months old but they're actually six months, even though they barely weigh two pounds, the poor things.

In preparation for the new arrivals, everyone else in the house had to go to the vet and get their shots ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$), too. I was truly embarrassed to take Whiskies. He now weighs twenty pounds!

And in case you're wondering, the new kittens' names are Scout (a girl, on the right) and Banjo, her brother. Banjo has a moderately severe form of CH, while Scout is more mild to moderate. And yes, this is insane. But what else could I do?


Charles Gramlich said...

Wow, I've heard of this condition but never actually seen it. So sad for those kitties.

Anonymous said...

Oh Candy, you are a saint (and a softie). Kittens are irresistible. How long are they expected to live having that condition? Is there a way to put diapers on them somehow - although that in itself sounds like a messy proposition. Am thinking of you and your entire gang with Tropical Storm Karen rolling through (and a gov't shutdown to boot that will affect any help/preventive measures). Hoping for the best. Take care!!! Sabena

LOgalinOR said...

Candice, it is quite oblivious that you have one big heart, full of empathy and compassion for the disadvantaged (cats and kitties). They just seem to land on your doorstep. The picture of the 2 new kitties, is just too cute. Whiskies, on the other hand, looks like one supersized, happy and healthy dude. (LOL-loved and well taken care of!)

cs harris said...

Charles, I had never heard of it. It really is awful.

Sabena, I'm told their life expectancy is normal. They are normal in every way except the primitive part of the brain that controls balance and motor control was damaged when their mother contracted a virus early in her pregnancy. I've read that some people do diaper them, although at the moment they are very wild. I've hopes that Scout will eventually be able to use a litter box, but I don't think Banjo will be able to manage it. At the moment they are seriously suffering from the medicine the vet gave them for their worms, so we're constantly having to pick them up and change the pads under them (at least they're getting used to being picked up!) I figure they must be amazingly smart and strong to have survived on their own this long. They truly are an inspiration.

And it looks like Karen isn't going to strengthen to a hurricane and will just graze us as a tropical storm, so hopefully it will just ruin the weekend and nothing more--although those down by the mouth of the river do still have to worry about flooding from storm surge.

LOgalinOR, if only I could get these two little waifs up to even half of Whiskies's size, I'll be ecstatic!

Anonymous said...

c-I was very happy to hear that TS Karen did not do any severe damage. not what you guys needed. I never doubted for a second what you would do with these kittens. they are so lucky to have you. I don't know much about animal diseases. my cats where all physically healthy - personality disorders was more their forte. but I wish you much luck with them. and I love their names!

Le Fleur said...

Agree with Anonymous - you are a saint! They tug at your heart strings.

lmhess said...

The kittens are adorable, "Grandma Candice" and I'm really glad that the latest hurricane ended up fizzling. Hope all humans and critters are safe and sound.

JustWingingIt said...

It wasn't until college that I even realized that animals could get the same sorts of illnesses that humans get. Her mom's dog had epilepsy. Is there such a thing as pet health insurance?

Rebecca D said...

I agree with the others, you are truly a saint. Those kittens are angels, so sweet.

cs harris said...

Ali, I have to admit, this has turned out to be a HUGE undertaking. But I still can't regret it.

Le Fleur, they have turned out to be soooo sweet, too.

Imhess, yes, a hurricane was the last thing I needed!

JustWingingIt, with all of these cats, I don't think I could afford pet insurance...

Rebecca, it's amazing how quickly they turned from wild and scared to little sweethearts.

Ames26 said...

I totally understand what you're going thru. I adopted a litter of five kittens after two of them were suffering from severe flea anemia requiring blood transfusions and multiple vet visits and bottle feeding. Sadly, I lost one but found a home for another and kept three. Nine years later theyr're all healthy and I don't regret anything. I have six cats total and it's a lot of work but so worth it.

Shannen Bananerzz said...

Thats a huge cat I love your kitty family

Shannen Bananerzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You are a softie and a sweetheart for taking in the adorable kittens. And I'm not even a cat person, just a kitten person! On another note, March is just toooo long for another St. Cyr mystery. Could you just crank them out quicker? I have them read in a day. And I just recently found your CS Graham books! They are awesome, too! Thanks for all of the books! Sincerely, a big fan.

Thomas Wilson said...

Valuable information and excellent design you got here! I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts about cheap pet insurance into the stuff you post!!

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