Photos of readers

December 22, 2019 • 2:15 pm

Reader Chris Knight-Griffin should restore our faith in humanity according to the information given in his “Photos of Readers” contribution. His words are indented:

I recently decided to adopt two special needs cat to add to the one I already have. Each of them have Cerebellar Hypoplasia (HP). This basically means their brains did not fully form in utero—usually as a result of a lack oxygen during development (or so I am told). Aside from wobbly walking they are normal, extremely loving, playful and friendly. Charles, the black and white kitten [JAC: below] is also blind in one eye. I share this as a reminder that these loving little kittahs need homes and with the holidays it’s a good reminder to adopt from, or donate to, your local shelter.

He sent a photo of Charles (second picture), and I asked him if that was a “special needs” cat, too. His answers, and more information:

All three are special needs. All three have HP. (Google search for videos.) The shelter has their names as Greg and Bobby (Brady), but that will change as I see their personalities emerge. Charles was found as a kitten this summer, the other two are brothers from the Talbot Humane Society (Maryland).

The two orange ones had been languishing in a small cage since July. So, I when I saw they were bonded, and although I was only looking for one cat, I ended up adopting both. It happens that way sometimes.

Below is Chris’s earlier cat Charles, also with HP. When I asked (before I knew) whether Charles was similarly afflicted, I learned this:

Yes. He was the reason I searched out that condition. He loves to sit on my shoulders and give kisses. He’s funny, and always underfoot. He often falls asleep in my arms while watching the news–and always on his back. So, what’s not to love? Then, I found out the shelter had a few just like him. I thought it would be nice to give him a playmate while I am work. As I mentioned before, I wanted one more and ended getting two instead.

Charles apparently likes to be held this way:

Finally, when I asked whether cats with HP had any issues other than some wobbly walking and cognitive issues, Chris said this:

They said that their cognitive abilities can vary, and the most obvious sign of the condition is poor balance. Greg, the larger orange cat, topples over frequently if standing still. They all walk with their hind legs spread slightly. Much like a sailor with “sealegs”. Otherwise, they have a normal life with no change to their longevity.

UPDATE:: Chris sent another photo on Christmas Eve showing the whole Band of Brothers. His caption:

Just to show that all kittahs are comfy together now. Charles still sleeps on his back.

15 thoughts on “Photos of readers

  1. Excellent man I would say. Always go for the rescue cats if you are looking. We have two and they are the best. Bumper and Emma say Hi.

  2. What a wonderful story with such bleak news all around. I thank you and all my rescued, formerly feral cats thank you.

  3. The name “Charles” reminds me that our daughter has two rescue cats (brothers, I think) named Darwin and Wallace. The former seems to be the dominant partner. Who would have guessed? We are more d** people with our own rescue guy, Sheldon. He was wearing the “cone of shame” when we got him but has turned out to be our best ever pet.

  4. That’s cool.
    My daughter adopted one kitten with an amputated back leg and one with a very wobbly locomotion and spastic lurching due to a virus in utero. They were great cats, fun to watch as the worked bravely to overcome their problems. I think kids would benefit from caring for cats that aren’t quite right. It should give them a great sense of compassion.

    1. My daughter’s Theo’s back legs don’t straighten out (they never learned if it was from birth or an accident) and he hops around kind of like a bunny. Otherwise he’s quite normal and stands/sits his ground to all other cats and dogs. Because he can’t move very fast and LOVES to eat, he’s shaped a bit like a bowling ball😻

      1. Common now. It’s up to us to manage our pet’s diet. Provide in proportion to the calories consumed. The veterinarian gives a sigh every time a football shaped pet comes in for treatment. Don’t these people know what they are doing?
        A guy I knew who was probably twice the weight he was designed for, told me the vet scolded him for over feeding his dog. He replied, “But he’s always hungry!” All dogs are always hungry all the time. That’s no excuse. I think I know what was going on there. A lot of projection.

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