Friday, April 15, 2011

This Is Lucky

Terry is one of the most manipulative women I know. At the end of our conversations, I always end up doing something I was not planning on or did not think I had time for. One evening, a few years ago, she made one of the most memorable calls and I am grateful that I picked up.

Terry: Hello, it's been awhile.
Me: Hi Terry, how have you been?
Terry: Fine, racing around, the usual. We're on my way back from "Unpleasantville". (Terry does not waste time talking about pleasantries or the weather, she gets right to the point).
Me: Long drive. How many?
Terry: 25 were scheduled for tomorrow morning.
Me: That's a lot, they called you?
Terry: Yes, pick them up or we'll destroy them.
Me: *Sigh*. It never ends.
Terry: I'm hoping you can take one.
Me: Terry, we're at maximum, really I can't take more.
Terry: It's a kitten.
Me: Kittens are easy to adopt, everyone wants a kitten, Terry...
Terry: It's a special needs kitten.
Me: *Pause*. Terry, we have Spawn, (not his real name, but it should have been).
Terry: Just separate them, even if it's just for a few weeks, until we can find a permanent home.
Me: Terry, two is our maximum, I don't have the time to supervise a special needs cat...
Terry: Kitten. Gorgeous little tabby. Very friendly, absolutely adorable. Purrs constantly.
Me: Terry...
Terry: You are sooo good at this. You're our cat whisperer, no one wanted Spawn because he was so aggressive. (I told you she's manipulative).
Me: He still mauls me.
Terry: He's alive. What's a little bite?
Me: *Sigh*. What kind of special needs?
Terry: Healthy, but some mobility issues.
Me: Fine. We'll foster him, but just for a couple of weeks. Is he Vet checked?
Terry: Yes. Healthy.  My battery is low and I still have some calls to make, I'll drop him off later on.
Me: Hello? Hello? Terry...?


Lucky was about 8 weeks old when I got him.  He could not walk, kept rolling to the side and lost his balance.  It was like living with a drunk toddler. Lucky has Feline Cerebellar Hypoplasia, a condition that affects his motor skills, but not his higher functioning.  It usually happens when a pregnant cat (usually un-vaccinated stray or feral) contracts an infection or is malnourished.  The cerebellum of the kitten, while in the womb, doesn't develop properly and the signals aren't getting to the muscles.  It is not contagious and does not cause any pain.

I thought it was important to share Lucky's story with you. There are bigger problems in the world, but if you're thinking about adopting a cat, saving a CH cat can be an incredibly rewarding experience. I came across this video some time ago, when I was looking for some practical tips on how I could adapt his environment to suit Lucky's needs. I still enjoy watching it, Charley (the CH cat in the video) is now 5 years old and doing well.

This is Charley:

CH cats do not deserve pity, but a chance at life. As I type, Lucky is playing with one of his toys.  He's the friendliest little guy, gets along with everyone and does not let the occasional tumble deter him from living his life to the fullest.  He enjoys belly rubs, hydrotherapy (in the bathtub), daily massages, long walks on the beach and probably thinks everyone else walks funny. He reminds me everyday that life is not perfect, but pretty good.


  1. I like this cat. (And Terry too.)

  2. Why do you do this to me, at THIS time of the month?? WHY?!

    CRY...................... :(
    Now I need a hug....

    Lucky is one lucky cat to have you Ant. You are awesome.

    Now I'm off to bawl some more....

  3. We loved our little Angelina who was totally bonded to my wife. But when we had to put her down, we decided to remain pet free. We even sold our house that had the Koi pond, which though was little maintenance, still required someone to look after them if we vacationed. As much as I adore cats, being pet free is kind of nice at this point in our lives.

  4. Terry + Ant. C + Lucky = three-way exchange = gift.

    What a touching story, Antares - the movie about Charley is heart-opening. Thank you : )

  5. @dbs, as do I. Perhaps I like Terry too much, thanks to her I live with a zoo.

    @Sprite, nonononononono, don't cry. You need to give me a heads up. *Virtual hug and chocolate*

    From one rescuer to another, you're awesome too.
    I'm lucky to have him. I've heard this from other CH owners, they are the friendliest, easy-going cats.

  6. @Robert, we do love them don't we? I didn't realize you gave up your Koi pond. Yes, it can be hard, traveling is why I insist on keeping the numbers low. Didn't work out that way:) It's a balancing act, at this point I spend more time with them than I have time to travel.

    @Claire, beings come into our lives that are gifts. If it wasn't for Terry, I never would have met him. Lucky had the good sense to defy his prognosis, sometimes I can't even tell.
    As corny as it sounds, I admire him. He figured out how to do things differently and just does them. It's "the humans" who respond with emotion.

    I like the video too, (synchronicity when she calls him lucky in the beginning ;)) saw that the owner is planning to do an updated version. Thank you too.

  7. I never heard of this until tonight. I know I kid around a lot, but there's a special place in heaven for you.

  8. OMG I am so happy that you both came to get me over here.
    I had never heard of this condition are truly amazing...your blog is beautifully written and this post made me are incredible!!!

  9. @Al, you're too kind. So, will you continue to tell funny stories up there?

    @Caren, thank you for visiting. Ladies, please no crying.
    With education, people are starting to learn about them. Sadly, they are put down before people even find out about it. The severity varies, Lucky was considered moderate, but has improved so much.
    Thank you Caren, but they are the one's who are incredible, they develop thick muscular tails to help them balance and just figure it out. This may sound strange, but I was surprised how many guys end up adopting (and building things for) them.:)

  10. How adorable. We had a tabby for many years. Very sad when he passed. Haven't been able to get another since. But the video reminds me that I should! :)

  11. I also have a CH kitty. Shes the love of my life and a messy eater lol. love to you and Lucky.xo

  12. aw! you should post a video of your own CH kitty!

  13. @Jayne, I think every pet owner can relate to that. They're not "replaceable", but giving a life a chance at life:). When you're ready you will or I can send Terry over;)

    @Anon, the non-motorskill impaired are messy too. They make great pets don't they? Thank you.

    @Laoch, thanks. Fine feline.

    @Sherilin, at this point I'm not posting videos, but everything is subject to change;)

  14. I've never heard of this or seen a cat with it. Thanks for opening my eyes. I'm with dbs, I like Terry.

  15. I'm just not seeing how your being an absolute saint translates to Terry being manipulative. ;)

  16. @Gaelic Wife, sadly, as I mention above most haven't, they are euthanized because of the overpopulation. Terry is one of the most incredible human beings I know. Humanity and empathy, with a healthy dose of pragmatism. She also just gets things done.
    Have you heard about the Moscow Cat Museum?

    @tattytiara, yeah, about that, before Terry one was the max. Back at you, for warming up your terrier.;)
    For anyone else reading this, no double entendre, it's literal!

  17. We are so blessed to have our furry friends remind us of how simple life is and it is truly all about acceptance and love. Thank you for sharing.

  18. This was so beautiful and moving, Terry. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    *cuddles her rescue dog who was a challenge but more than makes up for it with love*

  19. @Nubian, exactly! Welcome and thanks for stopping by and joining this little corner.

    @Kat, you're most welcome, they can be challenging, but it's rewarding. What kind of dog do you have?

    Also, I'm not Terry, Alice. Unless, someone named Terry is imaginary, in which case I've got one hell of a problem. Thanks, Susan. I'm tired.;)

  20. Just once I'd like to get through my first cup of morning coffee without choking up! I love Charly! I know Lucky's in the best of hands. And Bastet bless Terry! I'm going to make my kitty-girls watch this to show them how lucky they are and how understanding they need to be!

  21. Lord Wellbourne, yes Terry is one of those special human beings who makes a positive difference. It's a lucky exchange, they're lucky to have you too.

  22. Turned to mush, I did, watching the video I had never heard of this condition and felt so much love for the cats, love and admiration for all of you who welcome them into your lives. In some way, I believe we all have to learn to live adaptively...few, if any, among us are perfect and whole...and what a vivid, compassionate reminder to be patient with each other and with ourselves. It becomes harder and harder to believe there are mistakes. You are a fine fellow.

  23. Marylinn, thank you for this comment. To accept *difference* is more difficult for humans than it is for them, we project our emotions of how hard it must be. I watch him to the point of observation, he really does not know that he is "supposed" to move with the grace of a feline. Nor do the other cats treat him any differently. Meaningful lessons there.


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