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Naughty or Nice?

I'll take "naughty!" BWAH-HA-HA!

So, I've been a little busy this month.

Yes, the above comment is an understatement.

Let's see if I can recap. Where did I leave off? *scrolls back*

Ah, yes! Wow...before Thanksgiving? Really? It's been a month already?

Definitely naughty.

Okay, let's start from Thanksgiving and go chronological.

So I spent Thanksgiving at my sister-in-law's house in California. It was a 15-hour, snowy, treacherous drive both ways, but we made it safely there and back again. While there I learned awesome things and ate fantastic food. I'll share more about what I learned after Christmas, for it involves gifts and I can't talk about those right now.

Once we returned, we were home but a few days only before I received a phone call from my veterinarian. Usually they only call to check on one of my furbrats after I've taken them in for something or other, so for them to call me preemptively made me wonder.

It was the receptionist. They had a kitten in dire need of a home, and thought of me. She explained the situation, and I didn't hesitate. I had her hold for a moment while I explained the situation to my husband. There was no hesitation. I told the receptionist my husband and I would come immediately to see the little one.

We went to the vet's office and were shown to one of the large examination rooms. How strange it felt to be in an examination room at the vet's office with no animal! After a few minutes, one of our favorite technicians came in with a tiny ball of striped fur.

Well, yeah! Yeah, we both melted. The husband especially. He's such a cat person. We took the kitten carefully and held her and stroked her and she let us hold her. She took to us right away, and then husband and I looked at one another and set the kitten down on the floor to see "the situation."

The kitten was born with a condition called "kyphosis." That's the medical term for "hunchback." In addition to that, she has a couple of vertebrae in her back that are fused together, and has a hard time moving her back legs due to paralysis.

As she was a shelter cat, she wasn't officially "adoptable" through the shelter and was scheduled for euthanasia due to her birth defect.

My husband and I adopted her right then and there. We filled out the paperwork and paid the fee that very moment. The kitten was now officially ours, despite her label of being "unadoptable."

I can understand why the shelter wouldn't be allowed to put her out for official adoption by a family. People adopting animals expect "normal" animals, and this little kitten was a "special needs" baby. If the shelter knew that she wasn't perfect/had potentially expensive medical issues and they let her be adopted, they'd likely get sued or worse. So, when it became obvious that this little girl had something wrong with her, the shelter took her to the vet to find out what, and if it was repairable.

It wasn't. The kitten will have this condition all her life, and while she may improve, she can (and very likely will) have a relapse where she won't be able to walk or use her back legs for much for awhile.

We don't care. We have a special needs cat already in the Hidey Cat; she has CRF, or chronic renal failure. I call her the Little Ill Cat in my blog/in her photos on Flickr. We also take any of our animals to the veterinarian at the first sign of any trouble, so the second the little girl has any issue, we'll bring her right in.

We agreed to a trial at first, and promised to bring her back to the veterinarian (NOT to the shelter, where she'd be put down!) to find her a new home if things didn't work out with our already large fur-family. Our dog and four other cats might not appreciate a new girl. A new, broken girl.

Animals can smell it when something isn't right with another animal and they like to steer clear, so we weren't sure about this. The main thing was, she was safe from euthanasia now. Officially adopted and the shelter fee paid. Whatever happened now, she wasn't going to be put down for not being perfect. We couldn't take her home that day - she wasn't allowed to leave the shelter's custody until they had processed her paperwork and made sure she was spayed and given her rabies vaccination - but that was all right. We needed time to prep the house and get her a few things (like a food bowl, collar and some toys), set up a litter box and safe space for her to get used to a strange new place with strange new things and smells and animals and such. So she stayed at the vet's for another two days while she had her surgery and recovered a bit, then we brought her home on my birthday. I got a kitten for my birthday!

She might not be perfect, but she's just fine. She can run and play and climb (oh, boy, does she climb!) and use the litter box. She has a little bit of a problem using the litter box as she can't squat/bend in the middle like the others do, so she kind of stands with her legs apart and sways back and forth. We call it "the firehose position." We have large, enclosed litter boxes so this isn't a problem...unless she's facing the entrance.

This happens every now and then. She gets into the box then just stops and lets go...right out the door. I had no idea a cat (especially one this small) could pee that far. It's quite impressive. We now have puppy training pads outside and under the litter box, so when she has "an accident," there's not a whole lot of mess to clean up. As time goes by, she's getting better about facing the "right" direction.

Yes, we're keeping her. What's one more? We have room in our house and our hearts for this special little girl, but any more and we're going to need a bigger place! It's been a little over two weeks. I haven't said anything about her before now, because we weren't sure if she was going to stay. She is - despite some...issues with the (former) youngest cat. The Evil One, Kyla, doesn't entirely appreciate the new girl, but we're hoping that improves. We see slow improvement daily, but Kyla has a big personality and it's not just the new girl she picks on.

We call the new girl BeeBee (B.B. - Broke Back - not the mountain - after her funky little stance). Also she was called "Bisquick" by the vet's office, and we wanted to keep calling her something with "B." We call her "Bee" for short.

She loves nothing more than to sit on my lap/on her blankie and get loves. She's a complete love, and - to my utter surprise - a Momma's Girl. This is odd because it's usually my husband that is the cat magnet. I'm a dog person, and the one cat that's "mine" is the boy-cat that believes he's a dog. (He really is a dog - I swear he's the reincarnation of a former pet of mine. There's just too much evidence that proves he's the same animal in a new body. I'll tell you all this story another day.) Still, Bee is my girl. She wants to be near me or on me as often as possible, and that's fine with me.

Bee is about five-and-a-half months old now and growing like a weed. She may not be perfect, but she's my little Bee-girl, and constant office monitor.

She climbs up the side of my office chair from the floor. I'm sorry...HER office chair. She's made it hers. I just borrow it. When I'm in it and she's not in my lap/on her blankie in my arms, she's pulling this parrot thing and loves to watch me work. Or maybe she's silently willing me to vacate her chair.

So that's what's been going on for the last few weeks. Taking care of a new baby with special needs, introducing her to the rest of the family, Christmas shopping, wrapping, decorating, shipping, cards, making gifts, etc. Holiday insanity coupled with a new addition to the family.

This is why the Library Project is still on hiatus. Been just a wee bit busy lately with other things. I'll get back to the library after the holidays. It's not forgotten or over. Far from it. It's just on the back burner until I get other things done.

And now I've gone and made myself hungry...

Yes, I've been writing, too, when I have moments between other things that demand my time. I'll post more on that later, in addition to making a vlog. Yes, I realize I haven't vlogged in almost a year, and for that I'm sorry. Time does indeed fly. Here it is almost Christmas when I swear just a bit ago I was putting up the deck canopy for the summer.

Until next time! I hope that will be sooner rather than later, but don't count on seeing me until after the first of the year.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 21st, 2010 08:57 am (UTC)
What a cutie. Awwww!
Dec. 21st, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks for taking her on. I have a client with a pug that has the same issue, and he's 11 years old now, so it really shouldn't have to be a death sentence!

Tangentially, if you know anybody else that'd be interested in special needs furbabies, send them my way, I almost always have something needing a home (currently a 3 legged loverboy dog, an escape artist siberian husky, and an elderly little dog with no known health issues other than age).
Dec. 26th, 2010 07:57 pm (UTC)
Sure Will!
I certainly will! If you e-mail me your contact info (dina {at} dinajames dot com) I'll make sure my local veterinarian has it just for that purpose. I'm not far from you - Astoria, OR - and it's always nice to be able to call someone for help that's close! P.S. I love your blog.
Dec. 26th, 2010 06:26 pm (UTC)
Hi Dina :)
Bee sounds like a great addition to your family and with you will get the best care. I like that she *owns* your office chair.
Merry Christmas,
Regan Taylor
Jan. 10th, 2011 02:25 am (UTC)
Naughty or Nice
She is such a cutie!

My Molly lived with CRF for five years and lived to be 22. We are fortunate that we too have a vet that treats the animal and not the numbers or the disease by rote. While all the research says a low protein diet is the best, almost every night Molly had a baked chicken breast. Occasionally she liked salmon -- fresh Atlantic, she wouldn't touch farm or a piece of steak. The vet said, at the end, probably the reason she retained strength in her legs was because she had the protein support. She had one truly bad day in her life and that was the day she died.

And as to climbing and getting around -- cats are so amazing. when my Baby had to have her leg amputated I was so worried about her getting around, especially with three other kitties. She came home the day after her surgery and when she immediately jumped on to her chair I called the vet, all panicked. The vet asked if she was okay, no bleeding, etc. and I checked her -- Baby was fine. The vet said they don't have the same issues we do. They know what they want to do and go about doing it. Missing a leg might be a tad inconvenient for her, but she would find a way to do what she wants -- they don't get caught up in the cosmetics the way humans do.

Your little one is an amazing gift. She looks pretty purrrfect to me and the look on her face? Well she certainly has no doubt who's in charge. That would be her, huh? Anyone would be lucky to have such a special girl.
Jan. 11th, 2011 12:09 am (UTC)
Re: Naughty or Nice
Awww! Thank you for saying so, and telling me about your CRF cat. That makes me feel a whole lot better. Jinx was young when she was diagnosed - only 5 - and we've lived with it a little over a year now. She goes in later this month for her checkup, but seems to be doing fine!

As for Bee, she's fine too. Growing like a weed! She's had her last round of "big girl" shots and is set for the year. Now all we have to do is keep Kyla from being too aggressive (we're trying Feliway and other things now), and we'll be home free.
Jan. 11th, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Naughty or Nice

That's so sad Jinx got it so young. There is so much more support available now than even when we first started Molly on sub-q fluids. Take it one day at a time. There is a group on Yahoo that, while it is called "geratric-cats" most of the active membership has a kitty living with CRF. We have a lot of good information exchange and support. Good luck with Jinx' test results later this month and here's to a long, happy life for all your furbabies.
Jan. 13th, 2011 06:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Naughty or Nice
Thank you! We have six now - five cats and a dog - and they range in age from our oldest at 10 to the newest addition at 6 months. The vet says the oldest one will probably live to 25 just to spite him (they do NOT get along). Thanks for pointing out the group! The 'Net has been so helpful with Jinx's issue.

Thanks for the good wishes, and the same to you and yours!
Sep. 12th, 2012 03:43 am (UTC)
What a cutie! And yes, what an amazing story. :D You and your husband are heroes. :D
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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