Meant to be. Those three little words describe how Camden felt when she met her future pet parents. This 1 to 2-year-old mild CH cat, named to honor her Baltimore heritage, has a lovely story that I hope you enjoy.
When my wife and I decided to get a cat a few months back, I was doing research and came across CH. I’d never heard of it, but some of the videos and stories online were both heart breaking and heart warming. My wife has a neurological disorder herself, so we knew that even though some people think something is wrong, it’s just another challenge in life that shouldn’t define you as a person (or as a cat). When we heard that CH cats sometimes had a hard time getting adopted in shelters, that sealed the deal.
We actually used the ‘Adoptable Cats’ list on this site to locate a CH cat in our area. We drove from DC to Baltimore to the rescue (and I have to give a shout out here to Michelle who runs Charm City Animal Rescue in Baltimore, MD. She saves dozens if not hundreds of cats a year, and has a HUGE soft spot in her heart for CH kitties) to see a cat we had found online. That particular cat, to put it nicely, did not want to be adopted by us. We were upset, but as we were thinking about leaving Michelle told us to wait — she had a pulled another CH cat from the shelter just a few days ago, and did we want to meet her?
We did, of course, and for the next 45 minutes Camden went from my lap, back to my wife’s lap, and then back to mine, purring away. You know how they say that an animal chooses you? Well, Camden chose us and wanted to be sure we knew it.
A little over three weeks later we took her home for good, and we love her! Her CH is mild, so other than some archy-back, some odd sitting stances (the wide stance I’d heard about in CH cats), and the inability to stop in time as she runs from one end of the house to the other, no one can tell she’s different! She’s a sweetheart that spends her days on a lap, in the window, or putting fear into the heart of every shoelace, draw-string, and electrical cord in the house.
Mild. You can only really tell there’s something different when she’s going full-speed.
Does she have certain limitations?
I don’t know if I would call it a “limitation,” but we joke that she turns like a car with the traction-control turned off. Once she figured out how the stairs worked (which took about a week), she’s been trying to break a cat land-speed record for going up and down them. Which works great, until she gets to the bottom, lands on the tile, and spins out of control. The amount of times she’s tried to make a left turn and ended up sliding into the couch is too high to count!
How does she manage the litter box? Eating and drinking? Do you do anything special to help?
The litter box is the biggest “tell” that something is different with Camden. She gets in and out just fine, and does her business just fine, but she can’t ever quite seem to cover “it” up properly. She can never balance just right, so she always ends up pawing at the wall, or the side of the box, and eventually gives up.
What’s one funny story about her (related to CH)? Or share a story about how she figured out how to do something CH cats “can’t” do.
This was more about us, but when we were researching CH, we thought “Hey, a cat that won’t be able to jump up on the counters! That’ll be nice.” That thought lasted about two weeks and ended when we caught her on the kitchen counter drinking out of the fish’s water bowl.
Has she ever hurt herself because of her CH?
She plays hard and runs fast, and sometimes doesn’t always keep everything under control, but no, she hasn’t hurt herself (yet).
The best thing about Camden is how happy she is to have “her people.” She was a stray in a big city, and then went from an overcrowded shelter to a busy rescue, but now that she has us she doesn’t want to let go. She’s rarely not in the room with my wife or I, she sleeps on the corner of our bed, follows us around the house and she greets us at the door when we get home to tell us, loudly, about her day.
Have you found ways to help her with CH? How?
Other than covering up her litter for her (which frankly is more for our benefit than hers!), she doesn’t need any assistance!
Do you have any words of wisdom for other CH parents?
Nope! We’re still figuring her out ourselves.
What do you think people need to know about CH?
They’re just like any other cat, only sometimes they don’t corner as well.
What is your favorite and least favorite thing about her having CH?
Camden’s a fantastic cat, but we would both LOVE IT if she learn to cover her “business” in the litter box. At this point, she seems happy to just let us do it for her.