I’ve told you before how much I love to receive and read these profiles – to learn more about all of you and your inspirational cats, and this one is just as special. Be sure to read all of the way through as Michelle’s take on what people need to know about CH is absolutely spot on. The world labels these cats as “broken,” but a number of us know the truth.
How severe is his CH?
Pappy’s CH symptoms are mild/moderate. He definitely has head tremors and a wobbly torso, but his fearless nature helps him climb stairs and furniture. He has not attempted to jump and rarely stands on his hind legs as he topples over.
How does he manage the litter box?
Pappy is pretty good about using his litter box, he is successful 80-85% of the time, but there have been mishaps.
Eating and drinking?
Pappy’s specialty is eating and drinking. He doesn’t have any issues when partaking in these two activities. He is able to stand and does not wobble nor peck at his food. He will even come after you and cry for your food if he smells or sees that you’re eating something that he’s not.
Do you do anything special to help?
The only two modifications that I’ve implemented in the house to assist Pappy are placing a step in front of the litter box to help him and a make shift step to help him climb onto a side table to climb onto the couch and window. For other places that have a high vantage point, I pick him up and place him there while I supervise, so that I can make sure he doesn’t slip or fall.
What’s one funny story about him (related to CH)?
Pappy has a fearless attitude as he is blissfully unaware that he’s different from his feline brother Teddy (without CH). Pappy understands that Teddy is playful and protective of him and feels comfortable enough to playfully wrestle with him. Despite Pappy’s smaller size and slower actions, he initiates play time with Teddy who lets Pappy win their mock wrestling matches or chases most of the time or walks away and seeks the sanctuary of furnitures that Pappy cannot jump to. Teddy always craved a playful sibling and now that he has one, they are always together whether they are wrestling, eating or napping.
Share a story about how he figured out how to do something CH cats “can’t” do.
Pappy has trained me by crying out loud when he wants to be picked up and placed on the bed or other places that he cannot climb or jump to. This is not a problem most of the time except Pappy wants to play in the middle of the night and when he wants to be picked up at 2 or 3 a.m., he cries relentlessly until I give into his demand.
Pappy has taken a few tumbles here and there, but his coordination is good enough that he has not hurt himself. He always picks himself up and goes back to what he was doing when he took a tumble.
Each animal is special in his own way. How is he special?
Pappy is very affectionate, but also fiercely independent. His strong attitude lets me know that he knows what he wants and when. He is always exploring and never apprehensive.
Have you found ways to help him with CH? How?
Pappy is highly functional, active and independent. I have not had to do much to assist him.
Do you have any words of wisdom for other CH parents?
I think open-mindedness and patience is key with CH kitties. They are special and if you don’t take the time to get to know their personality, attitude and drive you miss out on the subtleties of their specialness. It can be frustrating if you don’t have a base knowledge of common patterns of CH symptoms, but knowing that there are many others out there caring after a special CH kitty makes me believe that it’s a gift of an experience because what I learn from Pappy’s fearless attitude and his resilient nature makes me want to go out into the world and conquer it too.
What do you think people need to know about CH?
I think CH needs greater understanding and awareness. It’s a condition with symptoms, not a category or label that warrants preconceived notions about challenges and limitations. Yes, the cat will be different, but there is no need to label them broken or damaged as those are the prejudices that we project onto these special cats before understanding what they are capable of.
What is your favorite and least favorite thing about his having CH?
My favorite part of having Pappy in my life is that I feel a special bond with him that I have not had with other cats.