One thing I never tire hearing about are the stories of how a CH cat has changed someone’s life. I know exactly how you all feel — adopting our two CH cats changed my life in inconceivable ways.
That’s why I love the story Kelly sent in about her and her 4-year-old moderately severe CH girl, Twitch. Just loving her has not only made Kelly more patient, but has provided opportunities for Kelly to show Twitch love by finding ways to make Twitch’s day-to-day safer, easier and more fulfilling. Learn more about them here:
Does she have certain limitations?
She can’t go up or down stairs, so she has to stay on one main level of the house, which is the top floor where my room is. She also gets muscle spasms from time to time (they seem to happen when she gets really excited). Her body will just tense/freeze, and you just have to hold her so that she doesn’t end up jumping all over the place.
We cut out the very front of her litter box. We discovered when she was a kitten that she had trouble stepping into the litter box, so we cut it so that it looks like a kitty ramp. I also put puppy pads (the kind that you’d use to house train a dog) underneath and around the litter box area. Sometimes if she can’t make it to the litter box, or has difficulty staying up, she will use the pads to go to the bathroom.
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.
She is a climber and very, very proud of it. She will climb up on my bed with her claws, and sometimes if you learn forward to pick her up to help her, she gets really determined and tries to do it herself before you’re able to. She’s very strong!
Has she ever hurt herself because of her CH?
Not that I can think of. I try to cushion the area around where she plays. She did hit her head once against my door, so I try to leave my door open now when she’s in there so she doesn’t hurt herself.
She is the sweetest, most lovable cat. She loves to “talk” and be very vocal. Twitch loves to cuddle and be around people. She loves to play, especially with toys that sound like bells or make a bell-like noise.
Have you found ways to help her with CH? How?
I put pillows and cushions around sharp edges in my house. I have a gate at the top of my stairs so that she does not fall down them (however she has knocked the gate a few times on purpose, and managed to scoot her way down two flights of stairs unscathed. She will go to my mom or my brother’s door and meow). But I know that her balance is not good at all, so I always have that gate up there as a precaution. She also does not really like sudden movements, she gets scared easily. So we all try not to sneak up on her or anything like that.
Do you have any words of wisdom for other CH parents?
That their cat is absolutely worth it. They’re special!
What do you think people need to know about CH?
That it’s not debilitating thing, that these cats can still function and be normal and live a full, happy, loved life.
My favorite thing is that it’s taught me, as a person, to be more patient. My least favorite is that it breaks my heart sometime to see her struggle with something like walking.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Twitch has a sister named Cinnamon who does NOT have CH. But from birth, Cinnamon knew Twitch was different. Even now when Twitch uses the litter box, Cinnamon will jump in there afterward to help “clean” up. She lets Twitch eat first, always. She is very patient with her. The funny part is that Twitch is very territorial with my room (since it’s “her” domain and Cinnamon’s domain is the rest of the house). So if Cinnamon wants to come cuddle on my bed, Twitch will sometimes run her right off! But they sleep together in the same cat bed every night and are very close. I’m thankful to have both of them in my life.