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Meet Stevie

December 4, 2011

If you were wondering if your cat’s CH may really improve over time, take a moment and read about Stevie.

When Emma and her family originally adopted Stevie, they were told that she’d have to be kept in her own safe room, as giving her full reign of their home could prove dangerous. Well, it’s almost as if Stevie meant to prove the vet wrong — because now she’s mastered navigating her entire home. Read on about this inspirational kitty.

How old is Stevie?

We rescued Stevie, so we are not sure how old she is. The vet’s best guess is 2-3 years old.

How severe is Stevie’s CH?

Initially the vet was shocked she had survived on her own outdoors before we rescued her. He made it seem like her CH was extremely severe, and said that it takes a special person to be the owner due to the limited mobility and litter training issues they have. She does wobble, her eyes shake, and her head is never still. She also has a tail tremor. We have come to find that although the vet thought she’d be a burden due the severity of her CH, we have not found it particularly challenging and it is actually a bit endearing.

Does Stevie have certain limitations?

The biggest limitation that we had to deal with when first adopting her was litter training. Not the training itself, because she always tried to go in the litter box, but keeping it in the box was an issue. As the vet told us, she still thinks she is a normal cat so she would try to bury everything. Due to her wobbly balance, it would end up everywhere. We decided to put a hood on the box, and that has resolved most of the issue. It still can get messy, but she is worth it.

Do you have any funny stories about things that have happened to her because of CH? Or perhaps a story about how she figured out how to do something CH kitties may not be able to do?

We just love that she acts like every other cat despite her condition. She still relishes in hunting flies, even though she loses track of them more often than most cats would. She still chases her tail with gusto, even though it may cause her to flop over on her side.

Has she ever hurt herself because of her CH?

It really seems as though she is not aware of her condition, so I do worry about her hurting herself sometimes. It thankfully has not happened, and I am constantly surprised at how quick her reflexes are despite the CH.

Have you found ways to help her with her condition?

The vet told us that cats with her condition are usually confined to one room because of their limitations. We initially kept her in our room, then expanded her reign to the entire upstairs, and by now she has full access to the whole house. She navigates the stairs carefully and without incident, and I think slowly introducing new parts of the house to her helped her learn how to be cautious.

What do you think people need to know about CH?

She is SO SWEET and such a great family pet despite her disability. Her disposition is like no other cat I’ve owned, and she is almost like a dog in terms of love and loyalty. My kids absolutely love her.

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about her having CH?

The vet said it is a characteristic of CH cats to be sweet and loyal, and she definitely is. I’d like to think that she would be that way without CH, but it is my favorite thing about her. My least favorite thing is that it makes me nervous! She’ll start to chase her tail on the couch and I get so worried she’ll fall off. I also dislike when I can tell she is afraid, like when picking her up and moving her I can feel her apprehension.

Do you have any words of wisdom for other CH parents?

What I have learned is to take what the vet says with a grain of salt. He was not incorrect in telling us that most cats with CH are confined to a small space, but I’m very glad we were able to allow Stevie run of the house. It makes her so much a part of the family.

Click here to read about other readers’ CH cats or tell us about your CH cat!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Shoshanna Crumpler permalink
    January 4, 2012 9:58 am

    Stevie is gorgeous! Love her ‘dilute Tortie’ markings.
    She has a look of self-confidence, no doubt engendered by being given a balance of freedom and protection.
    Fleetwood Mac fan ??? ….Shoshanna

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