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Meet Halas

April 11, 2012

When I first started blogging about cerebellar hypoplasia a million years ago (a.k.a. back in 2009), Jamie was one of my first readers who sent me an email about her cerebellar hypolasia cat, Halas. So let’s go back in time and take a look at this special cat.

From Jamie:

I adopted a kitten a few years ago. Never having a kitten before I didn’t know what “normal” behavior was. After a few weeks, I realized that Halas’ shaking was probably not normal, and her gait was definitely not normal. After taking her to several vets, having a uterine biopsy (at the same time as her surgery to fix her, so no extra pain for her), and several bills later, we finally came to the CH diagnosis. It was such a relief to find out that it was not degenerative and that she would live a relatively normal life.

Halas has a LOT of personality. She definitely doesn’t see herself as being different from the other animals. She’ll play with other cats (although they quickly find out that they can escape to the hardwood floor where Halas cannot keep up!), she’ll try and take on the dog, and she’s always out and making herself known to the world. She’s affectionate with most people, and if you have an afghan on your lap, you will be her new best friend!

We could not declaw Halas due to her condition — she just uses them too much to get traction on carpet, climb furniture, or catch herself mid-fall. However, she lets me clip her nails with no problem (we started this as a kitten and its been a weekly routine) and she isn’t strong enough to do any damage to furniture or carpets. Our bed is pretty high off the ground, but we’ve placed a old upholstered ottoman at the end of the bed. She always uses it to get up and down from the bed.

She always looks for the best way to jump down off the couch or chair, by looking for a fallen pillow or dog bed. Since her jumping ability is less than accurate and powerful, she cannot access anything higher than a coffee table. So we never have the problem with keeping the cat off the counters or kitchen table! However, we have had to get creative in hiding her food from the dog in a place where she can access it but the dog can’t.

Halas is bundle of entertainment. How can you come home from a stressful day at work and not be immediately cheered up by a wobbling, goofy looking, lovable cat? — You can’t! All of my “anti-cat” friends, absolutely love Halas and would convert to being a “Cat person” to have a CH cat.

— And what’s the best part of all, Jamie says?

Halas seems to have educated my friends and family that being “disabled” isn’t a physical condition — but rather a mental one. Halas doesn’t think she’s different — so really there is nothing wrong with her at all.

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

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