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Meet Oatie

May 27, 2012

When the vet first met Oatie, he thought it would be best to put the kitten to sleep.

But Kathy knew that wasn’t the right choice. Today, Oatie, a deaf CH Manx, is now 14-years-old, and Kathy says few people even notice that there’s anything different about him.

How severe is his CH?

His CH is less severe than it was as a kitten, when the vet recommended he be put down because he felt he would never function. I’d say he went from severe as a kitten to mild as an adult.

How did you adopt Oatie? What is his story?

I met him at our shelter when I began volunteering there. He was a stray kitten in very sad shape. He was adopted out to a questionable adopter by the lady who ran the shelter. Several of us had grave concerns because the woman adopter had a lot of animals already, and we felt he was going from one shelter to another, but we had NO say in the matter.

One year later he came back sick and with his ears plugged with ear mites. I begged my husband to allow me to bring this sweet “floor” cat home as he could not get up onto the bed and was bound to the dirty floor where all the litter boxes were. Once I had him home it was apparent that the severe ear mites had damaged his ear drums to the point he was totally deaf. I then decided he was never leaving my home as I never wanted him to be adopted to a bad home again.

What is he able to do? What are his limitations?

He can do most anything!  His hearing is his handicap. He is a messy eater, he gets confused when startled, and he does not like to be picked up — but he LOVES to snooze on your lap.

Do you have any funny stories about him (related to CH)? Or perhaps a story about how he figured out how to do something CH cats “can’t” do?

I sure DO! We obtained an 8 ft Angelica cat tree. When it was unloaded in my living room, my most agile Orientals Shorthairs could not figure out HOW to get to the top — they ran across the room jumping and hanging on the branches and then would let go and fall to the floor.

Oatie zig-zagged his way across the living room to the tree and stood at the bottom looking up and proceeded to climb to the first branch and then around the tree hitting each branch and finally reaching the top, where he settled into the top nest. I stood there with my mouth open as even I did not see that the limbs were placed in a circle around the tree to allow the cats to climb in that manner to reach the top!

Has he ever hurt himself because of his CH?

He bumped into a not-so-nice foster cat once who attacked him. Oatie was so confused he just stood there allowing him to beat him up. By the time I intervened the cat had swatted him in the eye and caused damage to his one eye. He did not lose his sight, but his eye is odd looking now.

Every animal is special in his or her own way. How is he special? 

He is the sweetest natured cat in the world, he is loving, he is a constant companion, and he is funny and playful even at his age.

Once he likes and trusts you he wants lots of attention and gives wobbly headbutts. He loves to be rubbed and pet. He will grab your leg when you leave if he wants you to stay with him.

Have you found ways to help him with his condition?

He actually does very well. We do hand signals for his deafness, and he has a “special” food dish to help him keep his food in the dish and off the floor.

He can get over stimulated by too much petting (rubbing seems to be better for him) and will at times become afraid and grab your hand and hiss. I am keeping his nails trimmed short for this reason. With my own 2 CH kitties I did not trim nails as they needed them for balance. Mac does not.

What do you think people need to know about CH?

They need to know that these are very special and nice natured cats who can live a normal, fulfilling life if cared for properly, vetted regularly and loved!

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

My favorite: Their sweetness is what draws me to them.

Least favorite: They are messy.

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

Protect them and love them.

Click here to read about other readers’ CH pets  or tell us about your CH pet!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rich Bergins permalink
    May 29, 2012 7:35 am

    Great story about Oatie, he really got a second chance at a great life with you, Kathie!

  2. Jacquie B permalink
    May 30, 2012 5:03 am

    Oatie is very sweet! Lucky you!

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