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CH Cat Book Teaches Children About Disabilities, Perseverance

June 26, 2012

Thanks to author Ruth Hartman Berge, cerebellar hypoplasia cats just became a bit more famous!

Photo courtesy Ruth Hartman Berge

On June 7, Ruth’s book Betty Tales: The True Story of a Brave Bobblehead Cat, was published. It’s a lovely story that shares a number of charming anecdotes about how Betty learned to overcome the limitations and difficulties of CH.

Throughout the short book the reader learns about many of Betty’s challenges, which most CH cat parents can easily identify with. Betty learns to climb stairs, how to jump off her pet parents’ bed, and more.

Written for children, Ruth tells Betty’s tales in easy to comprehend ways — and the book sends an important message. As Ruth says in the book’s introduction, disabilities don’t define a person (or cat, for that matter), and those with disabilities can accomplish wonderful things.

This is such an essential message to get out because young children are so impressionable, and it’s important to teach them the right lessons from the beginning. As far as I can tell, there’s no better way to help a child learn that disabilities and differences aren’t funny, scary or limiting, than to touch their heart with the story of a differently-abled cat.

Photo courtesy Ruth Hartman Berge

After hearing Betty’s tales, I hope children will be more open and accepting of children and animals who face challenges. Who knows — perhaps these children will even go home and ask their parents if they can adopt a “bobblehead cat” or one with other special needs.

The story truly is brought to life thanks to the illustrations by Ray Russotto. Ray does a fantastic job conveying Betty’s facial expressions and movements; my favorite truly has to be when Betty is struggling to climb stairs. It reminded me so much of when my CG learned how to climb up carpeted stairs!

If you’d like to learn more about the book, you can visit its official website. You can also purchase the book here.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Renee permalink
    June 26, 2012 11:18 am

    When we adopted our CH cat, Kiki, I remember strongly feeling that it would be a great way for our potental (as we were trying to concieve at the time) children to grow up never realizing our cat had a disability. I remember joking with my husband that it would be interesting to see if they ask what is wrong with other people’s cats! Low and behold, just 3 months after adopting Kiki, we became pregnant. Our son is now 2, and it is amazing to watch the special bond he and Kiki share. He is always concerned about her; making sure she gets plenty of kisses and helps pick up her food when she falls into her food and spills it all over the floor. She is so protective and gentle with him; always alerting me if he is crying, and rubbing all over him when he is upset. He will love this book!

  2. June 26, 2012 2:01 pm

    how come this lady isn’t a member of the group??

    • June 26, 2012 2:11 pm

      I just told Ruth about the Yahoo and Facebook groups. I hope she’ll join!

  3. Debbie Martin permalink
    June 27, 2012 10:01 am

    This is awesome!!!! OMG!!!!!! How terrific!

  4. Lauren Torggler permalink
    July 2, 2012 12:26 pm

    I purchased the book and just received it today in the mail. It was so cute! I noticed though in the book that the vet had mentioned that because of the CH Betty will “never be very big.” I had always wondered about that but I was curious if anyone else felt that their CH cats were smaller than normal cats?? I tried googling it but not much luck. My CH cat Mimosa (who is 2 years old today!) is the tiniest thing ever, for a full grown cat. She barely tips the scale at 8lbs and her paws are the size of quarters. Even the staff at the vet’s office have nicknamed her “Little Mimosa”. Since she was a rescue and we weren’t give much background information on her, I didn’t know if her size was due to her condition or if she was simply the runt of the litter. People always ask me why she is so tiny. Any thoughts?

    • July 3, 2012 7:59 am

      This is a great question, Lauren! I was wondering the same thing. I may put up a poll soon to find out how other readers respond!


  1. Meet Betty « Life with Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cats

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