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Meet Dotty

September 8, 2012

I never get tired of hearing about CH cats’ adoption stories, and this one comes all the way from Omaha! Catherine’s Dotty, who has mild cerebellar hypoplasia, will be 2-years-old in December. Here’s their story:

When I got Dotty at the Humane Society, I had never heard of CH. My aunt was looking for kittens for me because I had to have my 12-year-old cat, Miss Moppet, put to sleep a few weeks before, and I was very lonely.

I noticed this grey and white kitten looking at me from her glass enclosure, so I went and tapped on the window. She was so cute, and she responded to me, so I put in a request to see her. They took me and my aunt into a room and a couple of ladies brought in the kitten, put her on the floor and gave me a string toy to play with. She played with me, and I petted her. She seemed to like me, and I liked her — I don’t remember noticing anything wrong with her.

One of the women handed me a sheet of paper that said ATAXIA at the top of it, and below that was a paragraph explaining that she had Cerebellar Hypoplasia. The woman went on and explained it to me, but I was just thinking, “No, why does there have to be something wrong with her?” and my aunt was saying, “We can look at a normal cat.” I said “No, she needs a home,” and I asked the woman a few questions.

I found out that it wasn’t going to get any worse, that she wasn’t in pain, that she wasn’t “sick.” So I said I’d take her, and I just hoped I wasn’t making a terrible mistake.

I took her home, put her in the TV room and kitty-proofed it as much as possible — she was only 10-weeks-old and quite rambunctious, despite her CH limitations.

She couldn’t jump, but she could climb. She fell down a lot at first, and made a lot of messes with her kitty litter — as she got older I had to get a litter box with extra high sides because as she grew larger, she would hang her rear end over the side and pee on the floor. But that was the extent of the litter issues.

Also as she got older, she learned to jump, quite high! She takes huge flying leaps, up into my lap on the couch (one time I got a fat lip because she landed right on my face with her claws out), and up onto the bed. But she sometimes doesn’t make it and has to climb up like she did as a kitten.

When she jumps off of the bed, she used to *splat* with her hind legs splayed out, and I was really afraid that she’d break something. Now she takes her time before she jumps, and she lands a little more gracefully.

She still walks like a drunken sailor, but not quite so drunk. She really has improved with time!

One of my biggest issues with Dotty has been a certain amount of aggression. I was supposed to put eye drops in her eye after her first vet visit. She bit me on the hand really hard and that was the end of that. Then she started biting me every time I tried to clean a booger out of her eye or put on a collar! I could pet her, but not her belly.

I read about aggression in cats and learned that I couldn’t punish her — that would only make it worse. I needed to leave her alone when she started biting. That’s worked the best.

She occasionally gets miffed at me for petting her too much, but I rarely get bit anymore (she thumps her tail if she’s getting mad, and I stop whatever I’m doing), and if I do, I usually get licked soon after. I don’t know why she does it, and neither does she. She loves me… she’s just very temperamental, and I have to know when I’m bugging her.

I love her so much — we feed the birds every morning, and she sits with me in my lap and takes her bath in the evening.

She loves for me to put her on my desk so she can play with my stuff — she loves emery boards and pens. If I toss one on the floor, she’ll carry it around the house until she loses it under a rug or under a door.

Recently, I got a new camera, so she’s been modeling for me. Everybody is getting tired of all of my pictures of my cat. Well, tough.

Here are some more! Dotty is my sweet girl, and I just adore her!

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

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Michael M permalink
    September 8, 2012 7:16 pm

    Great article and beautiful cat. Thanks for sharing Dotty’s story!

  2. Rich B permalink
    September 9, 2012 7:28 am

    Great choice to keep her and give her a home!

    My CH cat Half-and-Half also has aggression at times, petting on her belly even though she seems to invite it, and sometimes she hisses and growls. It seems like an automatic reaction so, like you described, I just back off and learn what she likes and dislikes. She’s an awkward but great jumper too, sometimes missing her target or landing on my chest!

    Thanks for sharing her story.

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