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When People Meet Your CH Cat: What Do You Say?

December 22, 2012

This is the time of the year that we have friends, family and neighbors over. Inevitably, someone new will likely walk into your home at some point, which means that they’ll meet your CH cat.

Now while most of our friends know about our “wobbly grays,” some don’t even know that we have cats, let alone that they’re special needs. That can result in quite a shock when they see how our cats get around!

Photo courtesy Nicole Lee

Even the other day on Facebook, Mad Max’s Hannah shared a story about what happened when her friend met her CH cat, Flip:

“My friend came over for dinner last night and met Flip for the first time. I’d mentioned he has “special needs” but never told her about CH. So when Flip came out to see her, she gasped, “What’s wrong with him?!?” Now Flip had belly issues last week, so I immediately pictured him in need of a bath after a messy litter box visit. I jumped up and gave him the once-over. “He’s fine,” I told my friend, confused by her concern. That’s when I realized I don’t notice Flip’s CH anymore. I no longer see what he can’t do. I only see what he CAN do. And that’s pretty darn awesome.”

I love Hannah’s story, especially since it’s one to which we can all relate. Our cats are more than just their condition. It’s a part of them, but it’s not the only part.

It’s also interesting to watch how our friends and family respond to our cats. Some immediately have their hearts stolen by our cats and their condition, others seem puzzled – wondering why we’d bother having special needs cats, and still others seem repulsed or sad for our cats.

No matter what, I try to make it clear that our cats are happy, healthy, and capable. That said, cats with severe cases of CH (those who aren’t as capable) can teach a more important lesson: Pet companionship doesn’t need to focus on how our pet improves our lives, but rather, can and should focus on how we can improve our pet’s life.

So what do you say when folks come over and gasp at your kitties? What have been their reactions? Please share in the comments!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Catherine Paciotti permalink
    December 22, 2012 8:41 am

    When my friends come over, they want to see Dotty–they bring her presents, they want to play with her–they treat her very differently than they ever treated any of my “regular” cats–she’s special. When they first meet her, I explain what the deal is, and how I got her, and they see how sweet she is.

  2. nionvox permalink
    December 24, 2012 1:09 am

    As I mentioned in his story, everyone that visits is absolutely enchanted with Chairman. I always give people a heads up spiel: ‘He’s disabled, but in no pain. He walks like a drunken sailor, so just keep an eye out for him :)’. Once he starts staring at him with those big round eyes, people just MELT, lol!

  3. Babyblue033 permalink
    January 6, 2013 4:45 pm

    I find that most people have a more difficult time understanding about CH cats just by hearing about them (no matter how detailed) but are quicker to “get it” when they meet them in person. They may mostly first react with shock and sadness, and maybe even a knee jerk reaction of “why would you keep them alive?”, but quickly find the cats fascinating and amazed at all the things they can do despite their limitations. So in a sense my CH girls are their own best ambassadors simply by being who they are.

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