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Readers, What Extraordinary Thing Has Your CH Cat Learned To Do?

August 2, 2013

We can all agree that there are a million (or at least 10) great reasons to adopt a cerebellar hypoplasia cat, and reason number eight is one of my favorites:

These cats are an inspiration. Living with them will give you a new appreciation for overcoming life’s obstacles. Every day their condition makes their lives a little more complicated — but they never seem to give up or mind. Their will and determination may inspire you to overcome your own obstacles.

I’ve seen that will and determination in my own cats, and I truly find it to be inspirational. As humans, it’s easy to set boundaries, to decide what they can’t do in order to keep them safe and protect them. But as some of us have found, these special cats certainly have a mind of their own and sometimes accomplish the very things we try to protect them from.

e on stairsCase and point in my household: Stairs. CG had a rough first encounter with stairs, and although he improved – so much so that he can now manage carpeted stairs rather well – I didn’t want Ellie, who’s even wobblier, to even try our carpeted stairs.

As you may know, Ellie is now rather good at climbing stairs. She has occasional tumbles, but all in all she’s rather capable. I’m so proud of her, and if I had had my own way, I never would have let her try.

So this is a post to celebrate all of our CH cats’ accomplishments. If your cat similarly conquered stairs, please share that story. Perhaps your cat has learned to jump, climb – or even simply get in and out of the litter box without an issue. Maybe your cat learned to use a ramp you made, or her mobility has improved thanks to a cart or special exercises. There’s no accomplishment too small when it comes to our CHers.

Please share your story in the comments below or feel free to contact me. I’d love to share some of your stories!

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. August 2, 2013 8:06 am

    Hi Amanda! You know Betty’s story. It was her insistence on climbing the stairs on her own as well as insisting on clawing her way up the side of the bed AND leaping off, that is inspiring children all around South Florida. I point to Betty and tell the kids I’m speaking to that if that little cat can do all that despite her disabilities, they can certainly reach whatever goal they have. They just need to remember to keep climbing those stairs no matter how difficult it gets, just like Betty.

    • August 2, 2013 8:36 am

      This is fantastic, Ruth! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. August 2, 2013 8:22 am

    Poppie insists on throwing himself up the stairs but has not learned the adage, “What goes up must come down”. He does not like coming down and cries all the way. I try to help but the last two steps are not carpeted and he tumbles down them and slides onto the floor at the bottom. He can also get on the bed, the act of which is not pretty to watch. At some point, I’ll get him some helper steps for that but with his current diarrhea problem, I’m not encouraging upstairs visits.

  3. Renee permalink
    August 2, 2013 9:05 am

    When we adopted Kiki, we were told she could not do stairs. She was determined to prove them wrong, because that was the first thing she did after getting home. We have since moved from that rental with the carpeted stairs to our first home with hardwood stairs. She has proved everyone wrong again by going up and down these all day without issues (she is very careful after one particular tumble down 2-3 steps). She climbs these now like a champ!

    • August 2, 2013 9:29 am

      This is phenomenal! Way to go Kiki!

  4. bwozar permalink
    August 2, 2013 9:35 am

    We got our moderate CH cat, Gannicus, a few months ago and his improvement in that time has been remarkable. The first two weeks or so we had him he did little more than sit in one place on the floor and growl at his new feline roommates. One day I came home from work to find Gannicus cuddling in a pizza box (which of course we leave out for a day or so because the cats love it) with another cat Daenerys and since then basically everything has changed.

    He runs around in kind of a bunny hop that’s surprisingly quite fast. He’s learned to walk with only the occasional ‘butt slip’ on the hardwood floor and tiled sections of the apartment. Most impressively, he’s managed to master climbing up on the bed in one (relatively) smooth climb with a pretty great success rate. He’s also become a good playmate to our other cats.

    The other cats had realized that they could always win a game of chase with Gannicus by hopping on a couch. Or so they thought… Just this past week, I was so excited to see Gannicus line himself up at the bottom of the couch and jump/lunge high enough that he got his top half on the couch and managed to grab one of his sisters. I’ve now seen him repeat the maneuver about a half dozen times.

    Now I just have to hope he doesn’t figure out how to chase the others onto the cat tree…

  5. August 2, 2013 3:00 pm

    I just got a new miniature dachshund puppy, and in preparation for her arrival, I gated off a room for the cats so that they could have a private, dog-free place. I wasn’t worried about the other cats, but a little concerned about Dimity, who is mildly affected. At first, she just stared at the gate at feeding time (I’m feeding them in their room), so I helped her climb the gate and then jump onto the small, low table that I put next to the gate and jump down from there. I did it about 4 or 5 times, and then, one day, I found her in the cat room and I hadn’t put her there. Now she gets in and out on her own, which is a relief to me. But as it turns out, she’s the only one of my cats who is just fascinated by the puppy, and has started to play with her. So I don’t really think she’s going to need privacy, and I’m thrilled that the puppy has a playmate! 🙂

  6. August 3, 2013 8:11 am

    My CH girl, Sophie, is mild-moderate, and until recently I had no idea if she could climb stairs or not. We live in a one level apartment, so she’s never had the opportunity to climb stairs that I know of. One weekend I took her and her non-CH brother and sister to go visit my parents. The fact that they have stairs never even crossed my mind until we got there. I put Sophie at the bottom of the stairs to see if she would climb them, and she just sat there. No interest whatsoever in climbing. I even tried making her climb the steps by moving her legs and trying to demonstrate to her how to do it. Nope. When I let go of her, she would just sit there. When it came time for me to go to bed (my room is on the second floor), I had to leave Sophie downstairs. I didn’t want her to go exploring in the middle of the night and fall down the stairs.

    When I woke up the next morning, guess who was sitting at the top of the stairs waiting for me? Sophie! She looked so proud of herself, and I felt so proud and excited for her. After that, she wouldn’t stop going up and down the stairs. It was like a game to her. Of course I was stressed and worried the entire time, afraid that she would fall and hurt herself. She never did. Delilah and Sampson (my other non-CH cats) were awesome though – they would wait at the top of the stairs for her, and if she would stop in the middle of the stairs (which she would do when she had an especially shaky moment), one of them would come down and meet her to give her an encouraging lick and show her how it’s done. It was the most heartwarming thing I’ve ever seen.

  7. Julianne permalink
    August 6, 2013 12:13 am

    My little CH guy, Cricket, has severe CH… He’s a nonwalker and he finally got sick of spending his life on the floor! I came home one day to find him nestled with my other kitties in my cat tree. He was only on the first level, but still what a surprise! He was so secretive about how he got up there, and up until recently, I never saw him pull himself up. He’s a strong little guy and now rests happily on the mid level. It’s even more amazing watching him get down. He swings his behind off and uses his arms to lower himself down until he feels close enough to drop!

    • August 8, 2013 5:24 pm

      Isn’t it funny how they sometimes accomplish things while we’re not looking? I absolutely love this – I’m so glad to hear he’s figured out how to get up and down safely. Thanks for sharing!

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