Since people are still learning about cerebellar hypoplasia each day, it shouldn’t be a surprise that a few years ago, let alone a decade, very few folks knew about the condition.
Nine years ago, Patty’s friend fell in love with a very pregnant, very sweet Siamese cat while volunteering at a shelter. The cat had been exposed to panleukopenia, and was put on the euthanasia list for the day. After some begging (Patty said she really didn’t have to!) Patty agreed to take her in to her rescue.
Patty had the cat for about two weeks when she died while giving birth to three kittens. Two of the kittens never took a breath; however, Patty says the third, Spaz, seemed in good health and appeared to be normal.
Patty soon fell in love with the little guy. “
I was so very taken with this little fellow, he stole my heart from the very beginning,” she said.
Once Spaz was old enough to walk around, she started noticing something strange about his movements: Spaz would walk backward, and soon started staggering.
“When he walked it looked like he was marching, when he ran he looked like a windmill,” Patty said.
Patty spoke to her vet, and they determined that since Spaz was eating, active, and not running a fever, they would give him some time to see how the condition continued to impact his life. In the meantime, the vet said he would research the condition.
After a few weeks, the doctor came back to Patty and told her about cerebellar hypoplasia. They agreed that so long as Spaz was healthy, his CH shouldn’t be a problem. The vet explained that Spaz wasn’t suffering, and may adjust to his motion issues with your help and care. He improved every single day, Patty said.
“Spaz has had such an impact on my life and so many others, to watch him overcome and conquer his physical disabilities, he never gives up, he never quits, he just figures it out. He struts and sticks his chest out, he looks so proud when he conquers a problem, as if to say “I did it. I am king of the hill.” I am sure that he doesn’t think that there is anything wrong with him; it is everyone else and the other guy that has the problem. I am extremely lucky to have such a wonderful, loving, creature in my life. Spaz has taught me about life itself, it is ok to be different, different can be wonderful and just because you have a handicap it doesn’t mean you can’t.
I have caught myself watching Spaz with amazement, and smiling. I have woke up in the night or in the morning hours only to find him snuggled up next to me, as close as he could get. He has shared so much love and affection with me, I am so very lucky to have found him. He is a gift that changed my life.”