Finding Strength in Special Needs Cats
At first glance, CH cats may appear helpless or weak.
In fact, I think we can all share stories about how family members, friends, or even our own veterinarians don’t understand why we “bother” to keep them alive. And I think we can all agree that they simply just don’t get it.*
The beautiful thing about CH cats — and all special needs pets — isn’t that we can help them live better lives. Rather, it’s the other way around. After living with a special needs pet, it’s so very clear that they enrich our lives.
In fact, it’s one of my favorite reasons to adopt a cerebellar hypoplasia cat:
“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.”
We can find strength in these cats. We can hold up our struggles along side theirs and find a commonality, a bond, that you may not experience in the same way with a non-special needs pet.
I mean, just think about it. Watch your special needs pet for a day – heck – even a few minutes may be all it takes. Watch your CH cat and pay attention to just how many challenges they encounter in a few minutes or hours, and pay special attention to how they react to those challenges. I can almost guarantee that more often than not, we focus more on the challenges than they do.
For example, Ellie can’t jump off of the couch. Instead, every time she wants to get down, she starts to slide forward until her front paws hit the floor. She then swings her hind end off the couch. Nearly always she ends up losing control and rolling over into something. But instead of pouting or becoming upset, she just continues with her day. She faces challenges all of the time. She either doesn’t see them as challenges, or she simply decides to keep moving on. It’s beautiful.
And CH cat owners aren’t the only ones inspired by these special creatures.
A while back, Teneisha shared a very special testimony in the CH Cats and Kittens Facebook group:
“Sometimes having a chronic illness makes me feel lonely, like no one understands… but here, I feel like I am part of a family. Thank you so much for accepting me into your group. Seeing the resilience you and your special needs pets have really inspires me, and I am thankful for this connection.”
Moments like this are yet another reason why it’s just so wonderful to be a part of this community and parent to two special needs cats. I hope you feel the same.
*Need some talking points to convince someone that CH cats make excellent pets? Check out this post.