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Meet Achilles

October 8, 2013

When you think of the name Achilles, odds are you think of the Greek warrior, but one little CH cat is quickly making that name his own thanks to his bravery and perseverance. Learn more about this 5-month-old moderate to severe CHer.

Achilles Does he have certain limitations?

Yes. He cannot walk without extreme effort and that’s only a few steps at a time. He can hold himself up, but it takes extreme concentration on his part. He falls a lot. He cannot jump onto anything (although when he gets excited he does jump in general!), and he does not climb yet (but we are hopeful and training him).

How does he manage the litter box? Eating and drinking? Do you do anything special to help?

He uses the litter box fine. All our three cats share a litter box in our NYC apartment. Macbeth and Jezebel, our older cats (non CH), use a low litter box so my husband cut a “U” in it so it’s easier for Achilles to throw himself into.

He’s had a few small accidents since we adopted him, but they were our fault — like when we slept with him in bed all night, he needed to use the litter box and he was too small to climb over me to get out of the bed! That’s only happened twice and I think that’s an accident that might happen with any tiny kitten. Other than that, he’s a litter box pro.

He goes on his side in the litter box and occasionally gets pee/poop on him and we have to bathe him in the sink. When we first adopted him, this happened multiple times a week/day, but now it’s only once in a while. Hasn’t happened for at least a week now. He’s getting to be a pro at propping himself up against the walls of the litter box to avoid getting it on his body.


For food, he’s a crazy kitten so he goes NUTS. He knows when I wake up that it’s time to eat so he throws himself across the room and purrs/growls as he eats. We feed him out of a normal bowl and he eats just fine lying on his side, although he can make a mess.

What’s one funny story about him (related to CH)? Or share a story about how he figured out how to do something CH cats “can’t” do.  

The funniest/scariest thing about Achilles is how fearless he has become. When we first adopted him at two months old, if you held him more than six inches off the floor he would cry in fear.

Nowadays, not only does he purr like crazy while we hold him standing up, but if we put him on the bed or the couch, he throws himself off. He seriously just looks down and dive bombs to the ground. We were terrified at first, but then we realized he just has ZERO fear and has figured out how to flatten his body out so he doesn’t get hurt. While “walking” he bangs himself into walls and tables and chair legs and while obviously we are concerned, we know that we cannot stop him. He’s out to conquer our apartment!

Has he ever hurt herself because of his CH?

Not yet. We worry about him hitting his head or cutting himself on his teeth once they get bigger, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Each animal is special in his/her own way. How is he special?  

Achilles is inspiring. He’s so fearless and so loving and so willing to just adapt to anything you throw at him. My husband and I live above a bar we go to a few nights a week and we’ve started bringing Achilles. He just sits in his carrier with the top open purring and he LOVES being the center of attention. Every person in the bar wants to pet him and he just never stops purring. He loves people!

Have you found ways to help him with CH? How?

Achilles2When we give him treats or food we put him as far away as possible to try to get him to walk to something when he’s excited/motivated. This really works!

Do you have any words of wisdom for other CH parents?

My husband told me we should never adopt a CH cat who was anything more than mild in severity, but when we saw Achilles we both just fell in love. So I would say just be open to adjusting your expectations of what typical cat behavior is and be ready to fall in love with that cat!

What do you think people need to know about CH?

It’s really not as hard as people think it is to take care of a CH cat.

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about his having CH?

I guess my favorite thing is his lack of fear and love of cuddles/being close to us. My least favorite thing is worrying about him getting a physical injury!

Anything else you’d like to add?

My husband and I have had two non CH cats, Macbeth and Jezebel, for a while. Macbeth is almost six and Jezebel is four. It took them about two weeks to fully adjust to Achilles and we live in a 600-square-foot apartment. So integrating a CH cat into your multi-cat household can DEFINITELY be done.

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

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Adam I permalink
    October 8, 2013 9:31 am

    AWWWW! That’s my nephew cat! Nice job guys- Adam

  2. Thu N. permalink
    October 8, 2013 9:26 pm

    I’m so proud to have had the chance to be a foster mom to Achilles and then to have you both adopting him, is nothing short of a miracle! xThu

  3. October 9, 2013 6:06 am

    Great story of Achilles! He will have a great life with you.

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