Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Where to begin?

I think instead of doddling around, I'll be out with it from the start.
The boys have been diagnosed with Cerebellar Hypoplasia.

Today has been long.... very long... And when I think we've been challenged before, this was something thrown into the mix that I never would have expected.

It certainly explains a lot though.

How do we feel about it?
Initially, I thought, oh my god. They have something critical, most cats with CH are euthanized... our kittens are sick, and doomed...

Of course, I knew nothing of CH at that point.

So, this is what happened.

After many calls back and forth with the vet clinic today discussing the boys and their potential appointment for today... 15 minutes before it was to take place, I finally get in contact with Petsave after days (they are SO busy right now with the spring and all the things going on). This was the first time that it was laid out to them what was going on with the stool samples and worry of parasites (everything I've detailed to all of you here).
At first she was calm and said that that kind of thing was not to worry, but they wanted to examine the stool samples more carefully... and when I started to mention that they weren't walking yet... she suddenly became very silent. And immediately began asking questions like:

~ Are they wobbling? (Yes.)
~ Do their heads shake when trying to look at something? (Yes.)
~ Do they have trouble keeping focus on one thing? (Yes.)
~ Do they roll, sway, crawl - anything but walk? Their legs almost with no muscle? (Yes.)
~ When they try to walk, is it almost like their legs are 'getting ahead of them'? (Yes.)
~ Are they all over the place (Yes.), not able to use the litterbox (Yes.), not able to feed themselves? (Yes.)

Pretty good chance that CH is a factor. She immediately said to forget the appointment with the vet, and she (a professional herself) is going to make a special trip out of her busy day tomorrow to come to our house personally to examine them. And they will go to the Petsave vet after she checks them out.

After an extremely sad and scared phonecall with Doug, I began heavily researching the disorder online.

I have no doubt, not one bit, that our boys have this neurological problem. And there's nothing we can do about it.

I have so much I want to talk about... So much to report... So much I wish I had known that I want other people to know about it. But, I think I'm just going to lay it out as much as I can by posting.

What I can do right now is say, go read online about it. I found so many links today, especially YouTube videos like:
~ This,
~ This,
~ This,
~ This,
~ This,
~ This
....And so so so many more.

In addition to CH, please read about how kittens can get it. The link to Cerebellar Hypoplasia is usually through the mother's contamination with Panleukopenia (also known as feline distemper), which we suspect Rosie must have had at some point (which confuses us, as she has never shown signs of this disease). I have many questions to ask our expert tomorrow. One situation could have been if they gave Rosie the shot for Panleukopenia while she was in the shelter... There would be enough in the vaccine to harm her babies. But, I'm only guessing, since she has never been sick. She could have also just had it in the wild, and been lucky enough to recover from it before she came here, as well.

I encourage any fosterers/cat owners to research both of these (and more, if you can), if you have never heard of it before.

For anyone out there at all: PLEASE vaccinate your pets!!!


I know I promised to discuss the comments from yesterday... and really, I suppose all I just want to say again is... Thank you. I know I say it often, but really, your comments/suggestions mean the world to me. I have taken pieces from what you have all told me, and have used it... especially the food suggestions!
Wesley is eating a KMR 2nd Step + Chicken Pate slurry through a large-holed-nipple bottle (mainly slurps it up, in combination of sucking), and it's improved SO much. He's eating way better now. Mind you, the change in diet has given him the runs, but, I think that's to be expected.


I posted a couple YouTube videos of cats/kittens with CH in the list above... and well, I'll let you all determine from our babes here. Here are a couple videos, as promised, of the boys tonight ~ At 5 and half weeks old.
In addition, a few sweetheart pics of my boy Wesley to follow.



  1. Sweet wee babies! How lucky they are to be in your loving home. I don't even know what to say to you ~ I wish all the best for these adorable kittens. I will read all your links and learn more. I am hoping that they are not in any pain.

    Sending you warm thoughts and love tonight,
    xo Catherine & Banjo

  2. It looks like they do have CH. Such cuties!

  3. I think blogger just ate my last comment, but it basically said that those poor cuties are very lucky to have you and I hope you get some concrete answers from your appointment, and some idea of what happens next.

    That one video you posted about Charley made the possibility of them having this condition a little less gloomy. He seems like he has a pretty good life. :-)

  4. That's totally it. I've known a couple of cats who have it. They need a loving home and they should be indoor cats, but they generally have very happy (if wobbly) lives. They figure out how to do their kitty things like eat and play and use the litter box, and they don't seem bothered by the wobbliness.

    I think Wesley and L will have long and happy lives.

  5. Oh, hon, just hugs! For you and the hubby and the baby and Rosie! I'm off to read the links now. You're in my prayers!

  6. Oh my god, that is so heartbreaking to see.

    And I can't help but be amazed (in a sad way) at how much you have had to deal with... very bad odds, when most litters have no problems at all. Sigh.

  7. P.S. I meant that in a supportive way. Obviously something in the universe meant these kittens-with-difficulties to come to you, who has been able to handle it all, albeit with some tears.
    Will you be afraid to foster again?

  8. We came over from SpacePaws. I'm so sorry that you are going through problems with this litter. I had a litter of preemies and the vet believed they had CH until they were 7 weeks old, when they started to catch up on their development milestones. Before that, they had been very weak and fell a lot while walking. While I was researching, I found these links helpful-

    One piece of advice I was given was not to baby the kittens too much. It is very easy to want to pick them up and help them get to where they want to go, but by making them do it on their own they develop their strength and also learn to compensate for their affeced motor skills.

    CH kitties usually benefit from having their food bowls raised, as it takes a lot of effort to try and hold their heads down low. It would be worth considering when they are being weaned.

    My preemie kittens showed no interest in eating food until they were 7 weeks old. If your mumcat is producing good milk and is happy to keep feeding and the kittens continue to put on weight, I wouldn't worry about weaning.

    I saw someone mention Royal Canin babycat in a comment. I love the Babycat kibble. It is tiny, and the bottle babies I've had seem to take to them really well. My fat cats go for it too, so it must be yummy ;)

    Good luck with your babies. They are certainly blessed to be with someone who is taking such good care of them.

  9. Oh Lynds....So sorry to read this.
    Those kittens were brought to you for a reason. Nobody else in the world could give them as much care and love as you do.
    I'm going to watch the videos now, that you posted.
    I'll call you later. xo

  10. When I first read your post, my heart sank because I thought they were doomed. But now I see that in a loving, caring environment, L and Wesley can have a long and happy life. So these sweet little kittens are even more special than we knew!

  11. My sisters and I are totally in love with the wonderful care they have, you are really one of those special humans. Mega purrs to the little ones.

  12. Yes, the video clips convey well what words and pictures only suggested. I met a CH kitty at our most recent adoption event - it's not a death sentence unless your shelter makes it so. Adopters for special needs kitties do exist.

    In the meantime, one day at a time. I wanted to make sure to ask you to check the instructions on the can of KMR 2nd step. When I have used that in the past it was meant to be added to the regular KMR formula as a thickener and weaning aid, not used alone. It wasn't a nutritionally complete formulation. If that's still the case, I would recommend mixing your kitten pate with regular KMR instead. The pate acts as the thickener, so you don't need to add 2nd step. That recipe could be contributing to the diarrhea.

  13. Oh Lynds, I had no idea what you've been going through. You have such a big heart, and those kitties sure are lucky to be with you, the biggest cat fanatic I've ever known! I know they're in good hands and you'll do everything you can to make sure they're happy and as healthy as possible. I really admire you and all the hard work you guys have been putting in here, it's truly inspiring. Best to you, D, momma and the kids, lots of love! :) xo


  14. I was very close to adopting a CH cat from the local shelter, but I was scooped by another lady who adopted her first.

    Both your wee ones (so cute!!) can definitely go on to live very happy, if wobbly, lives. I'm sure you'll be able to find some good homes for them. :) (if I didn't live in Canada and already have 3 cats, I would totally adopt!)

    Alyssa (alys69 @

  15. Oh I'm so sorry to hear the news. We currently have a foster cat in Hobbes House who has CH. Weeble is a year old now and doing quite well. If there is anything we can do to help, please don't hesitate to ask. I'm sure Sue will be sending an email your way today.


  16. I came over from Spacepaws - this has to be so heartbreaking! But from the comments it looks like they can still have happy lives which is good news! Hopefully they can find wonderful homes that will understand and be loving and wonderful for them. We are sending over lots of purrs and prayers for you all!

  17. *hug* Also over from Spacepaws, I'm so sorry. I met a kitten once with CH. They're lucky to be experiencing a loving home.

  18. exactly what deleilan said. i was so sad, then i cried happy tears at charley's video.

    i wonder if rosie sensed their "disability" and this is why she was never very receptive to them. poor things, and poor confused mom.

    what a learning experience! and what a roller coaster for you! but wow are these precious kittens lucky. :)

  19. Oh kittykye! Those videos of Wesley and L are heartbreaking. But you are giving them the patience and attention they need. Hugs and encouragement from our corner to yours.

  20. Poor babies and poor you! But it sounds like if they work at it, they can learn to get around and live to be almost normal pets, in a place where they are understood. It doesn't sound like they will be vulnerable to any particular illnesses as a result. Good luck!

  21. I had my husband read your blog last night and he really didn't have any idea. I am happy you found out what it is and bless you for giving them a loving home. They will, in time, learn to deal with this and get by. Wishing you (and them) the best of luck! We send gentle kittie nosetaps to Wesley and L. And (((HUGS))) for you!

  22. Thank you for giving these guys so much love and care. We have had some CH cats at the shelter we volunteer at, and they always seem to do just fine. Please hang in there. We are purring and praying for you!

  23. A couple extras:
    Jala, no. We won't be. But we may need a bit of a break between this one and the next (unless it's convincing ;))
    Alyssa, We're in Canada! Sure you don't want a fourth? (haha) ;)
    Meg, aawww.. Weeble. What a cute name for a kitty with CH!!! That made me smile!
    Catherine, rebewick, Tara, Kerry, Kim, Deleilan, Brian, Lynds, Amy, Bethany, angie, Leslie, catsonvillecats, The Kool~Kitty~Krew, meowmeowmans... and well, I know there are others that I haven't spoken directly to since ~ Please know: Thank you for your comments and sweet words. You all mean the world to us ♥♥♥

  24. I am so so sorry to learn this. I haven't been keeping up with my favorite blogs and only learned of it now.

    Anything I could say or suggest has certainly been covered. I agree that these boys were sent to you for a reason. You've been entrusted with doing exactly what you've been doing for them.

    I know you'll be able to decide what is best for them, and feel confident of having respected their lives whatever the outcome.

    I know of kitties with CH who manage fine, though it sounds like your sweeties have a pretty severe case.

    Bless your heart for loving them. I know you'll consider all the options and do what you feel in your heart is the right thing. I don't want to imply in any way what that might be, but sometimes loving them as you do means making the hardest decision on their behalf.

    I'm sending you all lots of positive energy. It's a difficult, challenging time. Thank you for unburdoning yourself to those of us who care deeply. I hope it helps in some small way.


  25. Tiny kibble is a great idea! You could get them used to the taste by mashing it up with water, adding some kitten milk replacer, and feeding them with a bent spoon as I posted in a later entry. That gets them used to the taste, and then they will have the dry kibble to eat on their own from a bowl. I imagine it's a lot nicer to bob your nose into dry kibble than to get a nose full of wet food. :)


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