On the busy streets of Chicago, a tiny kitten was found tottering along, lonely and frightened. The stray feline was scooped up and taken to the local animal control. Sadly though, Chicago has one of the highest kill rates of stray cats and dogs in the nation, which didn’t bode well for the little furball.
When another local shelter heard of the rescue, they quickly rushed to the kittens aid.
CARF: The Critical Animal Relief Foundation, provides urgent medical care and fostering to animals in need. They picked up the small female calico the next day and immediately noticed something special about the feline. She had a cleft palate and a slight wobble when she walked, caused by Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH), a neurological condition that affects motor skills.
Fortunately, this was a mild case and since CH is non-progressive, it is not likely to get any worse with age. It does not cause the cat pain, is not contagious and the animals can live long, happy and healthy lives. These special animals may topple over and tend to be a bit more accident-prone however and they should ONLY be kept indoors with NO consideration of ever being declawed as their balance depends on them.
As soon as the CARF team picked up the kitten, she couldn’t stop meowing and purring to show her apurreciation! She was determined not to let her stumbling slow her down for a second. They have been calling her Kanoo, but have not made it official yet.
Kanoo was started on treatments for conjunctivitis, a URI (upper respiratory infection) and other minor issues. During her recovery, she has been taken home by one of their volunteers, Lindsay Malinowski. This will allow the fur-baby to learn how to live comfortably indoors with humans and heal in a safe environment.
Upon arriving at the home, Kanoo was so malnourished and weak that she spent most of her time warming her frail body on blankets near the apartments radiator. She is slowing but surely warming up to her foster family as well. Toys, playtime and treats are being experienced for the first time but Lindsay says she is still a bit unsure and prefers gentle and soft spoken humans while she’s transitioning to indoor living. She is SURE to show her approval though with engine-like purring!
“Her floppies are permanent but it just makes her cuter,” says Lindsay.
Luckily she also has a feline roommate to help her become accustom to “cat life”! While Kanoo was still in quarantine during the healing process, Twiggy, another wobbly cat from CARF in the home, regularly “spoke” and chirped to her through the door. They were very excited for the day she could run free with her foster sister through the apartment together. Now Twiggy is helping her get the hang of being an inside cat while they both show the world nothing can stop these determined kitties!
Thank you to CARF and Lindsay for all you do!