The World Is About To Go “Nuts” Over Tiny Kitty Pistachio

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Okay, I’m biased, I admit it. However, I offered the name for his foster mom Dani Giroux and her rescue, Runaways Animal Rescue, of which I do sit on the board. So while I have a vested interest in this little nugget, I also have a feeling that when the world meets baby Pistachio, they will feel the same way we do. We can’t get enough of him and his little tongue peeking mouth.

It was that little open mouth that earned him the name Pistachio. 

Mid-June 2020, Dani, a.k.a. Dani the Cat Lady, was contacted by another rescue friend in the Tampa, FL area. All to often, kittens are found alone or abandoned and in desperate need of medical assistance. This tiny kitten looked to be only a couple of weeks old and there wasn’t another cat anywhere to be found.

His eyes were full of goop, his little tongue stuck out and he was starving. As soon as Dani was able to pick him up, she knew she had quite a few issues to address. 

He’s got a bit going on: URI, eye infections, and a shortened bottom jaw which allows his tongue to always hang out. We will get him into the vet in the next few days, as I suspect he has some other congenital issues as well.

With a full belly, the very small boy was finally able to relax. But he needed a name!

With dozens of cats crossing the path of rescuers each month, naming them has always been fun. It was here that Dani reached out to her group of amazing cat ladies…cough cough just kidding. She had some adorable names in mind, but they were (and will be) perfect for a family of felines. One was “Cashew”.

When I saw his little open mouth though, my first thought was, “Isn’t it pistachios that are ready when they pop open?” Yes, yes it is.  

Now Dani is a caring and compromising foster mom, so she was sure to ask him his opinion. He agreed wholeheartedly!

Little Pistachio loves being in foster care and doesn’t think twice about his small stature. 

Now that he is a Runaway’s Rescue, he gets to learn how to “cat” AND “dog” at Dani’s house. Although dog’s may just prove to be warm pillows to him.

No one is safe from a Pistachio pile but I don’t see anyone complaining.

I certainly didn’t when I met him this past weekend! He is one of those kittens that is happiest when showered with your attention. He must know his adorable face is a powerful weapon. Needless to say, I was VERY close to taking him and even tested carrying him in my pocket. 

He’s still just a bit sniffly from his URI but that should clear up shortly. It’s certainly not stopping him from twinkle toe’ing around and following you wherever you go.

But this tiny nut isn’t doing one important thing…growing much! 

Pistachio is about 10-11 weeks old now and still weighs less than 2 pounds.

On average, kittens in the U.S. are spayed/neutered around 2 months of age and minimum 2 pounds in weight. These goals typically occur around the same time. But as Pistachio’s foster brothers and sisters grow and are adopted out, he remains petite.

Dani has an appointment this week for Pistachio to see the vet and she’s wondering if there’s something more significant going on with him. It’s rare in felines, but it’s possible that he is showing signs of hypothyroidism.

Your cat’s thyroid glands regulate the speed at which your cat’s body metabolism works – much like the accelerator on your vehicle regulates the speed of your car. It does this by producing a hormone called thyroxine or T-4 that regulates the speed of all body processes. When your cat produces too much of it and its metabolic rate sores, it has become hyperthyroid.

Hypothyroidism (low T-4) is quite uncommon in cats. When it does occur, it is usually in a kitten that was born a dwarf.

If you’re a cat fan, you know of one very special cat named Lil Bub with dwarfism and that it NEVER kept her from ANYTHING! (In this world or outer space <3)

The most obvious clinical signs of feline congenital hypothyroidism are those exhibited as disproportionate dwarfism or cretinism. These include a large broad head with short neck and limbs and a short round body. Typically, affected kittens appear normal at birth, but noticeable changes, such as a decrease in growth rate, become evident by 6 to 8 wk of age (6).

We’ll be sure to follow up on baby Pistachio’s diagnosis and can’t wait to see what the world holds for my new favorite little nut. 

While he’s growing into his legs more, overall he’s still just a teeny fluffball. 

Please be sure to follow Dani the Cat Lady and Runaway’s Animal Rescue for updates on all their foster cats, kittens and pups!

All images courtesy of Dani The Cat Lady / Runaway’s Animal Rescue

REMEMBER: SPAY/NEUTER, FOSTER, VOLUNTEER, TNR & AS ALWAYS, ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!

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