Snapple the tuxedo kitten and his three siblings were born on a Wisconsin farm in April. All the kittens were named after soda and beverages: Sprite, Moxie, and Fresca.
Unfortunately, their mother was but a kitten herself and struggled to care for the litter. Fortunately, they were rescued at just a few weeks old by the Bitty Kitty Brigade, a rescue specializing in orphaned neonatal kittens. From there, they went to a foster family with Kris, who specializes in raising special needs kittens in Minneapolis.
Early on, Snapple displayed signs of cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), a non-progressive neurological condition. Sometimes, the condition, which affects brain development, may affect only one kitten in a litter. Other times, it may involve all of the littermates. In this case, only Snapple showed the signs.
Recently, we shared the story of Brutiss, a cat with CH from Boston who is living her best life.
Symptoms of CH affect the kitten’s balance and coordination. Sometimes, there are tremors, but it doesn’t affect other cats. Fortunately, kittens with CH aren’t in pain with normal bodily functions and adapt to their disability with a normal lifespan. However, they will need TLC from someone willing to care for their unique needs.
An Unexpected Setback
Over time, Kris started noticing that Snapple seemed to have something wrong other than CH.
“His front legs were spastic, bent inward, and not overly functional,” said Kris.
After a trip to a veterinary neurologist, Kris learned that Snapped had brain and cervical spinal cord disease, not CH. There was no known cause. Although his symptoms were similar to CH, his leg mobility was severely impaired, particularly in his front legs. Sadly, multiple vets determined the kitten wouldn’t be able to enjoy a good quality of life.
Now, they suggested it was best to let him go, but Kris wanted to spoil him for his last remaining days. So, she took him home, planning a “bucket list” of adventures for Snapple.
A Bucket List of Adventures
In the following days, Kris took Snapple on a bucket list of adventures, which you can see on Instagram at “tuxonwheels.”
“I have trained my human servant to take me on adventures.”
Before long, it became evident that Snapple was really enjoying his life, playing with the many toys Kris provided. Then, a kind volunteer made a custom feeding station so he could enjoy eating his meals. After that, he got a custom cart to help him move, and wow, did he!
Snapple’s Custom Cart
By this time, Kris had forgotten about saying goodbye to the fun-loving kitten. Instead, she set out to help him overcome his mobility issues. After some trial and error, Snapple had a vehicle that worked nicely. Now, he could move, racing around the house and exploring new sights and sounds. Always, he had close supervision to help him avoid danger.
Then, Snapple went on a weekend summer camp visit, meeting new friends and experiencing the allure of fresh catnip. In fact, one of his favorite places to park is inside a lovely catnip plant. As you can see, life was looking pretty sweet for this kitten.
Back home, the kitten and his foster sister Whirlwind Natalie enjoyed watching the sunset from their “party pad” in a patio window. Like Snapple, Natalie is overcoming disabilities, blindness, and CH. She, too, is learning how to get around with some tumbles along the way.
“Would you like to join our cuddle puddle?”
Each Day New Adventures
One day, Snapple went on his first guided walk down the street in his stroller. Now, Snapple is really getting the hang of things. Best of all, you can see he loves life. With help, he enjoys meeting people and going on little adventures.
“Mine foster meowmy says I’m practically a purrfesional meowdel. I think I’d like to strut a catwalk. Happy Friday, Friends!”
Below, see Snapple move in his custom Snapple cart:
Snapple Meets ‘the Original TrapKing’
“It’s very important to share how cats (and people!) like me still deserve a chance to find love and happiness. We just need a little more help along the way. And as my friend Sterling always says, “you don’t lose cool points for compassion.”
“IN CASE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT GIVING UP RECENTLY…….this amazing little homie, @tuxonwheels is the epitome of never giving up! If you’re not already following, then you should definitely check him out!!” Sterling posted.
Finding Snapple’s Forever Home
Today, Snapple is working on his moves, and although he’s still a bit awkward, all the work is paying off.
Now, Kris is hoping to find a forever home with someone who finds him as inspirational as she does. That person will be Snapple’s advocate, caring for him and focusing on what he can do, not what he can’t do!
Ready to Roll to His Forever Home
Perhaps, someone who is retired or works from home can ensure Snapple gets the daily activity and the life enrichment he needs. Then, he will be able to enjoy the quality of life he deserves. Soon, Snapple will require a custom ergonomic chair as an adult cat. Perhaps, someone with design expertise in this area would be ideal?
“Today, Snapple is thriving, and this handsome boy loves to eat, play, cuddle, explore, and race around in a wheelchair! While the exact cause of his condition is unknown, it doesn’t appear to be progressive, and this special boy is looking for a forever home where he will receive the love and attention he needs to thrive,” writes Meow As Fluff, a blog focusing on special needs cats.
We hope that Snapple finds the ideal person who will elevate this special kitty on a throne, as he deserves.🍌👑🍌👑🍌
See more about Snapple from Meow As Fluff:
All photos / videos courtesy of Snapple via Instagram/ tuxonwheels