To kick things off, we have two CH kitty brothers joining us today! Without further adieu, I’m going to hand things over to Sophie and let her get this pawty started!
Favorite food: Anything salty and crunchy. Chips, pretzels, goldfish. If I can dig it out of a bag, I’ll give it a try!
Favorite activity/toy/game: We have this circular toy, it has a scratching pad in the middle and a ball in a track around the outside, its pretty amazing.
Favorite food: Whatever mom is eating. I don’t care what it is. I need to have it!
Favorite activity/toy/game: My rattley mouseys!! I have like 50 of them. They are tiny and easy to pick up and throw around. Mom is never surprised by the places she finds them in!
Boys, please start by sharing your rescue stories!
Tippy: We totally lucked out with our furrever home. We were born to a very sickly and nearly feral mom who was in a rescue. They hand raised us until we were a year old and deemed us healthy enough to be adopted without worry. Thankfully neither of us ended up with a seizure disorder and to this day still have not. This particular rescue would bring their adoptable kitties into the local PetsMart on the weekends so they could find homes. One weekend Weeble was at the event. I was not, my CH was so bad I couldn’t handle being in a cage all day long without seriously injuring myself, and having people judge me). Our (now) Grammy happened to stop in and fell in love with Weeble. But she couldn’t take him, she had a very busy house already full of cats and many large dogs. So she called our Mommy and said she just had to come meet this kitty. Mommy, of course, obliged. When she saw Weeble, he was tiny and terrified stuck in a little cage with so many people all around. His whole body was trembling so much from trying to focus on all the things going on. When Mommy picked him up and held him close, he grabbed onto her and calmed. Mommy was instantly in love. She was sold. Thennnnn the rescue told her that he had a brother who needed to go home with him, and he was much more severe than Weeble was. So we planned to meet back up the following weekend, and they would bring me along so Mommy and Daddy could see if they could handle me. Well obviously, Mommy couldn’t bear to leave us behind. Daddy was a lot more hesitant. They already had two cats at home and he really didn’t think they needed any more, especially two very special needs ones. Mommy eventually convinced him to bring us home on a ‘trial’ run to see if we could navigate their house and get along with the other kitties. Long story short, once we were safely at Mommy and Daddy’s house, we straight up told them we were never leaving again. When they first got us, we were in pretty rough shape. The rescue did their absolute best for us. Without their love, we most definitely would have never survived. We were very skinny and had boo-boos all over from falling down and being in cages. We were a year old and I only weighed about 3lbs, and Weeble weighed about 4.
Wow! It sounds like your Grammy went to PetSmart on just the right day. I think it’s awesome that both of you were adopted together. That was very admirable of your mom and dad to adopt two CH kitties at the same time, especially considering they didn’t have any previous experience with CH kitties. I have a mild-moderate case of CH, and my mom says I was a handful when she and my dad first adopted me! So where do you two fall on the CH scale?
Weeble: I would say I’m very mild, most of the time I have no issues.
Tippy: I fall somewhere between moderate and severe.
Can you tell us a little bit about your abilities?
Weeble: Most days I can get along just fine on my own. When I walk you can hardly notice there is anything wrong. I am a really good climber. I can get up onto anything fabric. I can go up the stairs without problem, and most of the time I can go down just fine too, though sometimes my feet get ahead of me and slip a little. I can jump like a beast! But I am terrible at aiming. It’s more like a forceful fling into the air, with all my legs flailing around, until I latch onto someplace. Very, very rarely does my head shake or bobble, and after a second or two to adjust I can eat or drink without pecking.
MOL! I know what you mean about aiming while jumping. That’s tough… I’m not very good at that either. Tippy, how about you?
Tippy: For the most part, I can walk on my own. It is very wobbly and tipsy and oftentimes I take two steps forward and one step back, but I always get where I need to go. Carpeted floors are the easiest for me because my feet don’t slide so much, but I am also capable of walking on the hardwoods if I take the time and focus. I use my nails frequently to help me climb onto things. If I try really hard I can get onto the bed or the couch or up into the cat tree, but more often than not it takes me a couple of tries. I usually just pout my eyes at Mommy and she lifts me up to where I want to be. I am getting really good at going up the stairs, especially the carpeted ones. Down is a lot more difficult. I refuse to go down the hardwood stairs, much to Mommy’s relief. But if I sit at the top of the carpeted stairs for more than a minute or so and nooone comes to collect me, I give it a go. Most of the time I get a stair or two and tumble the rest of the way. (Don’t fret! They are only half flights of stairs and usually I only tumble about 3 stairs which is like 2 feet.) But there have been a few times I made it all the way down without falling! Its awesome! As far as jumping goes, there are times when I can bust out a good jump, but that is very rarely. I actually tend to move the best and smoothest when I am all riled up, like when I am chasing after my brofurs or running toward the dinner table. My head only shakes when I am super focused on a stationary object. When I eat and drink, I still peck like a chicken, but I am working on it and am getting better.
Are there any other ways that you need extra assistance, maybe with eating or using the litter box?
Tippy: Nowadays Mommy doesn’t have to help me all that much, but when I was little I required a lot. Mommy would have to hold me up while I was eating and keep pushing my food into a pile so I could eat it better. I used to get A LOT of baths because when I use the litter box I lay down. When I was little it was very very difficult for me to get in and out without flopping all over the place. As I have gotten older and bigger and more coordinated, I now use the litter box like a pro and if I do happen to get a little dirty, it just requires a little wipe. Mommy and Daddy have gotten me special litter boxes made out of tubs so I have plenty of space to lay down and easy in and outs. As I said earlier, I always try to call for help whenever I need down the stairs or up into the bed or couch.
My mom and dad make me special litter boxes out of plastic tubs too! They work great. What about you, Weeble – do you need any extra assistance?
Weeble: Not really, I am very self-sufficient. I always need Mommy to bring me upstairs for bed if I don’t immediately follow. I am scared of the dark and don’t like being left downstairs alone. Both my brofur Tippy and I get supplemented Metamucil in our wet food in the morning and night to help keep our poops solid and therefore prevent baths.
I can’t jump very well, so I have learned to be an excellent climber. This is just one example of how I have learned to compensate for my CH. Can you share a story of how you have learned to compensate or how you have overcome an obstacle related to CH?
Weeble: I also have become a great climber. Mommy says shes amazed at how good I am.
Tippy: Mommy says when I was little I used to stick my whole head into the water bowl, tip it all over the floor, and not even really manage to get much water. It took a lot of practice, and Mommy got me a heavy-duty water bowl that doesn’t tip over, but now I can drink without problems. It still takes me a little bit to get into a good rhythm. I have to peck down at the water and pull my head away a few times, staying closer each time, until I have properly judged how far away the water is and I can hold still and drink.
You guys are amazing. You just don’t let anything stop you! But have you ever accidentally hurt yourself because of your CH?
Weeble: When Mommy gots us, we had boo-boos all over from bumping and running into things. Thankfully I am a fairly competent CHer and no big accidents have been documented.
Tippy: I still get little bumps and boo-boos every once in a while. Mommy says my little footsies are often very rough and chapped on the bottom because they get rug burn every step I take. They don’t seem to bother me though. Both of my upper canine teeth are also slightly chipped from banging my head on things. They are currently not causing me any issues, though Mommy says that eventually she’s sure they will have to be removed so that I don’t get sick. That sounds super scary!
Tippy, you’ve got to be more careful, buddy. But I think that you are very brave to not let your chipped teeth and chapped feet keep you from going strong! You’re my new hero… *stares longingly at Tippy*
Whoops, pardon me! On with the interview! So my mom says that I have CH like you guys, but I don’t see how I’m any different from the other kitties in my home. Do you seem to know that you are “different,” or are you ever emotionally affected by your condition?
Weeble: Not really. I can do pretty much everything my brofurs can do. Every once in a while Mommy catches me staring at them longingly when they are lounging someplace I can’t get to, like the window sills or the sink. But it never lasts long because they get yelled at for being up there and then I get to laugh at them for getting in trouble.
I know what you mean! I get to laugh at my brothers and sister for the same reason! Tippy?
Tippy: I think there are definitely times when I get upset that I am a little more clumsy than the others but I don’t think I am any different, just a little awkward. Personally, I relish in the fact that Mommy caters to my every cry and they are stuck walking upstairs to bed on their own. Mommy always holds me up to look out the window with everyone else too, so that’s nice. I think the worst part is that I still want to play all the time! My brofurs often just like to lounge around and be lazy butts so I usually have to play on my own and that gets a little depressing.
Sounds like you’ve got your mom wrapped around your paw! That’s how I am with my daddy.
Okay, so tell us about your personalities – what makes you special?
Weeble: I LOVE to be carried around. I will cry and cry and cry to be picked up. You can hold me all day long – as long as you are standing and moving. Sit down and you can’t force me to sit on your lap. I also refuse to give kisses most of the time, so if you get one from me, its sacred. Mommy says that I am her own personal alarm clock. I always know exactly when it is breakfast and dinner times. I have one tiny little patch of pure white fur right on my belly, Mommy and Daddy call it my Weeble White Spot. They like to flip me over and blow raspberries into it. I am not a fan of this. Also, my tail is most definitely made out of pipe cleaners. You can bend it and move it in any position you want and it stays exactly in that place. Apparently this is weird? Mommy says kitties are not supposed to be like that. I don’t know, its pretty normal to me.
Uhh… Weebs, you might want to get that checked out. Sounds pretty weird to me! MOL! Tippy, tell us about your personality.
Tippy: Kisses are THE BEST. I will head bonk and give Mommy kisses all. day. long. I also am a very good communicator. I have a vivid vocabulary of different meows all of which mean something different and Mommy and I can carry on complete conversations, I think I can totally understand what shes saying. I love it when Mommy carries me around like a baby. I put my arms around her neck and my legs dangle straight behind me. I definitely think she needs one of those backpack things, don’t you? And I have the most epic stink eye ever. If I am being ignored, I can glare right at her and she usually changes her mind to take care of what I need.
MOL, you are too funny Tippy. And yes, you do need one of those pet backpacks! I have a sling that mom carries me around in, and it’s the best!
Now I have a couple of questions for Mom Amy – what words of wisdom would you pass on to anyone who is considering adopting a cat with CH?
They require A LOT of time and effort. Even Weeble, who is very very mild, requires a lot more attention and special considerations than a normal cat. You have to have the right kind of house. They need plenty of space to walk without running into things. You also have to have the space for their litter boxes. We have 3, with the smallest one being 2×3 feet. That’s if they can be litter box trained. I have heard of many CHers who just won’t use one. Then you have to be willing to deal with accidents and trial and error for what will work for them. And they seem to get extremely attached to their primary caregiver, so you need to be around enough to keep them from being lonely.
But their love is amazing. Because they get so attached, and you have to do so much for them, you develop a huge bond with them. Plus its always amusing to watch their antics and get excited for them when they accomplish something new.
Anything else that you would like to add?
I would do anything for my little wobblers. They are my children. My perma-toddlers. Weeble says “hurry up Mother! Don’t you realize its dinner time??!?”
I’m with Weeble – it’s ALWAYS dinner time!!!
Well guys, thank you so much for stopping by for the interview. We really enjoyed learning more about you two! And we truly appreciate your help raising awareness for cerebellar hypoplasia and special needs animals. You guys are the best! And so adorable!
Weeble & Tippy’s Facebook
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