November 29th 2007 9:43 am
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Several weeks ago, I set up the KittyWhiskas For Catsters Video Vault and the KittyWhiskas For Catsters Video Vault Movie Reviews Forum as a way to generate member interest and participation. Our sixth feature will be "This Is Charley" about a cat with CH, otherwise known as cerebellar hypoplasia. The movie has been contributed by Evinrude Carr, whose adopted sister Suzuki Carr also has CH like Charley. They thought that this movie would be an informative and educational piece. The article by Suzuki Carr, written as a companion piece to the movie, follows:
Life With CH - By Suzuki Carr
Hi, my name is Suzuki. I am two and a half years old. Like Charley from the movie "This Is Charley", I have a condition called Cerebellar Hypoplasia, or CH for short. I've probably spelled it wrong before, but this is right this time. This is a neuromuscular disorder that affects my motor skills. Most kittens diagnosed with this are often put to sleep. If given the chance, we can live very normal lives. My Mom had distemper and that's why I have CH. In the beginning, I couldn't walk without falling and when I went to the litter box I fell in, so I just laid down to do my business. Because I have long hair, this meant a bath every time. My adopted Mom fixed the bottom of a cat carrier for me so I could walk into it and the sides helped support me. Charley seems like he walks a little better than I. Of course, with hardwood floors and fur growing on my feet, that makes a difference and I take my time when I walk so I don't fall. Other than that, I can run somewhat and play like any other cat. I can climb onto chairs, the bed, etc., but if I try to jump down, I crash. The only other problem I have is because I have long hair and my home has hardwood floors, I have to have the bottom of my feet shaved often or I "slip and slide" instead of walk. Other than these few things, I live a very normal cat life. I chase the other cats in the house, although sometimes I crash into the wall, I don't have any special medical treatments, and I eat, drink, and do everything else just like the other cats here. I do get scared easily and don't like anyone but Mom or Dad to handle me. But I do give them lots of love and enjoy sleeping beside them whenever I can. This is not a common disorder, but I understand that the cats that are given a chance live as long as other cats. The big thing is, when you are a small kitten and constantly falling, humans just assume they are putting you out of your misery. We don't know anything is wrong because we're born this way and don't know any different. Please have your cats vaccinated to help prevent this, but if you ever have the opportunity to give a CH kitty a home, you'll be glad you did. Sorry I've talked your ear off, but thanks again for everything.
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