Back in July, we introduced you to Super Hero the hydro cat. This black and white boy was born with hydrocephalus — or water on the brain as it’s more commonly known — and after defying a bunch of medical odds he’s now living in his forever home in New Jersey under the care of Lisa Jones. Not only that, but he’s become a figurehead for S.H.A.H.S. (Super Hero’s Animal Hydrocephalus Society).
Now it’s time to meet the organization’s newest member, Zeke.
After being told about the situation of another hydro kitten down in Texas, Lisa agreed to take the cat in after he’d been saved from euthanization by a local rescue. “Zeke boarded a plane with a flight attendant that was volunteering her own personal time to transport him,” says Lisa. “He flew from Texas to La Guardia airport in New York City.” He weighed 14 ounces at the time.
On July 16 of this year, Lisa met Zeke for the first time. Here they are together.
Talking about Zeke’s medical condition, Lisa says that he has a “severe” case of hydrocephalus, which means that the “fluid in his head does not flow properly and collects beneath the skull, putting extreme pressure on his brain.”
One side effect is that people and animals suffering from hydrocephalus can appear to have an enlarged “bobblehead” and downwards-oriented “sunset eyes.” Balance and coordination issues can also arise. In Zeke’s case, Lisa says that his condition is so severe that “essentially his head is full of fluid, not his brain!”
Oh, and adding to his collection of ailments, little Zeke is also a twisty cat — you know, one of those kitties whose front legs are deformed to the degree that they have trouble using them.
Lisa adds that Zeke’s left forearm is “completely missing the bone called the radius, which gives it a floppy, twisted inward presentation, while his foot is deformed with only three toes.”
To that end, Zeke is a kitten who has developed a way of getting around that involves walking on his elbow, a move that Lisa says he pulls off with a twisty cat’s signature rabbit or kangaroo-esque hop.
To manage his medical issues, Zeke has been receiving care from the team at the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in New Jersey. Due to his dinky size and weight, he’s only been able to undergo a minimal range of diagnostics, although once he bulks up he’ll undergo an MRI scan of his body to assess his entire situation. (Zeke’s diet is also monitored by Dr. Martha Cline, a nutritionist who is ensuring that he’ll grow in a healthy way.)
Now to the most important part of Zeke’s story: How does he get on with Super Hero, his new hydro brother?
Well, quite swimmingly, it seems. According to Lisa, “Super Hero has taken Zeke under his wing and watches out for him like a little brother. If Zeke is going somewhere he isn’t supposed to be, Hero herds him back into the room or redirects his attention by gently tapping him with his paw.”
Also, during a recent bout of sickness Zeke suffered from, Super Hero lay beside his cage night and day — and has even been known to pace in front of an empty cage if Zeke ever needs a hospital stay.
Fittingly, Zeke has been officially admitted to help with the S.H.A.H.S. cause. Under Lisa’s guidance they’re out to “prove that these cats deserve just as much chance at life as any other “normal” cat you’d chose to adopt.”
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About Phillip Mlynar:< The self-appointed world’s foremost expert on rappers’ cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it’s not quite what you think it is.