For most of us, our livers keep our blood clean and free of toxins. If those toxins were to build up, we could easily die.
Hector the cat lives with this danger. In 2010, Hector was diagnosed with a liver shunt, meaning that the vessel that would have normally run his blood through his liver goes around it. That means that the toxins Hector’s liver would normally remove from his body are slowly building up inside him, resulting in hepatic encepalopathy. In other words, the toxins have crossed the blood-brain barrier, and are now doing damage to Hector’s central nervous system.
As a result, Hector drools, paces, experiences temporary blindness, throws up, shakes, and seizes. He has to maintain a low protein diet and take daily medication.
But as far as Hector knows, he’s just another happy cat doing happy cat things.
Like napping in sun puddles.
Lots of napping in sun puddles.
Bossing the dog around.
And being generally handsome and breathtakingly adorable.
Hector has made it his life mission to raise awareness of other liver shunt cats. Check out his Facebook page for more information on Hector and other liver shunt cats, and make sure to tell him Catster sent you.
Photos via Hector’s Facebook page
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About Liz Acosta: Catster’s former Cuteness Correspondent, Liz still manages the site’s daily “Awws,” only now she also wrangles Catster’s social media. That’s why she wants you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and — her personal favorite — Instagram. See ya there!