Special Need: Cerebellar Hypoplasia
One of our newest lobby residents, Gabriella, is an adorable tabby-and-white kitten (ten months of age, as of June 2011) with a perfect pink nose. She has a favorite kitty condo in which she spends most of her days, and once you see her move, you understand why she likes to stay in one place: Gabriella has cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), and a pretty extreme case, at that.
CH is a neurological disorder characterized by lack of balance and coordination. Cats with CH have an underdeveloped cerebellum, the part of the brain that manages motor control. As a cat with severe CH, Gabriella has a profound lack of coordination. Her legs move independently of each other and seemingly of their own will; while some cats with CH are wobbly but can still get around, Gabriella's case is so severe that she flops and rolls from place to place.
Gabriella was born with CH and likely developed this condition when her mother had distemper (or a distemper vaccination) while Gab was in the womb. Our sweet little girl was the only kitten in her litter affected. While kittens can be quite a handful regardless, Gabriella was an exceptional case. Because of her lack of motor control, Gabriella cannot use a litter box and requires extra care and cleaning - both of herself and of her home. She also is at increased risk for injury, so she needs to have a controlled environment. Gabriella was at risk of euthanasia before she came here, for the simple but unfortunate reason that she is a challenging cat to care for.
Luckily for all of us, Gabriella found her home here at Tabby's Place, where we can give her the extra time and the safe space she needs. Gabriella is such a sweet little girl - stop to visit her and she'll soak up the attention. She doesn't seem to be bothered in the least by her difficulties in walking, either. While she likes best to stay in "Gabby's corner," a special area outfitted with her personal condo and a non-slip carpet to hang out on, she also likes to make her way around the lobby to see the sights. Watching her move is a bit like watching a butterfly flying - dips and twirls and drastic variations in speed - but she gets where she wants to go, eventually.
We know that Gabriella will need a super-special family to give her a forever home, but we're happy to provide her with all she needs for as long as she is with us. With your help, Gabriella will have a safe, clean, loving home where she can bobble and weave to her heart's content. Won't you consider sponsoring our darling little girl?