Meet Tabby’s Place’s tiniest tuxedo. Jude is a romping, rambunctious kitten with a purr twice her size. Playtime is only her second favorite thing, though; Jude lives for hugs, and spends much of each day being carried and kissed.

She may have a frightening diagnosis, but our big-eyed baby loves life with all her heart. Jude’s not about to let her medical mysteries slow her down. The minute you let her under your skin, you can begin to make her life better.

But there’s a reason we named this kitten after the patron saint of impossible causes. Jude has a life-threatening congenital condition called hydrocephalus (literally, “water on the brain”), a buildup of excess cerebrospinal fluid in the skull. This creates pressure, causing a large, dome-shaped head; eyes that point outward and downward; and, in some cases, seizures. (We hear that “mental dullness” can also be a symptom, but that’s clearly not present in happy, high-energy Jude.)

Tabby’s Place has nurtured three previous hydrocephalic kittens through the years, only one of whom has survived to adulthood. We know that joyful Jude is in the fight of her life, and we’ve enlisted a world-class neurologist to help us determine her course of treatment.

Our little girl’s joy has been tragically punctuated by seizures, so we are treating her with medication to help prevent them, as well as rescue drugs for lengthy or cluster seizures (seizures in rapid succession). As Jude grows, it’s likely she will require additional medications, possibly including diuretics and steroids. Ultimately, Jude may benefit from surgical placement of a shunt, to siphon excess fluid from her brain and drain it to another area of her body where it will not cause harm.

This is an awful lot for such a tiny girl to face, but Jude is an extraordinary kitten, with queen-sized confidence and the heart of a lion. From the moment we first said “hey, Jude!” at Tabby’s Place, we promised to take what could have been a very sad song and make it better.

Jude will grow up in the loving care of a permanent foster home. A Tabby’s Place staff member and her family will provide Jude with the daily affection and adoration she deserves — and the close monitoring she needs — while Tabby’s Place will fund and provide Jude’s extensive veterinary needs.

Tiny Jude’s future is uncertain, but this much is clear: she’ll never know a moment without love. Please remember to let her into your heart, so you can help us to make things better. As Jude’s devoted sponsor, you’ll help provide the life-saving medication, ongoing diagnostics, neurologist visits, and additional treatments that will give her every opportunity at a happy, healthy life.