Our Dot has a list of health issues as long as your arm. She’s a very cute brown/gray tabby (she’s a brown tabby on her head and back, shading to a brown-grey tabby on her back half).
Dot is a tiny girl. We don’t know how much bigger she’ll get, if she’ll grow at all, but we think it likely she’ll remain petite throughout her life. Dot has spina bifida, a spinal cord condition. At one point down her back, her spine just stops. Due to that, she doesn’t have a lot of use of her hind legs, although we are doing physical therapy on her several times a day to try to keep muscles there from atrophying. If you wonder how we can look at her without tears, the truth is that she’s a happy, energetic little cat. She loves to play and is always either actively going after a toy or just about to do so. She’s fearless, too, and spends some time staring down the other lobby cats (all of whom are several times her size) from behind her “playpen” barrier.
Dot also has a lack of development of her urogenital tract. In this case, that means that her bladder and colon empty out of the same place. As a result, she’ll have a high and continual risk of urinary tract infections. Chronic urinary tract infections can damage the kidneys, so this means that Dot has a high risk of future kidney failure. We can’t over-use antibiotics to reduce the urinary tract infection risk; if we do, we’ll breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Our expectation is that Dot’s multiple issues will significantly shorten her life, but there’s no way to predict how long she might be around.
Dot has not been spayed. It’s likely that her reproductive organs wouldn’t function very well, if at all, but we have been advised by a specialist against attempting to spay her, so we won’t be trying it. She must have her bladder and bowels expressed manually. Dot has chronic constipation issues, for which she is on medication; she also eats a special diet.
We know that most shelters wouldn’t be able to keep Dot, but we’re happy that we have room for this very special feline. Even if you can’t take her home (and we understand that very few people would be in a position to do so), do come in to meet her; we know you’ll be touched by her sweet face and good nature.