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Daily Archives: February 28, 2018

Perhaps just as strong as our desire to birth cute, healthy, children with “10 little fingers and toes,” we want our pets to be adorable balls of fur. Yet just like humans, our pets can be born with traits and abnormalities of all kinds.

Most of us don’t think about it, but even our precious felines are subject to disabilities. Of course, we don’t wish abnormalities to negatively impact a pet’s life.

But chromosomal abnormalities can impact all living things. And in nature, extreme cases tend to prohibit life altogether.


Yet some blessed creatures with mild issues can survive and strike humans as cute and charming. It’s not hard to see why we just can’t resist some “special” traits.


Meet Maya the cat who was born with a chromosomal abnormality similar to Down syndrome in humans. She may have an atypical appearance, but she is healthy and able to enjoy an adventurous life.

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The cross-eyed feline was found abandoned behind a Chinese restaurant when she was just a kitten. She was taken to a shelter.

The playful ball of gray fur, however, was rejected by potential adoptive families. Unable to continue housing a cat no one seemed to want, the shelter had her scheduled to be put down.


That’s when the Odd Cat Sanctuary stepped in. Located in Massachusetts, its mission is to “focus on ferals, sick cats, senior cats, and the cats on death row,” according to its Facebook page.

The organization has the cats medically assessed and brings them up-to-date on any immunizations. They then facilitate foster care placements throughout Massachusetts until the cats can be adopted into loving and qualified forever homes.


There is little noticeably “wrong” with Maya other than her misaligned eyes. She does have vision issues and her flattened nose makes her prone to sneezing.

Unlike dogs who are praised for being the “ugliest,” people typically want their cats unblemished. If anything, they are allowed to have an irregular color pattern in their fur.


The Odd Cat Sanctuary didn’t give up on Maya and found her some loving owners. Moved by Maya’s story, they have dedicated an Instagram account to the shenanigans of this playful and charismatic cat with a personality the size of a football stadium.


Her new owner, Laura, learned that like all other cats, Maya is curious and likes chin scratches. She is sweet, silly, and loving.

RELATED:Dog with Rare Condition Must Eat Food in Special High Chair in Order to Survive.

Not everyone has appearance expectations for the pets they welcome into their home. Organizations like The Odd Cat sanctuary collect special kitties in one place so that big-hearted individuals and families get the opportunity to connect with beautiful beings that the rest of society has dismissed as problematic.



Maya is simply one cute cat. It’s crazy to think that she would have been killed because no one wanted a cross-eyed kitty that sneezes a lot.

Knowing how much rejection she endured, it’s heartwarming to see how happy she is on her Instagram account which, at the time of this article, had nearly 60,000 followers. Fortunately, humans with loving hearts, like those at The Cat Sanctuary and adoptive cat parents, give cats like Maya a fighting chance.

Wondering where the comments are?We encourage you to use the share buttons below and start the conversation on your own!


When Jennifer Gillispie went to a local shelter to pick up a cat, she came across a pot-bellied pig that needed rescue too. His name is Porker Pigglesworth.

She knew right away that she had to take him because her rescue has a perfect place for him.

Here Kitty Kitty Rescue

Porker is three months old, weighing 30 pounds. Soon after his arrival at the Here Kitty Kitty Rescue farm in Elkhart, Indiana, he was greeted by the feline residents there. One after another, the kitties gave him proper introductions with nose kisses. Porker was also welcomed by another rescue pot-bellied pig, Hamilton and two Pygmy goats, Juliet and Caesar.

“He was not accustomed to the bitter cold temperatures of the Indiana weather so we decided he could take shelter in the rescue with the cats until he was neutered and grew bigger,” Jennifer told Love Meow.

Soon after Porker settled in, they discovered just how much he adored his feline friends.

Here Kitty Kitty Rescue

“Porker loves the rescue cats. The cats think he is one of the residents. We have a kennel with the door open so he feels like he has a spot of his own to sleep but has the ability to cruise around the rescue when he wants to,” Jennifer told Love Meow.

“We often find the kitties take a nap with him in the crate and eat side by side as he chooses to sometimes snack on the cat food.”

Here Kitty Kitty Rescue

One of the cats has taken quite a liking to Porker. “Pippi wants Porker to be her friend so she has decided to do pig like things and even eat his food and drink his water.”

Meanwhile, Porker wants to be a cat and eat cat food and sleep on cat beds.

Here Kitty Kitty Rescue

“Many people think pot-bellied pigs are so cute and get them as babies to keep as a pet for their home. Unfortunately they grow fast and often become destructive so around the six month stage owners give them up to the shelter,” Jennifer told Love Meow.

A rescue cat cuddles up to Porker, sharing nap time together.

Here Kitty Kitty Rescue

Kyra, one of the donors, brought new beds for the kitties. Porker was so excited that he made himself comfortable in one of the beds, snuggling in just like one of the cats.

Here Kitty Kitty Rescue

“Porker is only six months old and will soon be able to join his big brother Hamilton once the weather breaks in the Spring.”

But for now, Porker is enjoying his time with his feline friends, doing cats stuff.

Here Kitty Kitty Rescue


The Last Thing You Expect Your Vet to Say

by Jessica Vogelsang, DVM

Cats are known for their stoicism in the face of illness, so it’s not unusual for felines to be in a fairly advanced stage of disease by the time they make it in to the veterinarian’s office. We vets have our usual list of suspects when it comes to common diseases in cats, such as kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes, but we also need to be thinking about some of the more unusual diagnoses we come across in our feline patients. Here are five of the more unusual—or at least, unexpected—diagnoses I have made in my practice. 


Commonly referred to as “raccoon disease,” Baylisascaris procyonis is a roundworm that infects many animals, including birds, rodents, dogs, cats, and people. It is quite abundant in the raccoon population; infected raccoons shed eggs through their feces into the environment. Cats are infected either by ingesting the tissue of an infected animal, or by coming into contact with eggs that are out in the dirt where cats are walking and scratching.

After ingesting Baylisascaris eggs, the roundworm larvae migrate through the body, causing damage along the way. These larval migrans can wind up in the GI tract, the eyes, or the nervous system, causing a variety of symptoms, from GI upset to seizures. The parasite can be treated once diagnosed, though the damage to the body may persist. Because the parasite is also infectious to humans, prompt treatment is essential. 

Idiopathic Cystitis

FLUTD isn’t a specific illness in and of itself, but rather a collection of bladder symptoms, such as painful urination, increased frequency of urination, blood in the urine, and licking the genital area. What many people don’t realize, however, is that contrary to popular belief, the most common cause isn’t due to crystals in the urine or infection. It’s actually a poorly understood condition called idiopathic cystitis, which bears many similarities to interstitial cystitis in people.

Cats suffering from idiopathic cystitis show many signs of bladder pain but do not have crystals or bacteria in the urine. While they don’t have bladder stones, they may still experience blockage of the urethra due to plugs of mucous and blood cells. The symptoms often resolve spontaneously within a couple of weeks, though they do tend to recur. It is theorized that stressful events can precipitate a symptom flare, so pain relief as well as environmental modification to reduce stress is considered an essential part of treatment.

Taurine Deficiency

My first taurine deficiency patient was a cat whose owner, thinking that she was treating her cat to an extra-luxurious life, fed her cans of tuna fish and nothing else. She was unaware that this unbalanced diet was causing serious harm to her cherished pet.

Taurine is an essential amino acid, playing an important role in heart and eye health, but cats are unable to synthesize taurine on their own. They must obtain taurine through their diet.

When cats are deprived of taurine, they can experience severe symptoms such as blindness and dilated cardiomyopathy, a form of heart failure. If caught early enough, getting back on track with a balanced diet can reverse the symptoms of illness. For this reason, I caution any owners who are interested in a home cooked diet to do so under the guidance of a veterinary nutritionist who can ensure the food you are preparing is completely balanced.


Cats are renowned for the keen senses, so we don’t often think of them as being prone to such significant losses to their senses as deafness or blindness. Nonetheless, cats can and do experience vision loss for a variety of reasons: injury, cataracts, glaucoma, cancer, hypertension, and even infectious disease such as FIV and FeLV.

A sudden onset of blindness is a medical emergency as it is often caused by retinal detachment, which may be reversible if treated immediately. Just as common, however, is a gradual vision loss that might not be apparent as it develops over time. As vision is slowly lost, cats can compensate with their other senses, resulting in more subtle behavioral changes than what we see when a cat loses vision suddenly. Either way, a veterinarian can quickly assess whether or not a cat is visually impaired.

Because blindness is so often secondary to another disease process it becomes essential to ascertain the cause to ensure your cat is able to function at maximum health.

Feline Tooth Resorption

Sometimes even a really excellent physical examination and basic bloodwork leaves us at a loss as to the cause of a cat’s lethargy, a situation that can be extremely frustrating for both owners and doctors. In one such case, the only hint I had that something was wrong was a teeny hole in one of a patient’s teeth. When his mouth was x-rayed, we found that despite the mouth appearing fairly normal from the outside, he was suffering from some very painful tooth root resorption below the gum line. The roots were almost entirely eaten away.

The cause of tooth resorption is not known, but it is thought to occur in over half of adult cats. A tooth with a normal appearing crown can be almost completely obliterated below the gum line, so a regular examination isn’t enough to diagnose the condition. Because oral x-rays are not always taken during regular dental cleanings, many of these cases may go undiagnosed. Removal of the damaged tooth, root and all, is the only way to eliminate the pain many of these affected cats experience.

When the Cat is Just ‘ADR’

Treating felines has its challenges. Some of the most common presenting complaints at the veterinarian are nonspecific: vomiting, changes in litterbox behavior, and “ADR”—the nebulous but very common “ain’t doing right.”

A wide range of diseases manifest in some very nebulous ways, which is why your veterinarian requires an in-person examination to pinpoint the problem. A careful history of the problem, a thorough physical exam, and appropriate diagnostic tests are the triad on which we rely to figure out the exact problem your cat is experiencing and, more importantly, how to manage it.


A ginger kitten came into a man’s life when he wanted nothing to do with cats, but everything changed when the kitty decided to adopt him.

Katherine, an avid fosterer, met Hulk the kitten in May, 2016. The little guy immediately stood out among all the fosters – he was incredibly sweet-mannered, snuggly and very affectionate. He wouldn’t take no for an answer when he wanted cuddles.

Katherine @KittensForDays

During a sleepover with Katherine’s parents, Hulk quickly hit it off with everyone, including the self-proclaimed dog lover – Katherine’s dad who didn’t like cats. “Mom loves them, so they came to a ‘mutual’ decision to get a kitten,” Katherine shared with Love Meow.

The couple renamed the ginger boy Thomas, and the little guy started plotting a plan to change the man’s heart.

Thomas would follow him around the house every day and curl up in his lap or snuggle up to him on his shoulder. With the power of purrs and snuggles, the kitten crept his way into his heart.

Katherine @KittensForDays

The man, who had vowed to never have cats, was now sending daily photos of his beloved kitten to his daughter as a proud granddad.

Katherine @KittensForDays

But things took a very difficult turn when Thomas started getting sick. He had FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis), a progressive disease and almost always fatal. Four weeks later, Thomas crossed the rainbow bridge and the couple was left broken-hearted.

“Over the next year I would bring any awesome kittens that I was fostering to their house in hopes that one would strike them. But They resisted, heartbroken over losing Thomas.”

Katherine @KittensForDays

In August 2017, this little guy was born at Katherine’s foster home. Right away, the kitten reminded her of Thomas.

“I had my eye on him for my parents from day one, I just had a feeling.”

Katherine @KittensForDays

When the kitten was eight weeks old, Katherine brought him to meet her dad.

The little guy went on an exploration around the house, played with everyone just like how Thomas did when he first met Katherine’s parents. The kitten even spent some time snuggling with them.

Katherine @KittensForDays

“As I was getting ready to leave, I heard my dad say to my mom, ‘if you want to get that kitten, that’s OK with me.’

“It doesn’t sound like much, but that was the absolute highest praise my dad could give to the kitten.”

Katherine @KittensForDays

“As soon as he was neutered, my parents officially adopted him. And the pictures began rolling in.”

They named the ginger boy Tigger.

“He is perfect. He plays like a maniac, sleeps hard 16 hours a day, and loves to ‘swim’ in their dog’s water bowl.

“But most importantly he’s the lap kitty they both wanted,” Katherine said.

Katherine @KittensForDays

Almost two years ago, a ginger boy named Thomas came into their lives and left a pawprint on the man’s heart…

Now two years later, he is snuggling with his purrfect little kitty, sharing their life stories together.

Katherine @KittensForDays



NORMAN, Okla. – It’s a disease that acts quickly and aggressively, and it is becoming more common across the Sooner State.

“My husband had noticed a little bit of nasal discharge and a little blood in it at first, and he said ‘I think you need to look at Paws,’” said Barbara Tarbutton.

Tarbutton knew something was wrong with her beloved cat, Paw Paws, in March.

“And, he didn’t walk right, and I mean I threw my clothes on within 20 minutes and we were out of here to the vet,” she said.

Within hours, the vet diagnosed Paw Paws with a blood parasite known as Bobcat Fever.

The cat was given an expensive medicine used to treat the disease, but it was no use.

“He got one dose of it and, on the way home from the vet, he died. It was just I couldn’t believe it,” Tarbutton said.

Veterinarians around the state are seeing a lot of cases of this extremely fatal illness, especially in rural areas like Tarbutton’s home near Lake Thunderbird.

Experts said Bobcat Fever can only be passed to domestic cats through tick bites.

“The ticks this year have been awful. I’ve probably seen a five- to 10-fold increase and tick diseases this year not just in cats but dogs also,” said Dr. David Biles with Westwood Veterinary Hospital.

Experts said Bobcat Fever was named for the bobcat since they are the host reservoir for the disease.

“If we can get to it early enough, there are therapies we can do that will help the cat, but most cats will get the disease and pass away,” Biles said.

Some symptoms include fever, lethargy, loss of appetite and crying out in pain.

Veterinarians said pet owners should be vigilant and attempt to prevent tick bites in the first place.

Tarbutton hopes no one else will have to go through the same pain of losing a cat in such an awful way.

“It’s just really hard, because you get attached to your little fur babies and they become part of your family, especially one like him,” Tarbutton said.



og lovers always tell cat lovers that while the latter animal smells less, doesn’t need walking and is arguably more intelligent, they don’t like humans and are fundamentally selfish.

Cataholics have been vindicated, however, by a new study which relays the cheering news that cats don’t just enjoy human company – they pick it over food.

Dispelling the rumour that cats are antisocial and the only love they show is cupboard love, they subjected cats to a series of tests to prove what they choose in different situations.

Cat 'grooms' its owner after he came back from holidayWatch | Cat ‘grooms’ its owner after he came back from holiday

The researchers took 50 cats from shelters and peoples homes and deprived them of food, human contact, scent and toys for a few hours.

They then introduced them to stimuli within these four categories to see what they chose.

Most cats chose human socialisation over any of the other categories.

The authors of the study wrote: “While it has been suggested that cat sociality exists on a continuum, perhaps skewed toward independency, we have found that 50% of cats tested preferred interaction with the social stimulus even though they had a direct choice between social interaction with a human and their other most preferred stimuli from the three other stimulus categories.”


We all need a hero, and cats, especially street cats, are no exception. Enter 5 year old Shon Griffin from Philadelphia. “We call him Catman,” his aunt Kris Papiernik told ABC news.

Aunty Kris and her fiancée have been involved in cat rescues and fostering for many years, and had recently taken to looking after a local group they named the Kolony Kats. One cat, Bug, would just not cooperate when it came to getting shots and being neutered. “Nothing we tried worked,” Aunty Kris said. However she had noticed that her nephew Shon had formed an instant bond with the cats so she let him help out.  “The cats took to him right away. Bug came right over to Shon, rubbed against his legs and allowed him to pet him.”

From that day on, Shon was Catman. He regularly visits his aunt and the Kat Kolony, dressed in his favourite superhero outfit, feeding and petting the cats and helping solve any problems that might arise. The cats are drawn to him, even the most unfriendly ones are unable to resist his charms. “He’d scratch their bellies and scratch their heads. It was amazing to see these cats who wouldn’t even allow us to touch them, but immediately took to him. He must have this magical effect that the cats can pick up,” Aunty Kris told The Dodo.

So cats, if you find yourself alone on the streets of Philly, cold, hungry and on heat with bugs in your fur, who ya gonna call? That’s right, Catman!

(h/t The Dodo)

This is 5 year old Shon Griffin from Philadelphia. “We call him Catman,” says his aunt Kris Papiernik

Aunty Kris and her fiancée had recently taken to looking after a local group of street cats which they named the ‘Kolony Kats’

One cat, Bug, would just not cooperate until Catman arrived on the scene. “Bug came right over to Shon, rubbed against his legs and allowed him to pet him”

From that day on, Shon was Catman. He regularly visits, dressed in his favourite superhero outfit, feeding the cats and helping solve any problems

The cats are drawn to him, even the most unfriendly ones are unable to resist his charms

“He must have this magical effect that the cats can pick up”

So cats, if you find yourself alone on the streets of Philly, cold, hungry and on heat with bugs in your fur, who ya gonna call? That’s right, Catman!

The internet reacted with love for Catman


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