Warning – cute cat photos

Posted: January 3, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Abraham Lincoln


This looks a lot like the picture of Jax we found on Petfinder, but it is not him. This cutie, and other kitties, are on the site waiting for adoption. Can you help one of them? http://www.petfinder.com

Jean came into our lives by accident. My older son had a dog, but my younger son needed a pet to call his own. So that he could follow his usual pattern and be the opposite of his big brother, my youngest decided that his very own pet should be a cat. Together, we went on Pet Finder.com and searched for a likely candidate. And, of course, we found the perfect one. His name was Jax, he was at a shelter not too far away, and he was, of course, adorable. The caretaker of the shelter, after clearing us as viable adopters, advised that we adopt a second kitten as well, to provide a playmate and companion for Jax. We asked if she had a suitable kitty available, she said she did, and we were good to go. This other kitten was named Jean.

A date was agreed upon for us to meet and pick up our new family members. At the last second, after all the plans were made, we were told that the second kitty “walked a little funny” but that it was nothing to worry about. A few alarm bells went off in my head, but we were already involved in this process, heart and soul, and so we pushed forward.

The big day came. On certain weekends, this pet rescue group brought potential adoptees to a local pet store. We had agreed to meet up there and collect our kitties. We came, cat carrier in hand, ready to fall in love. We were slightly dismayed to find, when we got there, that we could not hold and cuddle our kittens. They were simply bundled into the cat carrier and handed over to us. Something, some sense of compassion, encouraged my son and I to simply go along with this, and take them home with us. We got the sense that these kittens needed us.

We had a room at home all prepared to receive the kittens, where they would be safe from the pesty dog, and have time to settle in to the rhythm of our house. We got there, placed the cat carrier in a quiet corner, and gave them some space.

What happened then is…a long story. These two kittens were very nearly feral. They were terrified of us. It took days to convince them that it was safe to come out of hiding when we were in the room, and more days before we could even approach them without them bolting for cover. We almost gave up. I called the adoption lady, who admitted she’d expected us to return them within 24 hours. We were horrified, but determined to help them.  We tried not to be angry about this. Clearly this was the last chance for these two lost souls. And oh, I didn’t mention. The second kitty, the one who “walked a little funny”? It turns out that she was extremely disabled, with Cerebellar Hypoplasia. Some of the nerves in her cerebellum had been destroyed, when her pregnant mother was injected with a live distemper vaccine. Both kittens had been the victims of an abusive situation, and eventually dumped on the streets of NYC, where someone found them and turned them into a NYC shelter. They were rescued from the Kill List by the lady who gave them to us. We didn’t find this out until after we got the kitties home, and had to call for advice. In spite of these things, or maybe because of them, we decided to stick it out and hope for the best.

There is a happy ending.  There were thrilling moments, like the first time the kitties let us touch them, the first time they came up to us of their own free will, the first time we heard a purr…within a month, we had won them over.

So, it took a lot of explaining to get to this point, but really, I wanted to tell you about Jean. Jean is our handicapped kitty. But strangely enough, Jean does not know she is handicapped. Someone has commented, after watching her, that it is like she has two different brains, one for her front end, and one for her back end. This makes it very difficult for her to jump and run, and when she walks,she has a rolling gait, kind of like a sailor. But she never acknowledges her problems. If she needs to jump, by golly, she jumps. She has developed a funny sort of leap, with all four legs at the same time, which gets her as high as she can, and she then uses her claws to pull herself the rest of the way. And she is happy. She is the happiest, sweetest cat I have ever met. She accepts herself for who she is, and lets nothing stop her from getting to where she needs to go. We love her so much, and she loves us right back. She knows her name, and comes running when she is called.

So, you may think we were crazy to accept this handicapped cat, that in the long run, she will only bring us heartbreak. But she has brought so much love and joy into our lives, that words cannot even express it. We would not trade her for the world. So -I’m not sure what I am trying to say, except that sometimes you need to follow your heart, and not be afraid to bring someone differently abled into your home. Jax is easy to love, and gets more than his fair share of snuggles. But we have not once regretted having Jeannie with us. She brings a light into our lives that we would never have known without her.

A couple of questions to ponder – I have no real answers, but I am pondering –

1. Was the rescue group justified in being dishonest with me about the true condition of the two kittens I adopted? Should they have been honest about how not just emotionally damaged they were (nearly feral in their absolute terror of humans) but also physically/neurologically damaged?

2. If they had been more honest, would they have had any chance of getting someone to adopt these kittens?

3. Is it OK to be dishonest, if it gives you even a small chance of finding a poor creature a home?

4. If they had been honest, would I have been brave enough to adopt these kittens? Honestly, probably not. But look how well it turned out. Do the ends justify the means in this case?


Both Jean and Jax are in there…it took days before they would come out of there when we were in the room!

jean 8

It takes some effort, but Jean can climb in here all by herself.


Certified couch potato after 1 month with us.


As proud as if she scaled Mt Everest – to her, it kind of is!


My oldest decided to do some fund raising for the rescue group – here he is, playing with the kitties after having brought a load of supplies for them…

jean 3

Playful and affectionate – our dear friend and family member Jax!

  1. aFrankAngle says:

    We’re cat people, so gotta love you new addition.

  2. […] Warning – cute cat photos (tinkerbelllives.wordpress.com) […]

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