Monday, August 30, 2010

R.I.P. - Nora

Over the past weekend, our good friend and a Joa’s Arc volunteer, Maria, lost her beloved dog, Nora.

Nora came to Joa’s Arc's volunteer, Jen S, several years ago with her hip completely out of the socket and a very large hernia. Poor Nora had lived like that for many years. Kind volunteers at a local shelter just could not bring themselves to put to sleep Nora and so Jen S fostered her while several wonderful groups and people raised to funds for two surgeries to help Nora feel and move better. First, Nora's hips were corrected and then she had her hernia repaired.

Jen S and her awesome daughter fostered Nora for two years (talk about dedeication!) before Maria came into Nora's life. For just about a year, Nora was Maria's loyal, loved friend who faithfully stood by her.

Nora succumbed to a heart condition on Saturday, August 28th, 2010. In respect to friends who did not know until just recently, we had not posted this blog post sooner.

Now you've got some real wings, Nora. We'll all miss you.
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Introducing Muffy

Muffy, Muffy, Muffy ... She is one special girl!

Muffy came in to Joa’s Arc's care from a local shelter after being brought in by someone that did not know what was wrong with her. You see, Muffy has Cerebellar Hypoplasia, known also as "CH" (like Nero), which varies in severity and, in Muffy's case, causes her to bob and weave all over.

Muffy will need a very special home that will overlook her disability (as she does), but still keep her safe. "CH" is a condition affecting the cerebellum of the kitten's brain. The cerebellum is the portion of the brain that influences fine motor control. Kittens affected with CH will have poor coordination (jerky or wobbly movements when they walk or run). Some animals affected by it will have head tremors as well. This can happen to a greater or lesser extent in each animal differently. Many will fall over during movement. HOWEVER, life expectancy is not affected. The cause of CH may be a viral infection during gestation or in kittenhood. Distemper is the most common cause of intra-uterine infection. However, CH can occur in-utero or at a later date due to injury, poisoning or a virus.

The symptoms of CH generally do not worsen as the animal ages and most will learn to compensate to some degree. However, this will be a lifelong condition because there is no treatment for the condition. The animal can have a good quality of life if given protection from accidents - these cats will be clumsy and must be protected from stairs, for example. They absolutely MUST NOT be declawed as they need their nails to help them hang on when they slip or fall. Cushions should be placed under places from which the cat may fall (window sills, etc.). It is a good idea to use untippable food and water bowls and a litter box with high sides but a low entrance area. These cats also absolutely be kept indoors for their own safety. CH cats seem to be unaware that they are different in any way and therefore may attempt feats that could be dangerous for them, but they seem to lead very happy lives.

Do not be fooled though, Muffy's condition does not slow her down! Muffy is quite the athlete - she loves to tumble and tumble and tumble some more. As of today, Muffy is almost 15 weeks old. She came to Joa’s Arc eight weeks ago and her coordination and limb strength have really shown improvement and she is able to contol herself much better. She loves to play and cuddle and if she sees hair hanging, she loves it!! Muffy is so funny too. She makes everyone laugh once they realize that her special needs does not affect her ability to be happy and enjoy life. She is also up to date with vaccines, combo tested negative and will be spayed when appropriate. Tweet This

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Introducing Bucky

Meet Bucky!! Because of his little face and giant ears, people keep insisting I (Jen W of Joa’s Arc) name him "Yoda", but Bucky was the name I got him with and I like it more than "Yoda."

I first met this boy a couple weeks ago when he came into the Animal Welfare Association with his foster mom to be weighed and I just fell in love with his little face and squeaky meow (it's probably not a good idea for a "rescuer" to work for a shelter...). Within the last few days though, I've become Bucky's foster mom! His two "normal" siblings weighed enough to be spayed/neutered and put up for adoption, but this poor little guy was still too tiny. I more than happily offered to take him home with me.

Do you see anything a little off with this little kitten? No, not his tiny eyes. Keep looking! Real close! Ok, maybe I'm not being fair. It's a little hard to see the craziest thing about this kitten in that picture, so let me show you another and make it easier on you...

Four ears!

Yes, tiny little alien eyes (when he blinks, he doesn't really shut his eyes so much as he just folds his third eyelids over them), a little face, lots of fur and tiny little ear flaps behind his actual, normal ears!! Apparently, he's not the only one though. When first looking into this weird condition, I came across a fairly famous kitty who is named, surprisingly, Yoda! Upon further digging, I found this website which is really interesting and apparently Yoda is not the only kitty like my foster boy either: Feline Medical Curiosities: The Ears.

For now, Bucky's in foster care with Joa’s Arc because he seems to be a little slow developing. As I mentioned above, he had two siblings that seem to be completely normal and are an appropriate size for their age. Bucky on the other hand is still pretty tiny. Joa’s Arc is considering having a vet take a good look at Bucky and maybe take some blood work to see if he is maybe a bit abnormal on the inside as well.

Right now, like most kittens though, he likes exploring, wrestling and snuggling. He's a great little kitten! Tweet This

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Introducing Dash

Meet "Dash" (AKA "Mini Misty")!

Dash came to Joa’s Arc from a branch of the PSPCA. She was saved after being found on the streets of Philadelphia with a leg injury. It was thought that Dash had a broken leg and would require extensive cage rest, if not surgery. Further inspection showed that there were no fractures or breaks seen on x-rays.

After resting in foster care with Joa’s Arc to be on the safe side, Dash is now running, jumping and playing like any other 5 - 6 month old kitten. Dash is a beautiful dilute gray tortoiseshell cat with a silky coat who loves to wrap her paws around your neck and kiss, kiss, kiss! She likes to kiss your neck and kiss your face - Dash is just full of love. Also, Dash has been already been spayed, is up to date on vaccinations and she combo tested negative for FIV/Feline Leukemia.

Now all she needs is a family for her to kiss and love and call her own. Will it be yours? Tweet This