Extra Love Needed: Gizzmo the Super Kitty


Meet Gizzmo the Super Kitty

Meet Gizzmo the Super Kitty

Who is Gizzmo?

She is a cat.

What makes Gizzmo special?

She has cerebellar ataxia, which makes her wobbly like Moki, but unlike Moki she was born with it.

Where did the name Gizzmo come from?

A Gizzmo be da strange or unusual toy or ting. When dad first saws me, himz say I be a Gizzmo. Soz I bes da Gizzmo eber since.

A Gizzmo is a strange or unusual toy or thing. When dad first saw me, he said I am a Gizzmo. So I’ve been a Gizzmo ever since.

Gizzmo and the Grassy Patch

Gizzmo, do you have siblings, if so how many and are they like you?

Yups, Iz gots da two sisters, Morgan who be wobbly likes me, an Keoki, herz not wobbly, but hers no can jump.

Yes, I’ve got two sisters, Morgan who is wobbly like me and Keoki who’s not wobbly but she can’t jump.

Do you require a special diet or any additional care?

No special noms, but Iz do lub da bacon gravy. I eats da normal kitty food jus like all da oder kittys. Special care, dat be a bit different. Because Iz fall down a lot some tings are a bit harder, like usin da litterbox, not good to fall downz when yuoz go poo. Drinkin water, Me head bobs a lot soz I keeps dunkin me nose in da water when I drinks. Dad say hims gona gets me da toy football helmet soz I don’t bonks me head so much when Iz fall playin.

No special food, but I love bacon gravy. I eat normal kitty food just like other kitties.  Special care, that’s a bit different. Because I fall down a lot some things are a bit harder, like using the litterbox, it’s not good to fall down when you poo. Drinking water, my head bobs a lot so I keep dunking my nose in the water when I drink. Dad says he’s going to get me a toy football helmet so I don’t bonk my head so much when I fall playing. 

Gizzmo and the puff of a tail.

Were you born with your disability or did something happen like it did with Moki?

I be born wid it, I let me dad expalne..

I was born with it, let my dad explain..

Gizzmo has Cerebellar ataxia

This is caused by problems with the cerebellum which is an area of the brain involved in controlling balance and coordination. Affected cats often stand and walk with their legs far apart and may be described to have a high stepping gait (goose stepping). Cats with cerebellar problems find it difficult to make accurate calculations when jumping and so often do this in a very exaggerated way. Tremors, which in some cats get worse when they go to do something such as eating (referred to as an intention tremor), may also be seen. Hers came from her mother, a feral cat from a recycling plant, that got Feline Distemper.

Definition of cerebellar ataxia

Ataxia characterized by defects in rate, range, force and direction of movement of limbs. There is a broad based stance, inability to maintain the head in the proper position so that it oscillates, there is hypermetria or hypometria, direction cannot be maintained and the animal falls easily, often in an exaggerated way.

(taken from http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/cerebellar+ataxia)

Are there any videos of you walking/running?

Yups, I don’t run bery often cuz I fallz lots. Dad habs da MP4 videos ob me eatin and playin in da Grassy Patch.

Yes, I don’t run very often because I fall a lot. Dad has MP4 videos of me eating and playing in the Grassy Patch.

Gizzmo walking in the grassy patch (the link will take you to Gizzmo’s facebook page)

Gizzmo singing to Ms Buttons

Where do you like to sleep?

On da blanky in front ob da fire place or on dads bed. Hims has to carry me up der cuz I don’t do da stairs bery good.

On the blanket in front of the fireplace or on dad’s bed. He has to carry me up there because I’m not good with walking stairs. 

What are your favorite toys?

Buggys, I lubs chasin da buggys. I also likes to chase da feather, or da little red dot dad makes on da floor.

Bugs. I love chasing the bugs. I also like to chase the feather or the little red dot dad makes on the floor. 

Can you jump/climb like other kittens?

I no can jump, I bounce, Dat kind ob like jumpin but I neber knows where Iz gona land. I can climbs a bit, like from da floor to da chair or couch, but dat be bery hard. Just climbin in an out da glass door I falls down lots.

No, I can’t jump. I bounce, it’s kind of like jumping but I never know where I’m going to land. I can climb a bit, from the floor to the chair or couch, but it’s very hard. Just climbing in and out the glass door, I fall down a lot.

Does you require any therapy or medication?

Nope, I is jus da way I is, Gizzmo jus says no to drugs.

No, I’m just the way I am. Gizzmo says no to drugs.

What about your sister Morgan?

Hers no talk much, pretty much da same story likes me.

She doesn’t talk much, we have pretty much the same story.

How did you come to have a human guardian?

Me next door neighbor works at da recycling plant. Himz found us three babys about 6 weeks old on da conveyor belt goin to a cardboard crusher. Iz 2 years old now.

My next door neighbor works at the recycling plant. He found us three babies about 6 weeks old on a conveyor belt going to a cardboard crusher. I’m 2 years old now.

Do you talk a lot, Gizzmo?

When Iz wants, sometimes I talk lots, oder times I no talk, just smiles.

When I want to, sometimes I talk a lot, other times I don’t, just smile.

Gizzmo’s campaign poster.

What is a typical day for you like?

Well you can tells lots from me Face Book page, dat be da Life an Times ob Gizzmo da Wobbly Kitty. Iz runnin fur Presdedent you knows… But normally sleeps da night wid dad or on me blanky, gets up wid dad an gets da noms an gets me pets an rubs from hims. Den when hims at work I plays wid da Zombies, ( oder kittys round da house) Snoozes an waits fur dad to gets home. Den Iz goes out back to play in da Grassy Patch, noms da grass, chases da buggys an watch da TV wid dad getting rubs from himz. Den be night, night time, den doz it all again in da morning..

Well, you can tell a lot from my Facebook page, that’s the life and Times of Gizzmo the Wobbly Kitty. I’m running for President you know. But normally I sleep with my dad at night or on my blanket. I get up with dad and get food and get pets and rubs from him. Then he goes to work I play with the Zombies (other kitties around the house). I snooze and waits for dad to get home. Then I go out back to play in the Grassy Patch, eat some grass, chase bugs and then watch t.v. with dad and get rubs form him. Then it’s night night time and I do it all over again in the morning.. 

Gizzmo with the Zombies (other kitties)

Gizzmo’s Graby (Gravy)

(submitted by Gizzmo & dad)

It’s fairly simple, I don’t measure anything it’s done more by watching. I generally make about 4 cups of gravy when I make it and any of the leftovers go in the refrigerator for the next day.
Bacon or ground sausage, 8 strips of bacon or 1 cup of ground pork sausage.
Flour, ¼ cup, approx..
Salt, Pepper.
Milk, up to 4 cups, give or take.
Misc. seasonings, up to you on what flavor you are looking for.
In a two quart sauce pan cook the bacon or sausage until done, remove the meat and leave the grease.
Whisk in flour one tablespoon at a time until the grease is absorbed; continue whisking the rue for several more minutes to fully cook the flour.
Slowly whisk the milk in ½ cup at a time. It will thicken up very fast, keep on adding milk until you get the thickness you want. Reduce the temp to a low simmer.
Salt and pepper to taste, this is where you can add other spices, garlic, cumin, paprika, onions, etc.
Continue simmering for about 5 min; add more milk if it starts getting too thick.
Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.

(To learn more about Gizzmo the Super Kitty, check out her facebook page http://www.facebook.com/GizzmoTheGreat or read the animal article on her )


In loving memory of Baby

This post is dedicated to the loving memory of Baby one of Gizzmo’s siblings who crossed  the rainbow bridge May 2012.

We miss you Baby and hope to see you one day on the other side of the Bridge.

(here is the full length poem on the image)

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Author unknown…

(taken from http://petloss.com/rainbowbridge.htm)

Author’s Note:
I want to thank Gizzmo and her Dad for the taking time to answer my questions. All videos and pictures have been used with permission.

Meet Dottie


Meet Dottie

Who is Dottie?

She is a cat.

What makes Dottie special?

She is missing a part of her left ear and has nubs for back legs.

Dottie’s Story:

Dottie was found in a parking lot of a hospital where a friend of a friend worked. She was actually trapped by animal control and when they found out how injured she was and that she would probably be put down, he decided to take her. All they did for her was bring her to a vet who bandaged her “legs” and put her on antibiotics. She was under their care for about 3 weeks. I got her from them in the beginning of April because they couldn’t bring her home because of a dog that didn’t like cats. She is getting along GREAT with my other cats, its people who she shys away from. She is finally getting used to my daughter and husband after 2 months.

Where does she like to sleep?

Her favorite spot to lay is on one of my daughters old comforters, folded up and nice and squishy

An x-ray showing Dottie’s back legs

How is she doing now?

We are working with a few people right now to either get her some prosthetic legs or some sort of cart she she can be more mobile. She gets around fine right now but her nubs begin to get raw and infected if she uses them to much.

Where did the name Dottie come from?

She got the name Dottie from the little black spot on her cheek. Also my mom has a cat who has 2 black spots, 1 on her nose and 1 on her chin and I guess I stole the name from her!!

Is she a part of any rescue group?

Dottie is only 1 year old and she is my personal kitty so no rescue groups are involved…only me.

This is a $2500 – $3500 estimate for Dottie’s vet bills.

Where can people send something to her?

Monica Imundi, PO Box 233 Minneola Fl 34755.


Or my paypal @ email kittycat8@comcast.net

How did you get started with cats?

I worked for my first veterinarian in 1996. I was a client there and they asked me if I needed a job. When I started working there I quickly realized how many unwanted and uncared for cats there were in our area. I was hooked. It didnt’ take long and I was already up to 5..6…7…8 cats that would otherwise be euthanized if I didn’t take them. One of my favorites was a 20 year old siamese. His owners were traveling in a rv and decided he was to much trouble to take with them. They wanted him put to sleep. Besides being thin, there was nothing wrong with him. I conviently forgot to have them sign the paperwork before leaving..Well the vet didn’t have the heart either to put him down and told me If he just happens to disappear from the clinic tonight..I won’t know what happened. So I took him home and he lived with us for another year before passing away. After that, I just realized how evil people could be and how if a animal was an inconvience that it wasn’t really a big deal to just want to euthanize them or leave them somewhere.

UPDATE : Miss Dottie is up for the Luckiest Pet Contest by Petfinder click here to vote for her.

Author’s Note: I would like to thank Miss Dottie’s mom and Miss Dottie herself for answering the interview questions. Thank you all so much. Pictures were used with permission. 

Help them find homes! Meet Missy, Cory & Calvin


This isn’t a typical animal article as I wanted to help find these beautiful healthy kittens homes.

Meet Missy, Cory & Calvin.

Who are they? Wonderful little white kittens named Missy, Cory & Calvin.


He is one of a litter of five born to a healthy feral mama (who has now been spayed :). They were rescued during a TNR effort. Our best guess is that he was born around March 19, 2012.

He is a regal looking, long, lean kitty machine. He is very timid about being held but unlike many timid cats, Calvin does not hide & will entertain you for hours playing with another cat. In fact, he should go to a home with other pets because he adores other cats & is a very kindhearted boy. He would probably do fine with a cat friendly dog, too. He will need someone that has the patience to let him adjust to a new environment at his own pace,
He has made leaps & bounds in the short time he has been here.
These kittens did not know how to jump from place to place & have already become little monkeys.

He uses the scratching post well so we ask that his claws be left intact. He also uses the litter box without fail. We also ask he be an indoor only cat.

Calvin has been vaccinated, deflead, wormed & will be neutered before he goes to his new home (he has an appointment scheduled for 6/14).


Cory is one of a litter of five born to a feral mama. They were rescued during our TNR effort. Our best guess is that they were born sometime around March 19, 2012.

He is busy, talkative & friendly. He starts purring before he is even petted.
He does well with other cats and we believe he would also do well with a cat friendly dog so he should go into a home with at least one other pet. He needs to be an indoor only cat please.
He uses the scratching post well so we ask his claws remain intact & he uses the litter box without fail.

He has been vaccinated, wormed & deflead & will be neutered before going with his new family. We are not a rescue so do not have a set adoption fee but a reasonable donation towards his care would be nice.

They were born to a feral mother who was captured, spayed and released. These little ones where taken in to be raised indoors they are now at a foster home where there are a lot of cats already and need to find more permanent quarters.


UPDATE : 6/21/12

Missy has been adopted by a wonderful lady in PA. She arrived there last night. Thank you all for spreading the word about this wonderful girl. Let’s get her brothers into homes. 

This pretty girl was born to a feral mama somewhere around March 19, 2012. She is one of a litter of five that was rescued during a  TNR effort.

She is petite, dainty & sweet. She is also very, very timid. She purrs nicely once picked up but she will need someone patient to give her the time she needs to adapt to a new situation. A quiet home is preferred.

She does well with other gentle animals so it would be nice if she could go into a home with another gentle pet. She needs to be an indoor only pet please.
She uses the scratching post well so we ask her claws remain intact & she uses the litter box without fail.

She has been vaccinated, wormed & deflead & will be spayed before going with her new family.

To sum up:

Three kittens need homes, born to a feral mama, they have been spayed/neutered, have their shots been dewormed, deflead and need to be placed in loving homes as they are in a foster home at the moment.

Missy is a bit shy and will need reassurance.

Cody is a people cat

Calvin is a cat’s cat.

We ask that they are not declawed, kept indoors and please consider making a donation towards their adoption as they already have their shots and respective surgeries for spay/neuter.

Where are they located:

The kittens are currently in Akron, Ohio but the foster moms feel a good home is a good home no matter where that is. Don’t let distance deter you from, transportation arrangements can be made. Please see contact information below. If you are not able to take them into your house, please consider sending a donation towards their care or transportation, see below for details.

Who to contact about adopting them (please serious inquiries only!) :

Contact Diane at catkeypurr@yahoo.com or

Virginia at mommyisblessed@gmail.com.

How to donate to their care/possible adoption/and other expenses (food/litter/toys, etc):

Attn: Diane Erdelyi
Pet Guards Clinic
4040 State Rd.
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44223


All three kitten have their own facebook pages with constant updates, so take a look, share and try to get these guys in a furever home.

Calvin’s  Facebook page


Cory’s Facebook page


Missy’s Facebook page


Author’s Note:

First and foremost I want to sincerely thank Miss Virginia & Miss Diane for their continuous efforts in trying to find these little ones a home, not to mention all the time and effort to get them socialized, cared for and feeling confident with humans. Their dedication to the care of these little ones is a great example of how everyone can make a difference in the lives of not only animals but of other human beings.  
Photos and information taken with permission. 

Meet Brother the Tailless Wonder

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Meet Brother the Tailless Wonder

Who is Brother?

Brother is a cat.

What makes Brother so special?

Brother has Manx Syndrome which is a loosely used term. It’s basically any kind of deformity in the vertebrae that causes neurological damage that makes elimination difficult. (Manx Syndrome is also associated with mega colon that has not been an issue for him) Brother’s spine stops at his hips, because of this he has no feeling in the lower part of his one leg.  Also his body doesn’t get the signal that he has too pee so not only does he form crystals, but he does not pee well on his own.
Urinary tract blockages are not all that uncommon for male cats. Cats that eat a mostly dry food diet are much more likely to form the crystals in their bladders that cause the problems. (A cat’s natural diet is nowhere near the carb loaded, dry stuff most folks feed their cats!) Once blocked, a cat has about 24 hours at the most to receive life saving veterinary intervention.
Once unblocked normally a change in diet and increased water intake will often solve the problem,but not for Brother. It became blocked again so,  he was started on a prescription food designed to prevent the formation of the crystals. That did not work well enough so eventually he had to have what is called PU surgery (which basically amounts to a penis removal) when he was four years old  which widened the opening to his urethra. The surgery was a success but,  his body still produces the crystals and every once in awhile we still have a scare.Other than needing to have his bladder expressed twice a day he lives like any other cat. He handles this like a trooper & comes to the utility sink when he is called. He is on a Rx food, too.

What was he like as a kitten?

When Brother was a kitten he was all eyes & long gangly back legs. At first things seemed fine but then he started sort of dragging the one back leg. The paw would turn over so he was dragging the top of it on the floor. It did not take long for it to rub itself raw. The doctor at the clinic recommended amputating the leg but I just couldn’t do that since he was using it. Thus began a series of homemade trial & error splints to try to keep the paw pad down. It took months but it worked very well! His foot looks different than the other & his leg does not have near the muscle mass but he still uses it, although I have to say that he’s a little clumsier than most cats.
I started realizing he had bladder issues one day while he was laying on me and peed on me in his sleep. When I started checking him out regularly I realized his bladder would fill up but he had no urge to pee so he would either dribble while he was awake or fully pee in his sleep. At that time he was still a foster I planned on taking back to the shelter so, for the most part, he & his sibs were kept in a separate area of the house or I would have noticed the bladder issue sooner. Adding another cat to the mix was definitely not part of the plan and I had made a point of not naming them.

Where does he like to sleep?

He sleeps wherever he happens to land- we have an assortment of boxes, beds & a big cat tree.
Right now he is sound asleep in the middle of the couch. He especially enjoys sitting on my knee & sprawls out on my hip when I sleep on my side.

How did you get involved with Brother?

He was brought into the clinic where I worked along with his three sisters by a woman that had found them under a shed. There was another tailless kitten & two that had normal kitty tails. They were only about 4 weeks old so I took them home that evening to foster them till they were big enough to be adopted from the shelter that is associated with the clinic.

Where did the name Brother come from?

Since he was the only boy, he got referred to as “the brother” & that’s how he got his name. I’d say by the time he was 8 weeks or so I had realized he was going to be a keeper, though. Somehow I always managed to end up with the special kids 🙂 Brother has lived with as many as 12 cats & 3 dogs at a time & has gotten along well with every one of them. He’s an easygoing, non confrontational kind of guy.

Anything else special about Brother?

 He does not meow often but will grunt like a toddler to get your attention and he loves (demands to be) to be carried over my shoulder. He likes to play fetch and has learned to jump into my arms from the table upon request. When my granddaughter was younger (she’s 13 now) she used to put him in a box and push and drag him all over the house. He’d just sit in the box and watch the world go by. If you Google Manx it describes Brother with the exception of being vocal. He’s a little guy- somewhere between 8 & 9 lbs.
Brother waiting for a treat to emerge from under the fridge

Does Brother need any type of therapy to correct his walk?

No, he has not been to therapy to correct his walk. I think he probably walks as well as he can given his limitations. I would, however, like to take him to a veterinary acupuncturist because he has developed an occasional twitch in the groin/ thigh area of his bum leg. The price of the visits & the gas for the 40 minute drive do not allow for it right now though.

What shelter/rescue does he belong to?

The shelter Brother is from is Pet Guards shelter. They have a Facebook page, Pet Guards Angels, & that has an Amazon wish list on it. Their wish is for fun things to enrich their lives
Amazon Wishlist for Pet Guards.

In case the link for Pet Guard’s Amazon list doesn’t work, or for those that don’t like to do shopping on Amazon, here is an itemized list: 

  • Bergan Turbo Scratcher Replacement Pads
  • Petsport Giant Tuff Ball
  • KONG Extreme Dog Toy, large, Black
  • Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy
  • Da Bird Cat Toy – Easy Store – 2 Part Pole
  • 3 Pack of Da Bird Guinea Feather Refills
  • K&H Thermo-Kitty Fashion Splash Heated Cat Mat
  • Diatomacesous Earth Food Grade 50 lbs
  • New 72″ The Siamese Cat Nap TM Cat Tree
  • Kakadu Pet Coarse Stainless Steel Dog or Cat Comb
  • Safari Cat Sheeding Comb, Wood Handle
  • Tropiclean Pet Tangle Remover Spray, 16 ounce
  • Fat Cat Scratchy mat Doorknob Hanger for Cats with Catnip
  • Slumber Pet Thermal Cat Mat
  • Ethical Atomic Bouncing Ball Cat Toy, 2- Piece
  • Da Bird Super Pack
  • PETCO Mega Rectangular Litter Box
  • Yeowww! 100% Organic Catnip Toy, Yellow Banana 3 pack
  • 52″ Beige Cat Tree Condo Scratcher
  • Wahl 9281-210 Pet-pro Kit 13 Piece Pet Grooming Kit
  • Le Salon Essentials Cat Mat Breaker
  • Oster CryogenX Professional Animal Clipper Blade size # 40
  • Ultimate Touch Instant Mat & Tangle Removal
  • Petlinks Scratchers Welcome Catnip Enchanced Scratch mat
  • Cosmic Alpine Scracther
  • SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post
  • Small Ceramic Bowls
 just copy and paste the item you are looking for into any search engine (i.e.: Google or Yahoo) and it will generate a picture of the item, most of these items can be found at pet specialty stores such as Petsmart , Petco and Petsupermarket. Some of the toys can be found at Walmart, Target or any supermarket. The ceramic bowls are very much in need as each cat/kitten gets their own dish at mealtimes) 

Where can donations be sent to if someone would like to donate to Pet Guard?

Items can be send to:

Pet Guards Shelter c/o Diane
950 Hardy Rd.
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44223

Items for Brother  can be sent to:

Brother Erdelyi
1095 Pitkin Ave.
Akron, Ohio 44310
Brother and Wolfie

Does Brother have any siblings?

We have 6 other cats in the house ranging from 20 to 6 years old. Brother is 7 now.

Sukie turned 20 in March. She’s a petite girl that I have had since she was 12 when she came into the clinic to have a badly mangled leg removed. I offered her a home when I realized she  would continue to live outside due to “litterbox issues”. (She was declawed to boot!) She has not pottied outside the box in all those years! She’s a cantankerous old princess who really does not care for the other cats but she adores my boyfriend. Her biggest health issue is the arthritis that has been caused by the way her body twists when she walks because of the combination of the front leg that is missing + being declawed. (Cats are designed to walk on their toes. Declawing removes the tips of the toes they were meant to walk on & they walk unnaturally.) I had another kitty that had cerebellar hypoplasia (she lived to be 13) that she would curl up with sometimes but now, between Wolfie picking at her & her arthritis making her uncomfortable she’s decided she’d just as soon spend most of her time in the bedroom in a heated bed.

Tiger was adopted while I was at the humane society. He’s 16 now. He was a screeching 5 week old kitten that had been abandoned in a park. We were so full that year that we had cats housed in dog cages stacked in the barn. He was my first foster failure. He was always a paternal guy & greeted every new creature that entered the house. He showed the cats the ropes & taught puppies good manners by bopping them on the head when they got too rough. His kidneys are starting to fail & he has arthritis now but he still has feisty moments. He’s Daddy’s boy.

Ozzy is almost 14. He had chronic upper respiratory infections as a kitten & was such a sweet boy that each time he would get sick someone would take him home to foster him. Once he got settled in here permanently the URI’s stopped. Maybe stress related? He’s very timid with most people but he’s friends with all the cats & adored the dogs. He’s a very gentle soul who’s been struggling with hyperthyroidism. So far he’s ahead 🙂 Foster failure.

Harry is 10. He belonged to a truly crazy cat lady that was always bringing cats in to be treated for diarrhea. She would go to the pound, get big furry cats & breed them & she always smelled faintly of cat pee. Anyways, she insisted on giving her cats cow’s milk even though she had been told repeatedly not to. When she brought Harry in he had had diarrhea so badly and for so long that his rectum was full of maggots. He was about 3 months old. I took him and refused to give him back.  🙂 Harry was not supposed to stay. The intention was to find him another home so we called him “the hairy guy”. He is painfully timid with anyone outside of the immediately family. No one else ever sees him. He’s a big guy that looks like a Norwegian Forest Cat. He had some issues with bladder crystals when he was younger but nothing recently.

Skeeter is 8 and was another foster failure. He came into the shelter with a 3 sisters at about 9 weeks old & he had terrible diarrhea. He did not completely get over it till he was about 4 months old so he spent a lot more time than I would have liked caged when he was little so as not to expose all the others to whatever was causing it. Years later he started showing mild neurological symptoms & at that point he tested positive for toxoplasmosis. My guess is that he had it the entire time but didn’t have any symptoms. The proper antibiotic straightened him right up. He is hard to read. He gets very cuddly once in awhile but for the most part prefers to do his own thing. He & Wolfie are Best Friends & bully buddies. He picks on Harry and Wolfie picks at Sue if given the chance.

Wolfie, who’s 6, came along after I knew that I could not add any more pets. I let one of the dogs outside and then heard screeching and a commotion. When I got out there she had a kitten that did not even have his eyes open & was cleaning him up. He has not shut up since. He’s a big handsome, athletic boy now that has asthma and has had some social issues but is finally starting to settle down. He takes an antihistamine twice daily and  a steroid and/or bronchodilator as needed. Occasionally he has to be caged so he will stay still to have the vaporizer run for him. He’s very much a mama’s boy. He is quite the social butterfly and very tolerant of my grandson.

 Last but not least, what advice would you give to someone who wants to get involved with animal care?

Call your local shelter & ask if they know of anyone involved in TRN (trap/ neuter/ return) in your area & if so, offer your help. One of the best ways to cut down on unwanted litters is to TNR stray & feral cats in your area.
The best way to get involved with animals and animal care is to volunteer. Help is always needed and there are a multitude of ways folks can help.Besides the obvious walking dogs, socializing cats & fostering, help is always needed doing laundry, organizing fundraisers, crocheting blankets.
For someone handy, many organizations (especially in the south) house dogs outside and need dog houses built. Every shelter can use Kuranda type dog beds to keep the dogs off of the concrete. Most can use cat trees & they can be made of wood or PVC pipe.
Grant writing would be great for someone with technical writing skills, data entry, the list goes on and on.
Check with your local shelter/humane society. Most of them have facebook or websites that you can go to and view the needed lists or give them a call, they will always take donations some of which are tax deductible. 

Other Links

http://www.facebook.com/AbandonedCatsNortheastOhio – a wonderful group that is trying to find homes for kittens/cats abandoned on the Northeast Ohio area. If you are in that area please visit this page, if you’re not please visit anyways.
http://undergroundrailroadrescuedkittynetwork.wordpress.com/ – a blog about the Underground Railroad Rescued Kitty Network (URRKN)  they assist in transporting cats from a shelter to their furever homes. This group is nationwide and run solely by volunteers, the blog chronicles their stories.
http://www.facebook.com/groups/152819051482832/ – The URRKN group facebook page, there you and read the disclosure if you are interested in assisting in transporting cats to their furever homes.
and Brother’s very own facebook page
Author’s Note: 
I would like to express my sincerest thanks to Miss Diane (and Brother and all his siblings) for answering patiently answering all my questions and telling me about URRKN which is a wonderful network of volunteers who transport cats to their furever homes. Thank you so very much.
All photos have been used with permission. 

If you know of an animal that you would like to see featured on Animal Articles please email me at yornma@yahoo.com

Meet Corky the Cradle Cat


Meet Corky the Cradle Cat

Who is Corky?

Corky is a cat taken in by Cat’s Cradle after they recieved a call from the local shelter saying they had a cat that was dragging his legs behind him.

How was he found?

March 20th, 2012 CATS Cradle Shelter rescued a beautiful 7 month old kitten from the Moorhead Pound. We were told by the staff at the pound that he was found dragging himself down a sidewalk on Main Avenue in Moorhead. The moment that we saw him we knew that there was something familiar about him. Just one month prior to this we had received a phone call from a young woman who claimed to have rescued a 6 month old kitten that matches Corkys description exactly from a neglectful situation, this kitten had “backwards and crisscrossed legs” to quote her. We had agreed to meet the woman at 10AM the next morning to take this kitten in. We immediately made arrangements for radiographs at NDSU. Once the arrangements were made with NDSU a return call was made to the woman to confirm our 10am appointment for the next day. Well, she never showed up, we repeatedly called her to find out if there was a problem, but she never answered and never returned any of our messages. After days of frustration at not being able to contact this woman, we had to let it go, and hope that this woman would do the right thing by this kitten and provide for him.

We later got the call from the pound. The only thing that needs to be said here is once we saw him, we instinctively KNEW that this was our guy from the phone call a month earlier. What a relief, we finally had him…but how did he end up in the pound? We still do not have that answer, as I went back into our phone log and called the young womans number who originally called us, and her number was no longer in use. I guess that is a question we may never know the answer to. The only thing we do know for sure is that Corky would have been euthanized if left in the pound. Once we took custody of him he was transported immediately to NDSU for the radiographs, and examined by the staff veterinarians.

What makes him so special?

After a search for a qualified vet they found Dr. Burchill who performed the Bilateral Arthrodesis of the Tarsus on Thursday, April 5th, 2012. The following Monday there were some issues with swelling and he had to have a procedure to release fluid from his paws and legs. His left leg had some constriction which caused some nerve damage and the incision opened which needed a skin graft with ACell, a porcine product.

Ultimately the graft did not take due to necrosis and the difficult decision had to be made to amputate the troublesome leg which was done on Thursday April 26th three weeks to the day from his original surgery. Corky was hospitalized from April 5th until April 30th, the majority of that time was spent on various types of therapy to try and save that left leg.

Here is a video of him walking not long after his leg was amputated.


How common is his condition?

Corky’s condition is not very common in cats his age, usually kittens born with this are euthanized and never make it to adulthood. There is really no research that we have been able to find on the condition in cats. The condition Corky had not only affected his tendons, but also affected his bones, he was also a Bilateral Cryptochid, so his was a congenital defect we believe most likely caused by overbreeding or inbreeding.

Will the person(s) who abandoned him face charges?

There are strange circumstances surrounding his being found dragging himself down a sidewalk on Main Avenue. About a month prior to us getting Corky from the pound we received a phone call from a young woman who claimed to have rescued a cat that matched Corky’s description from “a guy who was neglecting him and not treating him right”, she asked if we could take this special needs kitten in, I told her “yes” and set up a 10am appointment for her to deliver the kitten to our shelter the next morning. We immediately made arrangements for radio graphs and an exam by the Veterinarians at North Dakota State University. The next day came and the lady was a no show. After numerous attempts to reach the woman, several messages that went unanswered, we had to accept the fact that she was not bringing the kitten to us. One month later we received the call from the Moorhead Pound, they had something they needed us to see. We took one look at Corky and KNEW it was our kitten from that phone call a month earlier. I went back to the office after bringing Corky to NDSU and looked up my old messages, found the number of the lady who call and made an attempt to call her. Her number had been disconnected.

Because of the series of events, we are not sure where the person(s) are who last had custody of Corky before he ended up on the street, and therefor there would be no way to press charges.

How long did the vet say it could possibly take before Corky is able to use his back leg and be able to walk?

We have always known that Corky’s recovery would take time, we estimated at least 6 months. Corky is getting a convertible cart to help build core strength and muscle in his hind quarters. He will start out with short periods of time in the cart and the amount of time will be adjusted under the supervision of his surgeon, Dr. Dan Burchill of Casselton Veterinary Services.

Corky getting measured for his cart.

Why the name Corky, does it have to do with his corkscrew legs?

It absolutely has to do with his “Cork”screw legs. When we first got him the way his legs twisted and crisscrossed, it was just an automatic reflex to call him Corky. One of our directors loves the name Corky and had been asking me for months, ‘how about this one…can we name this one Corky”, I kept saying, nope…that name doesn’t fit. When I saw this kitten I said, “Carol…THERE’S your Corky”, She looked at me with the most endearing smile and it has been Corky ever since. Her love for that name just had to go to a special cat, and with his legs, no one could fit the name better.

Does Corky have a favorite place to sleep?

Besides on my bed, he likes to sleep in his favorite domed bed in his room. Because I have stairs, I have a “Corky Zone” in my home where he has everything he needs to stay safe if I have to leave him home for awhile.

Can corky eat dry food or does he eat wet food?

Corky eats both dry food and wet food. When he eats his dry food he tosses it up and catches it in his mouth, he is a pretty entertaining little guy.

What are some of Corky’s favorite toys?

Click to see Corky playing with a laser.


He loves the spinner toys, with the balls that go round and round, he also loves the big hanging sisel rope that hangs fron the second level of the cat tree. He lays on the bottom level and plays with it until one of the other cats comes to play box with him….his other favorite toy is of course Bella’s tail and Sadie’s paw.

Is Corky like a normal cat save for his legs?

With the exception of his mobility style being different, Corky is very much a “Cat”, he loves looking out the window at the birds, his ears perk up when he hears them chirping or any other strange sound, when he gets to playing there is not stopping him, and he will play until he is exhausted, he still is not too fond of the vacuum cleaning, and wants to hide under the chair when he hears that turn on, but he will have to learn to adjust to it, and I have no doubt that he will. He has proven to be very resilient and seems to able to take whatever comes next without much problem.

How is Corky doing as of today?

Corky is doing great! He is getting along wonderful (for the most part) with his new fur siblings, he hasbonded quite closely with a couple of them, he is eating, drinking, playing, using the litter box and maintaining his weight.

The Corkymobile this cart will help him use his right rear leg.

What supplies/materials are needed at Cat’s Cradle (such as blankets, food bowls, food, etc) that people can send in to help the other cats?

We love “DaBird”, it is one of our cats favorite toys,

Da Bird cat toy, basically a wand with some feathers at the end of it.

We also use Purina Indoor Complete Cat food in the blue bag, canned pate Friskies wet food is great for evening treats. We have a CATS Cradle Shelter Wish list on Amazon.com with other beds and toys we use. We can always use clean blankets that can be cut down and sewn into smaller ones for the Kuranda beds, fleece is always nice and washes well.

How to help Corky and other cats at Cat’s Cradle:

There are a few ways to donate, there is a “Corky’s LEGacy” Chip in on our website www.catscradleshelter.org on both the Cats Cradle Shelter Facebook page AND the Corky The Cradle Cat Facebook page or donations can be mailed at the address below.

CATS Cradle Shelter
9 – Ninth Street South
Fargo, ND 58103.

If a person would like to make a reoccuring monthly donation that can be done on our website http://www.catscradleshelter.org under the “Donations” link.

Other articles about Corky:










Author’s Note:

I want to thank Gail for her patience in answering my many questions and for her dedication to Corky’s care as well as all those who have donated to Corky’s medical care, the vets and vet techs involved with his care. Photos & videos used with permission.
There are many many more articles about Corky and his condition, I just gave a sampling of them.

If you know of an animal others should know about, let me know. I would love to do an animal article on them.