Cat With Brain Disorder Comforts Disabled Kittens At The Shelter

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Derecho was a tiny kitten of seven weeks old when he arrived at the Friends of Felines Rescue Center (FFRC) in 2012 and they decided to name him after the weather front that hit Ohio at that time.

 

 

The kitten was suffering from Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH), a neurological disease that causes imbalance in cats, where they bob their heads, fall over easily and are incapable of walking in a straight line. They have to lift their paws up really high to walk steadily.

 

cat-CH-derecho-ohio-7Source: Mike Franks/YouTube

 

He might wobble when he walks, but Derecho is no different to any other cat. In fact, he was named after the magnificent storm because he was so magnificent.

 

cat-CH-derecho-ohio-8Source: Mike Franks/YouTube

 

And he has been fighting against the odds ever since his arrival at FFRC. Jacci Moss of the shelter told the site Love Meow:

 

He has learned how to spread his legs for balance. He wobbles and wiggles, falls and goes on again—and through pure determination, gets to where he wants to go.

 

cat-CH-derecho-ohio-6Source: Mike Franks/YouTube

 

Derecho found his calling while living at the shelter, which is to nurture and comfort other kittens like him, who may not know exactly how to go through life with a brain disorder. Jacci continued:

 

He has bathed and tended to many kittens that needed him as their Uncle Derecho. He is the peace keeper [of the shelter]—such a very gentle spirited boy.

 

cat-CH-derecho-ohio-2Source: Friends Of Felines Rescue Center

 

The volunteers at the shelter have all been inspired by the cat's determination to live a 'normal' life despite his differences, and they took it upon themselves to care for other CH cats, giving them all the tools they need to overcome their disabilities, too:

 

Derecho is an example of what it takes to 'get on with living'. One thing that he has never done is to feel sorry for himself.

 

cat-CH-derecho-ohio-1Source: Friends Of Felines Rescue Center

 

But this brave cat does not only comfort lost kittens brought to the shelter. He also inspires people who need a boost. Jacci said:

 

I know one person that keeps a picture of Derecho close to her while she handles her chemo treatment, thinking – if Derecho can do what he does, then she too can be determined and get through her treatments.

 

cat-CH-derecho-ohio-4Source: Friends Of Felines Rescue Center

 

After almost four years at FFRC, Derecho is the resident cat who belongs to everyone and is the foster father of all the new kittens, until they get placed into forever homes. He runs the show and uplifts everyone with his playful antics and courage. He is so strong that climbing trees and toys is not even a problem anymore.

 

cat-CH-derecho-ohio-3Source: Friends Of Felines Rescue Center

 

Jacci and the team at FFRC would never let him go. He has taught them so much about living with a disability and how it need not be a problem unless one feels sorry for oneself:

 

We weathered the derecho storm and now our Derecho is our sunshine.

 

cat-CH-derecho-ohio-5Source: Friends Of Felines Rescue Center

 

Click here to see how you can help and support kittens at the Friends of Felines Rescue Center in Ohio.

 

If you live in England, you can visit the RSPCA, and if you live in the United States, you can visit the ASPCA to get more information about pets available for adoption.

 

Tens of thousands of dogs and cats end up in shelters each year, either due to neglect, abuse or abandonment. Consider adopting before you shop, and visit your local shelters before going to a breeder. Every dog and cat deserves a fair chance at a forever home.

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