Therese: Kitten with Feline Dwarfism

Therese as kitten

In April of 2013 I had a kitten born that was later diagnosed with feline dwarfism— the same condition the famous Grumpy Cat had. I named the kitten Therese after the saint of the ‘Little Way’ which seemed appropriate at the time.

Like many special-needs kittens, Therese needed a lot of attention and care. When very young, she lost her appetite and the vet recommended I feed her meat baby food. I did, and found that all the other cats were willing to lick that baby food right out of Therese’s mouth, so I had to go into the bathroom and close the door to feed her. She was not eager for the food, but once I put it into her mouth with a plastic spoon, she would eat it. Sometimes after a few mouthfuls she would realize that was good food and lick it up without me putting it in her mouth.

Therese also needed to be bathed from time to time. She did not enjoy that at all. But because of her disability she seemed to be unable to keep herself clean enough, and her mom was willing to delegate the kitten care to me.

I noticed when Therese grew older that she had two sets of eyeteeth. I took her to the vet and the vet said she had baby teeth and adult teeth at the same time. She also diagnosed the feline dwarfism.

During her lifetime Therese demanded a lot of attention daily. I always had to be looking out for her and caring for her. So when she passed away before her first birthday, I missed her a lot since I kept thinking I had to look for her and tend to her before I remembered she was God’s problem now.

During her last weeks, Therese again had problems with her appetite and I again had to spoon baby food into her mouth. On her last day, I took her in the bathroom for her second feeding and found that the baby food from the first daily feeding was still in her mouth. I took that to mean her systems were shutting down, and I left her alone as far as force-feeding went.

Therese was not the perfect cat to be a barn cat, as she needed so much care and I doubt she could have gotten around the barn loft like a normal cat could. But she was a sweet little thing, and I’m glad I knew her.

A Saturday is Caturday post.

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