12 Saves of Christmas #3: Kahlo
Oftentimes FieldHaven collaborates with other organizations to give cats the best chance at life. When they have fewer resources, and we can help, we do.
Kahlo was one of our collaborations with Bradshaw Animal Shelter. It was mid-summer when she arrived as a tiny white kitten. She appeared to have a neurological condition and couldn’t stand or walk—but tests were inconclusive. Knowing we had the resources to continue testing (and treat for various medical needs), she was transferred to FieldHaven. She went into foster care with Dallas, one of our managers, and though Dallas encouraged Kahlo to get stronger and fight, one day, things took a turn for the worse.
Kahlo lost her appetite, had no energy, and appeared to give up. Our instinct from the beginning had been FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis), especially given the neurological condition, so, we began treatment for it. Within an hour she was eating and more active!
We talk about FIP a lot because we see it a lot. Treating it is not easy, quick, or cheap. It’s 84 days of daily injections, then 84 days of observation before one can be declared cured. Kahlo’s treatment was extended to almost 100 days.
During this time, we’ve noticed nearly every symptom improve, except for her wobbly walk. We spoke to our trusted veterinary team, and after more tests, we diagnosed Kahlo with Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH), a condition that affects her balance and makes her wobble when she walks. We aren’t sure if it’s congenital or if the FIP permanently damaged the cerebellum, but what we do know is that she is very happy, healthy, and growing! She’s 45 days into her FIP observation, and while we’ve tried things like a wheelchair to help her get around, she doesn’t want it. She loves to roll and flop around. She has a friend, Kadence, who also has CH, and the two of them romp and wrestle just like any other kitten!
Kahlo wants everyone to know that even though she can’t fully stand, she can still be a regal model. She’s thankful for an organization that doesn’t give up on kittens like her, just because she’s different than the norm. She’s learning how to live a life that is normal for her so that she can be ready for a future home. She’s a warrior and represents everything we stand for.
We’re in the season of giving and love, and as we show that to Kahlo, we ask that you show that to us. Donating to FieldHaven this holiday will allow us to treat everyone with the same perseverance we did—and are still doing—with Kahlo. From our kitten-filled homes to yours, happy holidays, and thank you for giving Kahlo the chance to survive.
P.S. CH is a disorder found in cats that affects the cerebellum and is responsible for fine motor skills and coordination. It’s not progressive or contagious. Symptoms appear at birth although they may not be noticed until the kitten starts walking. It varies from cat to cat from mild, to moderate, to severe. Cats with CH can live a normal and happy life!
P.P.S If you would like to know more about FIP, check out our FIP Stars program.