Cute Feline Dancer Finds Loving Forever Family Following Rescue from a Feral Cat Community

We have a soft spot for wobbly cats, as our love for them inspired us to create Meow As Fluff after our CH cat, Mittens, passed away. After three years of mourning, we decided to adopt another feline with cerebellar hypoplasia, which is when we came across Keanu, our newest wobbly kitty. When we stumbled upon Disco through social media, we were immediately reminded of Keanu’s spirit, not just because she’s fluffy and has CH, but also due to her unwavering determination and self-reliance.

After reaching out to her owner, Emily, we learned about Disco’s incredible story. In November 2021, Emily adopted Disco, who had survived as part of a feral barn community with over 200 other cats. We thoroughly enjoyed hearing about Disco’s journey and witnessing her impressive dance moves, and we hope you will too! So, how did we come across Disco? Let us tell you all about it.

fluffy calico rescue cat with cerebellar hypoplasia

Emily shared the heartwarming story of Disco, a six-month-old kitten who was discovered in a feral barn colony of 200 cats. Little Orphans Animal Rescue in Montello, WI took her in as an indoor cat since she had cerebellar hypoplasia and a grade IV heart murmur, which made her survival outdoors challenging. Emily had initially gone to the shelter to adopt a different cat with mild CH but fell in love with Disco, who followed her around while wobbling. She decided that Disco needed her more than the other cat since he could manage without any special needs.

MAF:
Do you know how she got her name?

E:
When I was planning to visit a shelter that had cats with cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), I started brainstorming potential names. I even asked my biology lab partners for suggestions on what to call a cat that wobbled. Bob and Disco were among the ideas that came up, but I instantly gravitated towards Disco because of their signature moves. So, I went out and purchased a name tag for Disco before even meeting them, certain that they would be the one.

MAF: What inspired you to adopt a cat with special needs?

E: As someone studying to become a veterinarian and being disabled myself, I have always felt a strong connection with animals that have disabilities. At home, I already have five healthy cats, three dogs, and a bird. Initially, I was considering adopting an elderly cat, but given the busy nature of my household, I was concerned about how well it would adjust. Instead, I decided to adopt a younger cat with special needs as I knew it would be less likely to be adopted by someone else.

fluffy calico rescue cat with cerebellar hypoplasia

Hey there! So, I was chatting with MAF and they were curious about cerebellar hypoplasia and how it impacts cats like Disco. Essentially, cerebellar hypoplasia is a condition where the cerebellum, which controls motor functions, doesn’t fully develop before birth. As a result, animals with CH may experience symptoms like ataxia, intention tremors, pecking when they eat, and having wider gaits. Hope that helps clarify things a bit!

There are varying degrees of the condition, and Disco is experiencing a moderate case of CH. She displays all the usual signs, including shakiness while walking and trembling when concentrating.

In your opinion, what are some of the common misunderstandings that people have about cats affected by cerebellar hypoplasia?

fluffy calico rescue cat with cerebellar hypoplasia

According to @dancingcatdisco on Instagram, there is a common misconception that cerebellar hypoplasia is a painful condition that reduces the lifespan of cats. However, this is untrue as CH is not painful and does not shorten their life span. Like any other cat, a cat with CH receives regular check-ups from a veterinarian. This groovy girl proves that CH does not stop her from enjoying life.

fluffy calico rescue cat with cerebellar hypoplasia

Possible paraphrased content:

When you have a cat with cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), like my Disco, you need to adapt your home to make it more accessible and safe for her. We have made some changes, such as adding carpets all over the place to help her walk better and putting some steps for her to jump onto the beds. We also use potty pads for her because she can’t stand up properly without wobbling and falling down. Although this means that we have to deal with some messy accidents now and then, we love Disco just the way she is and try to give her the best care possible.

fluffy calico rescue cat with cerebellar hypoplasia

Can you share some insights on special needs cats that you think should be more widely known?

fluffy calico rescue cat with cerebellar hypoplasia

It would be great if people understood that cats with special needs aren’t necessarily unhappy just because they don’t look like regular cats. I’ve had many folks suggest that I should put my cat down because she has a condition that makes her different. However, while certain disabilities can cause discomfort, Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH) doesn’t always affect their quality of life. As long as you can provide them with the care they need, having a disabled cat can be incredibly fulfilling for both you and your pet.

MAF:
What are some of Disco’s preferred pastimes?
E: Disco adores yellow Nerf balls, picking them up and carrying them around while emitting an unusual yowling noise. She also enjoys clutching bubble mailers. Her most beloved activity is undoubtedly venturing outside to explore or visiting the pet store. Additionally, she is a seasoned ham-eating aficionado.

MAF:
In what way does she hold importance in your life?
E:
Disco holds a special place in my heart as if she were my own daughter. Although she may face challenges, her determination and self-assurance help her overcome them. It feels as though our paths were destined to cross, and I am grateful for our connection.

fluffy calico rescue cat with cerebellar hypoplasia

The picture posted by @dancingcatdisco on Instagram caught my attention. It’s a unique image that stands out from the rest.

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