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Location: Palm Harbor, Florida, USA
Due to a recent rescue of a darling little Himalayan with more problems than a 80 year old man on life support, I’ve decided to start up a blog to document his struggle through all of the challenges he’s faced. The only problem, I have no idea where to start and how to get readers! I was hoping that maybe you could help.
Now, some background information: our little kitty, Melvin, came to us by way of Craigslist from an accidental litter between two purebred Himalayans. His previous owner was caring, but somewhat unaware of all the underlying problems her two cats had. When we got him, he was very sleepy, and slept around 22 hours a day. He was also extremely tiny. We figured that he was drowsy due to how tiny he was and thought nothing of it. But one thing I did notice was that he didn’t eat nearly enough for a kitten that had been “weaned”.
I tried to feed him as much as possible, even resorted to a bottle, but he still only took down about a tablespoon a day. Then the diarrhea hit. As soon as that came along, we rushed him to the vet.
The emergency vet took one look at him and said “abandoned kitten?” thinking that he was younger than he is. I told her that he was actually two months old and she was shocked. Melvin weighed only nine ounces on that day. He had severe emaciation and dehydration and on top of that, a terrible ear infection. He was given a dextrose solution as well as an injection directly into his skin to aid with the dehydration and then fed Science Diet A/D. The vet gave us the food, some syringes and sent us on our way. Our instructions were to give him 40 to 60 ccs a day. That wasn’t going to happen. He could only get down about half of that, so he returned to the vet.
Through some research and a few tests, the vet came to the conclusion that our little Melvin has dwarfism! Now, this is the same gene that causes “teacup” Persians to be so small. It is NOT something that should be bred! Not only that, his mother rejected him and his previous owner had no clue that Melvin was sneaking food from her dish to stay alive. Melvin is only going to get to be about two to three pounds when completely grown, and all the while, he is going to have to be monitored and cared for due to the many intestinal problems he may have. All this PLUS the constant requirements of grooming he is going to need. And on top of that, he has crossbite AND overbite, so he’ll need to have dental visits often.
Anyways, he’s getting better. He no longer sleeps all day, in fact, he’s a wild little guy and runs rampant through the house. Of all of our cats, he’s the most easily entertained.
I want this blog as a personal account to the dangers of owning anything “teacup”. That cats should be bred for health, not looks. Also, Melvin is such a fighter, he deserves to be shared with the world. Kind of like his own personal memoir, but written by me. Lol
Here’s him after a much needed bath (he came to us completely covered in dried milk and mats):
And here he is after he was brushed and blowdried out.
Also: Melvin is up to 12 ounces, now. His tummy stays full and he eats like a pig. He can finally eat on his own and is doing great with the litter box. All in all, he’s becoming an amazing little kitten.