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Location: Hertfordshire, England


We first got Kristen and her sister Nana when they were 10 weeks old from our neighbour across the street. On their first night in their new home, Kristen was instantly confident and behaved as if nothing had changed and we’d had her all along. Nana, on the other hand, went into the situation with much more caution and didn’t actually come out from under the sofa until the following morning.

Upon meeting our two oldest cats, Yuna (10) and Michael (2), both kittens were extremely excited at having new older ‘siblings’. However, their reactions were very different. Naturally, Yuna and Michael wanted them put in their place so they both received a gentle but warning smack in the face. Whilst Nana never approached them without their ‘permission’ again, Kristen was already climbing on top of them within seconds of her smack. No matter how many times the older cats would hit her, Kristen would get back on her feet and lopsidedly run up to them again through lack of awareness.

One day, Michael was at the top of the stairs when Nana came rushing up behind him. Out of sheer panic and shock, Michael pushed Nana down the stairs. Kristen then followed suit and ran behind Michael and quickly received the same fate. However, whilst Nana instinctively put her claws out to grab onto the top step so she didn’t fall down them, Kristen continued to fall the entire way down to the bottom. It demonstrated a real lack of basic instinct.

Another thing that became quite apparent was Kristen’s lack of spacial awareness. She would often fall down the stairs, run into things, bang her head and have quite nasty accidents.

As time has passed, Kristen has grown increasingly attached to me and I to her. We have formed a very strong bond over a very short period. During our time together, Kristen will lick my face until it’s raw to the extent that I have to physically move her or else my skin will start to peel. She has also developed a rather unhealthy obsession with trying to breast feed from me. She will physically climb under my top and desperately try to get to my breasts. When I remove her, she’ll suckle my chin instead.

She also suffers severe separation anxiety from me. Whenever I leave the room, Kristen will begin to cry out frantically and try to follow. Her cries are not that of a normal kitten but rather a squeak type sound that almost sounds as if she’s saying ‘ma, ma, ma.’ Her separation anxiety got so bad at one point that she would even have to sit on my lap whilst I’d go to the toilet.

Sometimes I wonder if Kristen has some form of ADHD. She will fidget 24/7 and can’t seem to settle even for a cuddle. Her excitement seems to overwhelm her and her purring becomes warped. In fact, one of her major quirks is her kneading. All cats and kittens knead, but Kris will knead as she walks to the extent that she ends up tripping over herself.

Kristen also quickly showed she’s unable to physically clean herself. Luckily, Nana seems to have caught on to that and will hold her down whilst cleaning the sleep from her eyes and giving her a general wash, all the while Kristen will struggle and make her little squeaks. Even Yuna, our old little rescue, takes an extremely maternal role over Kristen and will also take shifts in cleaning her and making sure she’s safe.

Over time, Nana has grown and matured. Whilst Nana has formed the appearance of a small young cat, little Kristen doesn’t look particularly different to when she first arrived.

Given all of these circumstances, I decided to google ‘special needs in cats’ out of sheer curiosity as both my mum and I had started to realise Kristen’s behaviour was not only abnormal but that she wasn’t going to change. After searching and searching for any possible conditions she might have, we finally came across ‘mental retardation.’ At first, I brushed it off believing Kristen couldn’t possibly be that severe but when I started to read the signs and symptoms, I realised this was our little girl in a nutshell.

After much debating, both my mum and I agreed to not take her to the vets for an official diagnosis. This is for several reasons. The most important being- it’s a waste of money because whether she does have this condition or she doesn’t, her life will be abundant with love, stimulation and excitement.

Despite not taking her to the vets, we have had her IQ done. She came out at a mere 61 deeming her completely mentally retarded.

Regardless of anything, little Kristen Stewart (named by my mother, the biggest Twi-hard I know) will always be our special little girl. I wouldn’t change her for the world.

To become a ‘fan’ of Kristen, you can ‘like’ her fan page here –

26 Responses to “Kristen”
  1. Profile photo of catlessinto catlessinto

    Pretty Kirsten, with one white cheek! Gorgeous tuxie girl, I love her long and silky coat. She looks very happy and healthy, hats off to you and her fur sibs for caring so much for this little special needs kitten! may you have many happy and loving years with her 🙂

  2. Profile photo of catlessinto catlessinto

    oops, Kristen, nor Kirsten! 🙂

  3. Profile photo of loislaine loislaine

    Kristen is an adorable kitty. I love her colors.

    I really got caught up in her story. Thank you for all you and your cats are doing to take care of Kristen. If you did take her to the Vet they might be able to give her something for her anxiety. I will be going to her Facebook page.^ ^

  4. Profile photo of loislaine loislaine

    I believe I have the POUNCE 🙂

  5. Profile photo of Arcalian Arcalian

    I kept waiting for this long story to end badly.

    Special needs FUZZ

    Trust and fear not FUZZ

  6. Profile photo of Lgoaliefan Lgoaliefan

    Thank you for showing this special little girl a lot of love.

  7. Profile photo of JerseyJoan JerseyJoan

    What a pretty wee special kitten. Thank you for sharing Kristen’s story and for giving her all the love she needs.

  8. Profile photo of vjrose vjrose

    Bless you for providing your special needs furgirl with extra love and understanding. I hope you all enjoy many happy, healthy years together.

  9. Profile photo of Bobosmom Bobosmom

    In humans, kids with Down’s syndrome are the sweetest and most affectionate children. Must be so with Kristen, too. Thank you and your fur babies for all loving her and realizing how vey special Kristen IS.

  10. Profile photo of caroline caroline

    Kristen is a sweetheart!
    It sounds like she has cerebellar hypoplasia ..

  11. Profile photo of Sailkitti Sailkitti

    Bless you for loving and caring for a special needs kitti. I think Kristen is beautiful.

  12. Profile photo of Bubz Mom Bubz Mom

    Franciscan prayer:

    Kristen, may you be blessed in the name of the Holy One who created you, and may you and your humans enjoy life together and care for one another in peace.

    Oh, BTW – my Jamie likes to sit on my lap in the loo, tried to suckle everything for a couple months and follows me everywhere like a dog, climbing on me after the shower and meowing for attention…those are just normal kitten things 🙂

  13. Jeankit

    Scritches and smooches with treats for special Kristen our darling heroine of furry story the Star-kit today at TDK! Thanks for sharing special story & caring for her!

  14. Profile photo of Sheba's Mom in Raleigh, NC Sheba's Mom in Raleigh, NC

    Our Ozzy was born with a head defect that made him slightly retarded. He was the most loving cat of all, but he didn’t even realize he was a cat! His brother Rocky would always take care of him, he was lost when Rocky died after cancer surgery. God Bless you for taking care of this beautiful tortie, I love her markings.

  15. Profile photo of paulajeanne paulajeanne

    Me too Arcalian, got wrapped up in the story with worry. and teared up when I got to the happy end. Lucky Kristen to have landed in such a loving family

  16. Profile photo of JerseyGirl JerseyGirl

    I join Arcalian and paulajeanne! How lovely to keep and to love this special kitty!

  17. Profile photo of pussigato pussigato

    All of the TDKers have said how I feel. Thank you so very much for not giving up on Kristen. She is special addition to your family and you will receive much in return. Hugs and kisses to all your furballs.

  18. Profile photo of Terri Terri

    Thank you for loving and caring for this special needs kitten. I wonder if a fuzzy stuffed toy animal would help her feel more secure?

  19. Profile photo of Moonshadow_NZ Moonshadow_NZ

    I’m with Arcalian and PJ too, what a wonderful story of love from both sides. What a special wee kit Kristen is and bless you for letting her get into your heart.

  20. Profile photo of cindicated cindicated

    I think Kristen could still benefit from a visit to the vet too. One of my cats was briefly put on kitty Prozac when we moved into our house 3 yrs ago. He lost 3 pounds bc he wouldnt eat & he cried constantly & had to be held at all times. The meds helped him greatly, he started eating again, & settled into his new home. So she may become a happier & less anxious kitty with a little help. I’m glad the other cats have taken well to her & are helping care for her. I wish her a great future with you & her sibs!!

  21. Profile photo of judithf judithf

    Oh bless her she’s adorable! She looks and sounds very happy. Hey, smarts and everything for cats – I have a genius and believe me that has its own problems!

  22. Profile photo of gerbil gerbil

    She is adorable and thank you for taking such care of such a special kitty! 🙂

  23. Profile photo of katzenmother katzenmother

    Kristen has the prettiest face and eyes! Bless you many times over and your kits for taking such special care of her and loving her like you all do:) I’d do much research about kitty Prozac before trying that route though it might be a viable solution to make her feel more at ease. God knew which home would welcome her and love her. Will be going to Kristen’s page too. Give all your furkids loves and treats for me!

  24. Profile photo of minniemoxie minniemoxie

    what a precious little kitten.
    thank u for openning up your hearts.
    thank u for caring over, under, & beyond the call of duty !!

  25. Profile photo of lucillec lucillec


    While I understand your comment that going to the vet won’t change how you treat Kristen – by which I take it to mean you will continue to give her as much love as possible – I think you should still take her to the vet just in case there is something further they could suggest which will help Kristen. In particular I wonder if kristen is suffering from anxietyin which case the vet can prescrobe various medications that will alleviate her symptoms and make her a happier kitty.


  26. Profile photo of piobaire piobaire

    What a sweet story. Little Kristen as found her home amongst angels. You are rewarded by her unconditional love. That she has sweet siblings that look after her, is another bonus. I hope you all share love for a long, happy time.

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