Many people would not have the courage or the compassion to take on a pet with any kind of disability. Most would reason that there are plenty of nice cats out there in need of a good home, so why pick one who didn’t appear to be absolutely perfect? But, fortunately not everybody thinks like that and Karen is one of those people who doesn’t.
Karen and her husband, Jack, first saw Sansa during one of those adoption events that often takes place in front of Petco stores every so often. The one that they went to was in Manhattan. Karen describes Sansa as a small scrawny-looking white kitty with eyes that are each a different color. One of her eyes is a bright beautiful blue like the sky and the other is golden yellow. When they first saw her, she was hiding under a cat bed. She went on to say that they immediately fell in love with her. Now, Sansa is a polydactyl cat. This is a congenital physical anomaly where a cat is born with extra toes on either just one or sometimes both paw. But, that wasn’t all that was different about Sansa. She was also afflicted with something called feline hyperesthesia.
What is feline hyperesthesia? It’s a condition that causes an afflicted cat to have seizure-type episodes. Sometimes these episodes can be quite violent and the cat could hurt him or herself. They can wake the poor kitty from a sound sleep and send her running around the room. Sometimes this condition is called “rippling skin disorder” because it causes that effect under the cat’s skin, scaring both the cat and its owner.
Karen says that Sansa experiences fits every day and often affect the quality of life that she so richly deserves. The cause of the condition is actually unknown but the resulting seizures can be extreme. So, Karen and Jack have tried a number of methods for alleviating Sansa’s symptoms, including antidepressants for controlling the violent episodes, during which the poor kitty’s back legs would uncontrollably kick Sansa in the face. Then, after that, she would fall down. What a difficult way for a kitty to live!
Sansa is happy and content now in her forever home with Karen and Jack and they love this beautiful white kitty unconditionally. They have been trying other methods to help her, like distracting her when a fit comes on by playing with her and giving her her favorite toys. This helps somewhat. They have also tried to stop the seizures with their hands but Sansa ended up unintentionally attacking them. They are also giving Sansa fish oil and thiamine as recommended by their vet. In addition, they have gone the extra mile for their beloved cat and taken her to see a cat guru. He recommended feeding her predigested food and lacing it with probiotics. Karen states emphatically that there isn’t anything that they wouldn’t do to help Sansa. And, to show their love even more, as well as help other cats with this disorder, Karen and Jack have become advocates for the cause of cats with feline hyperesthesia. Now that’s real love and something we all could do a lot more of.