In March 2020, a veterinary nurse, Claire, in Queensland, Australia, encountered a pair of kittens rescued from a nearby concrete factory. Both kittens appeared happy, healthy, and normal at the time.
The male kitten of the rescued pair received the name Womble after a character from a children’s book. Not long afterward, Womble began to have problems with his balance and coordination.
After running tests, Womble received a diagnosis of cerebellar hypoplasia. Cerebellar hypoplasia, often nicknamed CP, is a non-degenerative neurological condition that impacts kittens in the womb.
The cerebellum is a part of the brain that supports balance and coordination functions in animals and humans. As a result of this impact on the brain, cats with CP typically have a wobbly walk and tremors when moving about.
After discovering this development nurse, Claire took on the duty of being a mom to Womble and his sister full-time.
After a few more months passed, Womble’s condition worsened. When Claire had him re-evaluated, she discovered he had received a misdiagnosis and actually had cerebellar abiotrophy.
Cerebellar abiotrophy is a degenerative genetic neurological condition that causes the cerebellum to deteriorate over time. The symptoms and traits mimic Cerebellar hypoplasia; however, the condition is progressive.
Determined to provide Womble with the best quality of life, Claire and her partner Scott adopted him. They understood that Womble would need special care for the rest of his days.
Together they accepted this commitment to providing Womble a quality life.
Living a full life
Womble’s condition may be grim. But he lives a full life with his family in Australia.
Whether going on walks in his stroller or eating his favorite foods, Womble does not lack in the stimulation department. He likes napping and sunbathing, like any other cat.
Plus, he has the good fortune to travel with mom on work days at the office. Womble has a great support system and unconditional love.
With time Womble’s mobility has declined. He cannot get to the litter box on his so Claire helps the furry family member to the litter box and relive himself twice daily.
He prefers to eat on his own, so eating time can get messy, and his parents clean up after him. They ensure he’s groomed, bathed, and maintains hygiene.
As of today, although his condition has worsened, he continues to live the best quality of life his parents can provide. Womble takes delight in life’s simple pleasures of the warm sun-kissed rays on a beautiful day.
Most importantly, he’s blessed to live life knowing he is supported and loved unconditionally by a family that adores him. Miraculous things can happen with true love, support, and a positive attitude.
Cats with special needs like Womble continue to inspire everyone around them. They demonstrate that life does not end when faced with a grim health diagnosis.
You can follow Womble on his Instagram page.
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