Precious - a very special kitten ( Summer 2006)
by Polly Sklenar

In November 2005 TVAW was asked to help with a problem in Stoke Row, near Henley. There were two young adult cats living rough in some gardens and kittens had been seen. We started trapping and very soon we had a young male and a young female along with three kittens. The two young adults were probably brother and sister and were the product of a litter born earlier in the year to a female cat, which had now disappeared. As the parents were feral, never having been handled, they were neutered and found an outdoor home at a smallholding on the outskirts of Reading. The kittens came to me for socialising.

My daughter named the three kittens Levi, Missy and Precious. The socialising process took a while, as the kittens were quite old when we caught them. However, by mid January Levi and Missy were deemed ready for a home and at the end of the month they went off to their new life in Theale, near Reading.

It soon became apparent that not all was well with the third kitten, named Precious. She was diagnosed with Cerebella Hypoplasia (Wobbly Kitten Syndrome); when nervous or excited her head would wobble quite badly and the coordination in her rear legs was not great. We knew that Precious had very special needs and required a very special home.

The head wobble was only a problem at mealtimes. She had more of a 'pecking' motion so consequently got quite a lot of her food all over her little face. It became the fosterers' job to clean this up (no complaints from either party!).

The slightly unstable back legs however meant that Precious fell over a lot when she tried to climb; it also meant that she was not as fast or as agile as the other cats.

Precious loved human company and would cry if left alone.

When looking to home Precious we knew that she needed someone who did not work or only worked part-time, had no small children who might be rough with her and ideally had an enclosed garden so that she could enjoy leaves, butterflies and grass but would also have full protection from the outside world.

It took about three months to find this special home but time was not a problem as Precious lived up to her name and was a joy to foster.

And the special home???? Well, Precious will tell you all about it ...

Dear TVAW,

Just thought I'd let you know that I've finally conquered the great outdoors!!! It's great fun. I can go in and out as I please, 'course mum's always there to keep an eye on me! I keep popping back in to makes sure she's ok and then I'm back out to play.

Here is a photo to show you how well I have settled in to my new home. Everyone says how much I've grown in the last 3 weeks. I look more like a cat now than a kitten.

Love Precious xx