Meet Whirlwind Natalie, a sweet and sassy special needs kitten in Minnesota looking for a purrfect forever family!
Despite all the obstacles life challenged her with, she keeps her head held high and always perseveres.
Natalie’s foster mom, Kris Kaiser, tells us all about this tiny but mighty kitten in the story below!
I saw a picture of Natalie posted in a Facebook group for cats with cerebellar hypoplasia (CH).
The post was by a kind woman named Katt who discovered 5-week-old Natalie listed for free online near Okoboji, Iowa.
Katt grabbed her so she wouldn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Katt then posted in the Facebook group that Natalie needed rescue placement with someone who had experience caring for wobbly kitties.
I’m a foster caregiver through the volunteer-based rescue, Kitty Revolution, and I specialize in wobbly kittens, typically those with CH.
At the time, I was fostering another CH kitten, Snapple, and thought Natalie would be a great friend for him.
We made arrangements to pick up Natalie the next day!
Natalie whirls, twirls, and wobbles because of her CH.
I added “whirlwind” to her name, making her known as Whirlwind Natalie.
When Natalie first arrived in my care, she had a pretty bad case of parasites and coccidia that she was treated for.
After getting to know her for a few days, I noticed she couldn’t see.
She has since been confirmed by vets to be blind, but that didn’t slow her down one bit.
Natalie is incredibly brave and adaptive!
She settled right in and showed us her sweet and sassy personality right away.
She was very interested in meeting Snapple, but she had to be treated for parasites before they could be safely introduced.
Once she received a clean bill of health, Snapple and Natalie were immediately best friends!
Shortly after Natalie had spay surgery in December, I noticed she was having pain in her mouth.
Thankfully, she was able to have dental surgery to address the delayed teething that was causing her pain.
Since that surgery, she has no more mouth pain!
Natalie’s buddy, Snapple, was recently adopted by the perfect family in Hawaii, leaving Natalie without her best friend.
Now it’s her turn to find her very own forever family!
Finding a Forever Family
Though Natalie never lets her disability slow her down, she’ll need a few special accommodations in her home to make it safe, comfortable, and fun.
She wobbles and whirls her way around, managing a litter box just fine and uses a custom built feeding station that she can get in and out of on her own.
Her feeding station also supports her and prevents her from tipping over while she eats.
Things like modified litter boxes, raised food bowls, carpet, rugs and ramps help Natalie be more independent making her way around the home.
It’s best she has limited stair access to prevent her from tumbling down, at least while she’s getting used to her surroundings.
Her ideal home would have carpet and a family that is willing to make some changes to make it safe and easier for her to get around.
Natalie also needs a little help with daily grooming and will need annual dental exams.
Natalie is extremely playful and is excellent at chasing toys that make noise!
Most of the time, you can barely tell she is blind.
Her wobbling is fairly significant, but as long as she has good traction and padding from carpet or rugs, she gets around very well.
Natalie is so affectionate; she loves to cuddle and be pet.
She’d be the perfect companion for someone willing to accommodate her needs.
Natalie is very social and has lots of energy!
It’d be great if she was adopted into a home with another young cat or kitten to be her friend.
She would love to have a wrestling buddy!
This sweet girl is sure to make her future forever family very happy.
Since writing this story, Natalie has been adopted by a loving family!
Kris’s hard work and patience paid off– she found Natalie the perfect home.
Natalie whirled, twirled, and tumbled her way into living happily ever after.
Her new family has made all the special accommodations that she needs to thrive.
She gained a wonderful forever family and along with a new cat sibling who loves to wrestle!
Though it’s always hard saying goodbye to foster cats, adopting them out allows Kris to welcome new wobbly rescue cats into her home.
Natalie’s new family stays in touch with Kris and send her heartwarming updates on Natalie’s new life.
Want to follow Natalie’s journey? Click here to follow her on Instagram.
Be sure to follow Kris (@TippyTuxies) on Instagram to see more of Kris’s adorable, wobbly foster cats!
About Cerebellar Hypoplasia
Cerebellar hypoplasia (CH) is a disorder in which the cerebellum part of the brain doesn’t develop completely before birth.
The cerebellum is responsible for motor control and coordination, so having an underdeveloped cerebellum results in jerky movements, clumsiness, and even tremors.
CH is a congenital condition, meaning affected animals are born with it.
They don’t know any different, nor are they in any pain.
Though there is no treatment or cure for CH, a cat can learn to compensate for the condition and therefore seemingly improve, especially over the first year.
Many CH cats can’t jump, so they instead develop excellent climbing skills.
Encouraging play can also help to build up muscle strength in their legs, which in turn helps their mobility.
CH does not get worse over time, and it doesn’t cause any pain.
CH does not affect life expectancy, nor does it cause any other complications.
That being said, because of CH cats’ wobbly nature and tendency to fall, they may hurt themselves and require extra veterinary care to treat injuries.
Chipped or broken teeth are not uncommon, but this can be avoided with a few thoughtful accommodations.
Cats with CH don’t let their disability get in the way of enjoying life.
Natalie is an extremely happy and playful kitten!