Skitter was born October 29th, 2009. He was born with severely deformed back legs, which made it difficult for him to compete with his siblings for nursing time. His owners put an ad on Craigslist looking for someone to take him in and bottle feed him to give him a better chance.
At just 15 days old, Skitter moved in with PetNorth employee Amanda. He showed some unusual behaviors, wobbling his head, and frantically flailing his claws when it was bottle time. At six weeks old, still bottle feeding and unable to walk, he went to see the veterinarian and was diagnosed with Cerebellar Hypoplasia. He wasn't given very good odds for a normal life, as his wobbles were pretty bad, but Amanda wouldn't give up on him.
At eight weeks old, Skitter started to walk, and by ten weeks old, he was eating hard food. His development was slower than normal kittens due to his brain disorder, but he did learn these things; things he wasn't supposed to ever accomplish.
On Mother's Day 2010, Skitter moved in to PetNorth. At first he didn't understand why everyone left at night; he'd never been alone before. He quickly realized that despite spending nights alone, his days were filled with attention, treats, and toys.
At five months old, Skitter went back to the veterinarian to be neutered. Though his "mom" is deeply against declawing, it was decided to be in his best interest to have his rear claws removed. He would run so fast in the store that he'd snag in the carpet and do somersaults. There was concern that he'd rip his claws out if they weren't removed. The veterinarian later said it was a good choice because the limb deformity effected his ability to retract his back claws and it would have caused him issues in the future. Skitter does still have his front claws (which are capped with SoftPaws claw caps). The veterinarian also commented on how surprised he was that Skitter was so much better than had been expected.
Now Skitter has free roam of PetNorth. He can often be found on the scratch post as soon as you walk in, watching the people go by and waiting for some attention. Skitter can do almost anything a "normal" cat can. He can run, he uses his litter box, and he plays. He can not jump up on the counters, but he can climb up anything that he can get a hold of with his front claws. The only lasting sign of his brain disorder (cerebellar hypoplasia) is that he often wobbles his head when he eats, flinging food all over. He also does this when he gets snacks or is very excited about something. His general disposition is happy and playful. He is not in any pain, and is certainly not suffering. He is possibly the most spoiled, well-known, and loved cat in all of Brainerd.
Name: Skitter (named for the way he walks)
Birthday: October 29, 2009
Food of Choice: Felidae Grain-Free
Favorite Animal: Shih tzu dogs - he will follow them around the store.
Least Favorite Animal: Other cats (he thinks he's a dog)
Pet Peeves: Anyone messing with his back legs
Favorite Toy: Laser lights and the wand toy with leather strips
Special Needs: Deformed back legs and Cerebellar Hypoplasia
Fears: Balloons, pet clothes, loud noises, vacuum cleaners
If Skitter could say one thing to people he'd say: "Don't feel bad for me, I don't know I'm any different."
Come Visit Skitter
Skitter loves attention and welcomes visitors. You can come meet him in person during regular business hours, any day of the week.
Skitter's guests are welcome to play with him, pet him, or take pictures. Of course he encourages visitors to buy something while they're here, but an ear rub would be accepted too.