Hydrocephalus, or “water on the brain”, is a very serious and life-threatening condition that causes spinal fluid to build up placing extreme pressure on the brain.
Many shelters are not able to meet the constant physical and financial demands of caring for hydrocephalic kittens and they are often euthanized at birth. One woman is working to change that.
Lisa Jones was inspired to found Super Hero’s Animal Hydrocephalus Society (SHAHS) by two special kitties she met in 2013 when a shelter volunteer contacted her. Jones had long been a cat rescuer, but she had never taken on a case as complicated as the one she was about to face.
The volunteer told her about Super Hero and Prince Ollie, two hydrocephalic cats who were languishing at a shelter without adequate care for their condition or hope of being adopted. Jones agreed to take them in and quickly learned first-hand just how debilitating hydrocephalus can be.
Despite the swelling in their heads, migraines, difficulty walking and seizures that come along with the disease, the cats seemed incredibly happy just to experience life outside of a cage. They were playful and loving, making Jones realize that even kitties with extreme physical limitations deserve the chance to experience joy and love, even if their time on Earth is short.
Sadly, Prince Ollie succumbed to his illness just a few months after arriving into Jones’ care, but Super Hero kept going strong despite occasional complications. He is now 3 1/2 years old – well beyond the expected lifespan for a cat with severe hydrocephalus – thanks to the compassionate care he receives from Jones and her team.
Since Super Hero came into her life, Jones has personally taken in two other hydrocephalic kitties name Zeke and Griffon, as well as helped others find loving foster or adoptive homes where they receive the veterinary care they so desperately need.
Zeke and Griffon, like Super Hero, have severe cases of hydrocephalus and require constant care. Little Zeke also suffers from multiple spinal deformities, megaesophagus and esophageal reflux.
Griffon has recently been battling the complications of his own illness, but all three of these cats are alive and fighting today thanks to one woman’s belief that all cats deserve to feel loved.
Jones says that the most difficult part of her work is knowing how many hydrocephalic kittens are euthanized due to a lack of understanding of available treatment options and lack of support and funding in providing those treatments.
With Zeke… we’re having some problems stabilizing him.
If you would like to help with the mission to rescue cats like Super Hero, Zeke and Griffon, consider a tax-deductible donation to SHAHS via their website.
Featured Images via Facebook/Super Hero the Hydrocephalic Cat and Zeke