Your health is one of the most important things in life. You can have money, you can have status, and you can have a loving family— but without your health, every aspect of life is affected. When this happens, some people fall into a cycle of depression and misery while others rise to make the most of each day. For this second group of people, this special, little kitty named Zeke is an amazing inspiration.
Zeke is an adorable, tuxedo kitten that was born with a long list of health-related obstacles. The most noticeable was hydrocephalus, which literally translates to “water on the brain”.
Hydrocephalus results from an increased amount of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. While, in regular amounts, cerebrospinal fluid serves to “cushion” the brain from heavy blows and injury, too much cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles actually gives the skull a dome-like shape. It can additionally compress important areas, resulting in neurological disorders.
“Zeke has always been known as the ‘Little Hot Mess’ because of all the genetic disorders he has in addition to his hydrocephalus,” caretaker Lisa Jones explained.
“It was obvious from the start that he’s a Twisty cat (he has radial agenesis meaning he’s missing the radius bone in his forearms), he only had 3 toes on both front paws, and his tail was short and deformed.”
Zeke’s past is a bit mysterious, but at only 13-weeks-old, he had been put on Kitty Death Death Row and had been awaiting euthanasia from the local shelter. Luckily, Lisa Jones with Super Hero’s Animal Hydrocephalus Society came across his image on the shelter’s Facebook page and decided to step in and save him.
According to their Facebook page, Super Hero’s Animal Hydrocephalus Society is a non-profit animal rescue and sanctuary specializing in the care of hydrocephalic cats. And, when they saw little Zeke with his adorable rounded head, they knew he’d be the perfect addition to their sanctuary.
After rescuing Zeke from Kitty Death Row, Lisa brought the kitty back to meet his new feline family.
For Zeke, it was a new experience. It was the first time he’d seen other cats that looked like him. For once, he started to feel like he belonged. As Zeke spent more time with Julie and the sanctuary staff, he started coming out of his shell and becoming more confident. In a Facebook post, Julie wrote:
“Zeke is hysterical, behaving as any normal kitten should, and despite all of his disabilities, he has a heck of A LOT OF ABILITIES!!!”
Zeke’s twisted legs mean that he had to figure out a new walk to walk. But, after a bit of practice, he’s learned how to move around on his elbows and hop.
“He romps, rolls, plays, and unsuccessfully tried to climb (but it was a good try) and believes his litter box is actually a sandbox and digs and somersaults all around in the litter.”
“How do you correct a behavior that is just beyond adorable? You don’t, you just make sure it’s [litterbox] constantly clean!”
“He’s figured out that he can climb the mesh laundry basket or screen door and has managed to get all 4 feet off the floor, but he does not have the strength to climb yet.”
“I know he’ll get it eventually as he grows.”
Since Zeke went to live at the sanctuary, he’s formed an incredible bond with his fellow hydrocephalic cat brother, Super Hero.
Super Hero is like a second mother to Zeke, always watching him, cuddling him, and following the little kitten around to make sure he is okay.
“Super Hero has taken Zeke under his wing and watches out for him like a little brother.”
“If Zeke is going somewhere he isn’t supposed to be, Hero herds him back into the room or redirects his attention by gently tapping him with his paw.”
Now, with Julie and Super Hero’s consideration, Zeke has grown into an adorably precious adult cat.
His eyes sparkle with happiness and the kitty smile is clear on his face.
Without Julie, things could have ended badly for baby Zeke. But now, thanks to one kindhearted woman, Zeke finally feels true love.
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