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Snowball update

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well - I was worried about what ya'll were saying about the possibility that my snowball was deaf in my last thread. I started doing tests.

1. scratching the floor behind her.
2. crinkling paper behind her.
3. snapping my fingers next to her ears while asleep.
4. Running the vacuum cleaner.

(all these tests came from a website)

she failed all tests

Luckily - my vet was opened today for surgeries. Snowball is deaf. I am so depressed. I wasn't expecting to find a kitten when I found her. I didn't expect it to be so hard to help her survive. Seeing her running around and playing is so rewarding to me - it's like - "hey, I helped her get here!". It's like so depressing that after she fought so hard - she doesn't have one of her senses. Luckily God felt that I needed assistance and sent me Patches to help (btw patches got saw today too - vet says she's healthy). I just don't know how I'm gonna handle a deaf cat. I love her to death - and yet I feel so sorry for her and just wanna cry everytime I look at her. I bought her a collar w/ bells on it today so that I can locate her. Patches has a matching color but w/ studs and no bells. Sorry, I'm rambling - but in some ways I wish i didn't know that she was deaf. vet said that might have been the reason that snowball was abandoned. Also he said that is why snowballs cries are so LOUD. And it is also the reason why she snuggles to my neck when i talk. Gotta stop rambling --- catcha later everybody -

ps - patches and snowball are spooning in their bed - patches has got her arms draped over snowball - too cute.
post #2 of 19
I read your post just now and I know what you mean. Dont ever apoligize for rambling on. That kitten was send to you so you could give her everything she needs.
post #3 of 19
i'm so sorry to hear about that. it isnt totally bad though. at least Snowball is lucky enough to have you to take care of her so well. i've never had a special needs animal (although sometimes i wonder about my dog) but at least you can help to make her the wonderful cat she is going to turn into and then you can look back and think "i did that. i helped her get to where she is." good luck with your special needs baby.
post #4 of 19
Carlabing, let me share something with you. I'm a special education teacher, and the population of children I work with are within the severe-profound range of disabilities. I have severely autistic students, students with severe/profound mental disabilities, and two students that are medically fragile with multiple physical and mental disabilities. Each of my children are individuals, and despite their disabilities, are still whole and complete children...they actually possess more characteristics and abilities of "normal" children than most people understand. They absolutely make my world go round.

Same goes for Snowball, I believe. Despite her disability, she is still a complete kitten, with many gifts to offer you and your family. You will be surprised how well she'll do despite her deafness...after all, she has a wonderful sniffer, eyes that have sight, a sense of touch (my favorite, when it comes to kitties), and probably her favorite, her sense of taste. There is really no need to feel a sense of loss in this kitten because she is deaf...her abilities as an adult cat will be endless. You will just have to make some accommodations for her around the home, and having her wear a bell collar will be a great idea.

I have a special place in my heart for those with special needs. Each and every one of us has or abilities and disabilities, or strengths, and our weaknesses. You would not believe the inner strength and perseverence that my students possess...they work so hard, and are happy to experience life at their own pace. Snowball will adapt to life with no hearing, and she'll do so well...you will see!

I still am very much drawn to your posts about little Snowball...I think she's precious, just the way she is. She's a treasure, and she found YOU!!!! Be grateful, for if not for you, she would not have survived.
post #5 of 19
wow wookie... *sniffle* that was beautiful. *sniffle*
post #6 of 19
post #7 of 19
A few days after my youngest child was born, he didn't seem to be responding to sound. DH said, "Maybe he's deaf." As if it was nothing! I was shattered, and burst into tears.

My husband's younger brother is deaf. To him, if our child was going to have a disability, that was the one to have. His brother still enjoys his life, has a girlfriend, is able to work. Sure, it is a disability, and causes some limitations. But with some accomodations, it can be managed.

Luckily, our son is not deaf. I'm very very sorry that Snowball is deaf. I'm sure it is a shock to learn. But now that you know, you can post on the behavior forum for pointers from other people with deaf cats. And having a companion kitty will be such a blessing.

Remember, Snowball doesn't know he is deaf. Maybe he is smarter than we are, because he still thinks he is perfect just as he is!
post #8 of 19
Carlabing, snowball was send to you cause you are a special person and please treat snowball as a normal little kitty even tho she is deaf
post #9 of 19
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
Remember, Snowball doesn't know he is deaf. Maybe he is smarter than we are, because he still thinks he is perfect just as he is!
This is a wonderful thought. Because Snowball never had hearing, he doesn't know he's "missing" anything.

You'll need to make sure he's never allowed outside and maybe a few other things, but he'll have just the same quality of life as any other cat!

There's another member on here: whitecatlover (may not be spelled right).

She has 2 (?) deaf cats and could probably talk to you about how she lives with them.
post #10 of 19
Carlabing, I know you're upset that Snowball is deaf, but just remember, you didn't even realize it until it was brought up on here, so he must deal with it very well. I just adopted a dog that is deaf, and it has been a challenge to learn how to deal, but I really don't think she knows that anything is wrong, like Beckiboo said, she thinks she's perfect! One thing I can recommend is if the kitty is sleeping, try not "surprise" him, most cats can at least hear you coming in advance, but you might scare Snowball, I've done this to my dog. Stomping on the floor gets her attention, she can feel the vibration, and since she cannot hear, I've noticed that she really pays attention to my facial expressions. I know that white cat lover has 2 deaf cats, you might want to PM her to see if she has any special advice. Snowball is very lucky to have found you!
post #11 of 19
My Sampson is deaf. I wouldn't change a thing about this boy. I love him like crazy. Looking at Sampson you would never know he is deaf.

His sleep is never undisturbed. Nothing rattles this cat at all. What he can do with his sense of smell is amazing. He knows when it is dinner time. So he never misses a meal. I tend to try to buy really smelly food for him just to watch his nose in action. Sampson loves treats and will find them if you hide them in your hand or somewhere close.

I normally never have to go looking for him. Most of the time he goes crying through the house looking for us. I adopted Sampson with his sister Vanna. His foster mom said that she was his ears. It's very true. When he walks through the house crying Vanna always comes running. We will get up just to look down the hall so he knows where we are located in the house.

I still talk to Sampson just as I do my other cats. He tends to always look at my face even from across the room. He always watches the hand signals and my mouth to see what I'm asking him.

Sampson is also a very vocal cat. He talks as much as my Siamese do. He is my door greeter every day after work.

He feels the vibrations through the house when a main door is opened and shut. Much to the delight of my oldest son Sampson loves to sit on his speakers in his room when he is playing his music with bass.

Sampson has been a true gift in our family. Snowball is a gift to your family.
post #12 of 19
I have two deaf cats: Twitch & Ophelia. Don't cry for Snowball, she is a very lucky cat. You are a very lucky person to have such a special cat.

I have noticed with my two girls that they bonded much more strongly to people(me specifically) that other animals. Twitch sleeps like a rock & when I smoosh my face into her to wake her up, she "bites" me & swats at me. Nothing scares her, she scared everything that enters the house. She is the guard cat, yowling when guests enter the house. Ophelia is very, very, very, very vocal with the single most bonoxious meow I have ever heard. It is soooo cute, though. Ophelia is no different than any other cat re-living her kittenhood. She breaks things the same as any other cat, she just doesn't get to have the satisfaction of hearaing things shatter when they hit the floor.

I stomp on the floor to call both Twitch & Ophelia, wiggle my figers to greet them, & hold out my index finger to "sniff noses". There are several people on here with deaf cats, they are no differnet than hearing cats. I believe BuzbyJCL(or something along that line) gives great advice on teaching cats sign language. You can check out the American Sign Language website & teach Snowball people sign language. I think it is eupnea that just stated working with her Henri as she is deaf.

I still talk to both Twitch & Ophelia, not that they know what I am saying, but it definately calms Ophie down. People think I'm crazy, but what who cares! Twitch does hear high pitched screams, although, for the hearing people/pets sake, I don't use them often. I clang two stainless steel bowls together on the floor to call for a meal. Twitch can feel that no matter where she is. To keep Ophie or Twitch from hiding somewhere I cannot find them, I offer them hiding spots that I know where they are so I can find them easily, beds on a talbe, behind the couch, etc. I block up any place that there is even a remote possiblity of a cat getting stuck because Twitch would sit quietly stuck somewhere indefinately.

My favorite advantage to having a deaf cat: they aren't afraid of vaccums! There's nothing like vaccuming & having to stop to move the cat out of the way. The cord is fun to play with, too. You don't have to both with buying noisy toys, they don't care about them(at first, they drove me crazy)! Twitch doesn't wake me when my alarm goes off, she lets me sleep in(Lily, the hearing cat, wakes me, though).

Sorry that got so long, but I can see how you are overwhelmed right now. Really, Snowball doesn't know she's different, & even if you think she is, she will live the same life any other cat will. She will get into trouble just like any other kitten, she will do everything a "normal" cat will do throughout her life. She just won't be able to hear you when you yell at her for breaking some family heirloom...
post #13 of 19
Oh man I totally forgot about the vacuum!!! It's one of Sampson's favorite toys. We actually have to be careful he doesn't get his paw sucked up. If there was enough room I think he would actually sit on the vacuum while I was running it.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you everybody for your replies - I am lucky to have snowball and even tho i have only had her for a couple of weeks I know that I can't live w/out her. Her and patches sleep on my bed on a cat comforter at night. I can tell the different between their meows. Patches is low and "normal" while Snowball's is very LOUD. Snowball is weaned - she did it herself - she just started eating Patches catfood one day and never wanted the bottle again. Patches and snowball are both on vitamins cuz they need the nutrients - so the vet says. I give each of them an eyedropper full a day - and they LOVE it. Patches and snowball act just like real sisters - playing and fighting. Patches loves all the toys that make lots of noises while snowball sticks to white objects - such as paper, tp, paper towels, and socks - I think that is odd. Petey - my chihuahua - is their protector. He doesn't get near them until they are about to get into danger and then he runs them off into another direction ... Once again thank you everybody
post #15 of 19
Paper...hmmmm....I hope you like spitwads! Confetti anyone??

See, Snowball is no different that Patches. She will have you trained in no time.....
post #16 of 19
this might be out of nowhere...but samson is white. And whitecatlover, both your babies are white. Is deafness a white cat thing, or are these just strange coincidences?

I know any cat could be deaf, but... curiosity got the better of me, and I had to ask!
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yeah something like 2 out of every 25 white haired blue eyed cats are deaf. At least that is what the vet told me. He said that Snowball is only like the 3rd deaf cat he came across. He told me that most of the time people don't even realize that their cats are deaf.
post #18 of 19
Caring for a "special-needs" kitty was one of the most rewarding things I have ever had the honor to do ... I think that as time goes on with Snowball, you will come to feel the same way. The bond you have with them is different and quite unique. You've done so much for this little puffball and I know that it is only going to strengthen your love for her. Best of luck, lamb.
post #19 of 19
Did we ever figure out if she is deaf...
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