As a writer for EcoWorldly, I should think about the mass demonstrations currently swelling in South Korea, where I live. I should think of the struggle between Chavez’s revolution, the entrenched oligarchies, and the confused youth of Venezuela, where my brother lives. I should think of any number of critically important world events currently unfolding. I should. But all I can think of is a small, orange kitten with a physical disorder.
Now, it’s a well-known fact that infants are not always similar to the adults that nurture them. Sometimes, they’re not even of the same species. What do I mean? Take the young hippo and the 100 year-old tortoise, for example. But when a 5 week-old orange tabby kitten in rural South Korea is taken in by a 26 year-old peregrinating writer with a return ticket to California, things get tricky.
What’s more, the kitten I brought in last weekend and unwittingly adopted is not a normal kitten. At 5+ weeks of age, it’s becoming clear that the animal has cerebral hypoplasia. That’s a fancy way to say “his coordination’s not so hot.” In fact, although he’ll probably live a full and otherwise normal life, he’ll never be able to walk properly. Hence my current dilemma: what do you do with a drunken kitten?
There are those who would probably say that I should have him put down. In fact, when I brought him in early Saturday morning, he looked so weak that I believed I was simply giving him a warm place to die. However, now he’s a relatively healthy kitten, except that he’s severely lacking of motor skills.
Moreover, as my girlfriend, Whitney, and I have fed him we’ve watched him imprint on us. We’re now — collectively — “mom”. And I realize that as the kitten was imprinting on me, I was imprinting on him as well. I can’t help but feel responsible for his life.
There’s a time for every new parent when all that seems to matter is one little life. Then, the outside world fades away and the tiny space between the nutrurer and the newborn becomes an everywhere.
What can I say? I’m a sucker.
So, I guess the only thing to do is to keep him and watch him grow. I’ll start thinking again about world events as they’re splashed across the headlines and I’ll wait five months until my calendar shows the date of my return to the United States. Then, I’ll try and explain cerebral hypoplasia to the folks at imigrations (that should be fun!) and carry on raising a very affectionate but very wobbly cat.
On a (hopefully) helpful note, if you have a kitten that can’t stand at the proper age of around 4 weeks, can’t walk well (or at all), and shakes when excited, take him to a vet. If the diagnosis is cerebral hypoplasia, don’t worry. It’s not progressive or dangerous, and with time the cat will become better (though not perfect) at moving about. Here are a couple of websites that I found helpful:
[This post was written by Gavin Hudson.]