Posted by: Kimberly J. McCloskey | January 24, 2011

Wobblin’ Weaver

Weaver

The story of this kitty coming into our lives is probably the most pitiful we’ve experienced yet. No worries, it turns out all good!

Friends of ours had been introduced to a kitten who had been abandoned at a local vet. This kitten, according to the vet, was a “bobble-head” and apparently no one wanted him. After a bit of time, my friends decided to adopt “Bobby” and make a barn cat out of him – the thought was that Bobby would have a better life chasing mice than living in a cage in the vet’s lobby.

He was a scrawny little tabby, just a couple of months old, and very curious and affectionate. But his head bobbled and bounced and swung around in what appeared to be an uncontrollable manner. And when he walked from here to there, Bobby basically walked in circles to do it. The best description I can give is that his world titled to the right and he just went with the flow.

Like I said, he was affectionate. He always wanted to be with the people, but of course we had to be extra careful walking around him because you never knew where he would be, or who he would wobble into. Picking him up and holding him wasn’t a good alternative either because when he decided he wanted down, we had to be extra careful to set him down squarely on all four feet or he would fall.

I’d never seen a kitty like this and it was heartbreaking to watch him… even though he didn’t seem affected by any of it at all.

So Bobby lived at the barn. At night he was put inside where he was safe. When there was a lot of activity or horses being moved around, Bobby went into a dog kennel for safe-keeping. But during the day when no one was around, he had free roam of the barn and the property.

But I’ll tell you, he did not like being alone! Whenever we put him in at night or got out of his sight, he would let out the most monstrous screams I have ever heard come of out a cat, let alone a kitten! The first time I heard it, I thought a wild animal had grabbed him through the bars of the kennel! However, I guess we all eventually got accustomed to it.

He also slept like a rock! If he was sleeping somewhere, he usually would not wake up until we touched him.

So one day someone realized that maybe Bobby wasn’t hearing too well, and a test was conducted. When a large wrench was dropped on the concrete floor and rattled around… Bobby didn’t react in any way. Jingling keys didn’t attract his attention either or clapping our hands.

Wow. Talk about the odds being stacked against this cute little boy – a head that he can’t control, horrible balance, and now no hearing. A barn really was not the best possible place for him to live. There were horses, dogs, a tractor, lots of cars, lots of people, neighbors who were notorious for not being friendly to cats… not to mention the foxes, the hawks and the owls.

Please know that I am not as cold-hearted as you might be thinking. Believe me, from the moment I met this kitty, I wanted to bring him home. But just a couple months before I had taken home the last mouser cat my friends had brought to the barn (Buford), and I really didn’t think it would go over well — with them or my husband — to do it again!

Just about two months after Bobby arrived at the barn, my husband finally had a chance to spend some time with him and see what challenges he (and we) were up against. Almost immediately Rob said, “He’s coming home with us” and my friends readily agreed!

We knew we had to change his name from Bobby, since my husband ‘s name is Rob. We went through a list of names  — but when I said, “It has to be a name that represents his special ways, since he bobs and weaves when he walks” and bingo, I had the name…Weaver.

So little Weaver came home to live at the Cat Spa. Buford and Natasha-Fuzzy were a bit intimidated by his weird ways, but the good news is that no one ever hurt him. Weaver settled into house life quiet easily and having other cats to play with and learn from was probably the best thing for him and his development.

And he has developed and improved. He doesn’t walk in complete circles to get from point A to point B, but sometimes he will if he’s very excited. He will, however, circle large objects like the kitchen island or the recliner, sometimes up to ten times in a row! Picking up and holding him is a great challenge and we still have to keep him from jumping out of our arms because generally he’ll fall over when he lands. But remarkably he does quite well jumping up and off of furniture – stationery objects that don’t move and which he is accustomed to. And he has better control over his head than he did as a baby, but it’s still not “normal”.

As far as being deaf… yep, he is. That was a bit of an adjustment for us in learning how to communicate with him, but it’s been a little over a year and we’ve got it all figured out. However, I do believe he has hearing on some level. I have observed him react to certain sounds, like the metal lid being unscrewed from the glass cat food storage container or other high frequency, squeally sounds. Rob disagrees with me.

The most interesting thing we’ve observed about how he copes with being deaf is how he utilizes reflections to watch what is going on around him. He watches reflections in the sliding glass doors, the windows, and the curio cabinet — it’s amazing to see.

There will be plenty more stories about Weaver as he is the most entertaining cat we’ve ever had. I could write about him all night.

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