"Foster Failure" is a funny term. We use it to describe our own failure - our failure to resist falling in love, our failure to adopt a cat out to another family, our failure to let go. But for cats like Skippy, it should be renamed "The Victory Lap." Skippy had unbelievable obstacles to overcome. He was the only survivor in his litter, which had been dumped at a shelter before they were even a month old. PetPromise, our #MonthlyMojo shelter for September, was contacted about his case. At eight weeks old, he weighed a mere eight ounces. After weeks of intensive care in the PetPromise foster kitten program, he finally started to thrive. But as he recovered, something else became apparent.
Cerebellar hypoplasia is an uncommon disorder that develops when kittens experience adverse conditions in the womb. It affects the development of the cerebellum, a part of the brain involved in motor control. Skippy was underdeveloped, his head wobbled when he concentrated, and he had a tendency to fall down. However, cerebellar hypoplasia is not progressive - it doesn't get worse with time - and it isn't painful. Cats with this condition have the same life expectancy as other cats, and they find unique ways to overcome their physical challenges.
This kitten may not be able to leap onto tall windowsills with a single bound, but he can gaze at a fascinating world through lower glass doors, and loves to play with his favorite red ball. Somehow, somewhere between biting his foster mommy's toes and his incredible joy and desire to live, Skippy completely won his foster family over. So it's not a foster family anymore; now it's a well-deserved, beloved forever home.
You go, Skippy.