Earlier this June, we announced the winner of the #RescueCat Photo Contest sponsored by The Jackson Galaxy Collection by Petmate. The contest was a great success -- a joyful celebration of the heartwarming work and love of #TeamCatMojo! (Just scroll through the entries and you'll see what we mean. #TeamCatMojo ROCKS!)
Fittingly, the winner -- the very cute Jameson Zane -- is a wonderful example of #TeamCatMojo's rescue power! :)
Here's his winning entry photo. He's wearing a diaper and onesie because of incontinence and Spina Bifida.
If it weren't for Beth, who adopted him, he would have been euthanized because of his special needs condition. But instead, he's the winner of the Petmate #RescueCat Photo Contest...and now, he's going to educate us all a bit about Spina Bifida in cats, provide some advice about helping cats with incontinence, and demonstrate the awesome quality of life enjoyed by special needs kitties who are lucky enough to be rescued by #TeamCatMojo.
Thank you to Beth for taking the time to answer our questions, and providing these photos of Jameson Zane (and his brothers & sisters :) As Beth said, "I have several special needs kitties and they will all enjoy them!") with their prizes from The Jackson Galaxy Collection by Petmate.
Take it away Beth & J.Z.!
You must have a nickname for Jameson Zane, what is it/are they if so? Jameson's nickname is just "Jame Jame"....his first name is after a good Irish Whiskey and his middle name belonged to a favorite kitty who has since passed away, my Zane Grey!
Are the incontinence and Spina Bifida related conditions? Yes, he was born with this congenital malformation. Spina Bifida can take several forms depending on what part of the spine is affected. He has no sacral vertebrae, therefore no sacral nerves, which are the nerves which control bladder and bowel function. He also has no tail at all! He has limited sensation in his hind legs, so even though he is fully able to walk, he hops like a bunny! He can out hop anyone in speed!
What advice would you have for other cat guardians of cats with incontinence? Spina Bifida? Some kitties have very mild spina bifida which would require nothing special...some are completely paralyzed waist down..so each case is very different. It is the same with incontinence; I have two other fur kids with incontinence of different degrees as well as paralysis/loss of sensation in different degrees. Incontinence can be very challenging, but once you find the skin care products and diaper combination that works best for your fur kid, it's just a matter of being very diligent with cleanliness and routine to maintain good health and skin condition. Regular baby onesies with the neck hole narrowed work well for Jameson to keep his diapers on him! He gets changed anywhere from 3-6 times a day! Having a special needs baby takes a bit more attention, but the bond it fosters is priceless!
We see Jameson Zane looking out the window in one of your photos. What other activities does he enjoy? His favorite pastime is hunting and playing with toy mice! I hide them all over and he chases around the living room looking for them! He loves to watch the birds and squirrels out the window! I have placed feeders, houses and a birdbath out there for "cat TV". He's very active and loves to play!
What kind of cat toys and products help improve the quality of life and care for a cat like Jameson Zane? Play is very important for all kitties, but it really helped him gain strength as well. Jumping and reaching for objects, and placing lots of levels he can climb so he can reach the heights the other cats can is essential as he cannot jump very high. I've incorporated soft steps and cat trees with levels so he can get where he wants to be! Otherwise he's just like any other kitty; he needs to stay busy with interesting things to watch and chase. And always, lots and lots of love and praise!
Congrats again to Jameson Zane, winner of toys from The Jackson Galaxy Collection by Petmate!
And congrats to ALL our contestants for being Rescue Cats!
Here are some closing words again from Beth, guardian of Jameson Zane:
I have kitties that are blind, FIV+, paralyzed, missing legs, and have cardiac and other issues. All my kids are rescues; I take the kids no one else wants, and they are the BEST ones! We have a community Facebook page called For the Love of Greybies where you can see the whole family! Thank you for this opportunity to let others see that special needs cats are worth adopting!