Introducing Quill, AKA my shaky baby

Introducing Quill, AKA my shaky baby

A few months ago, I had been contemplating getting a new cat. My psychiatrist said that if it’ll give me a renewed sense of purpose, I should go ahead; still, I held back because I was worried I wouldn’t be able to take care of one more cat.

Also, if I’m being totally honest, I didn’t think Pawcard was ready to have a sibling—I felt he was a spoiled only child who wouldn’t be prepared to share his cat mom.

I don’t know how exactly I was triggered to finally adopt, but in mid-February, I searched “cats for adoption” on Facebook. I came across a post from someone in Quezon City, saying that they need someone to adopt a kitten with cerebellar hypoplasia (CH). Upon Googling, I found out that CH is a non-progressive neurological disorder that affects motor movements such as walking. A common symptom is tremors, so I call Quill “my shaky baby”.

In cats, this condition is also called “Wobbly Cat Syndrome.” An animal with CH may be called spastic or be described as a “bobble-head.”

Cerebellar hypoplasia (non-human)

As soon as I grasped the scope of his condition, I knew I wanted to adopt him. I felt that given Quill’s CH, not a lot of people would be able to keep up with the demands of a disabled kitten.

Having a cat with CH means getting scratched a lot because they use their claws to gain footing on higher ground. I have several scars attesting to this. It is frustrating, I won’t deny that—but no matter how annoyed or angry I get, I just can’t seem to hate my shaky baby. He’s so loving and clingy, to the point that he hardly stops meowing until I give him the attention he wants.

His first night here, he stayed in a corner for hours, hiding. I knew his CH was making him jerk uncontrollably, but I was still afraid that he was shaking from fear. He didn’t eat until a good 12 hours after I had him. During those times, I felt like a bad cat mom. My boyfriend told me not to spiral, saying that Pawky did the same thing to him. Quill just needs to warm up to you, he said. I remember putting him on my pillow, keeping my head close to his body as I slept, just so he’ll know that he’s not alone.

Now, Quill has grown to like his surroundings. He’s always finding places to chill out in, like in my laundry basket or under my bed. He has even learned what my schedule is, so he’ll cry and lick my cheek until I wake up to feed him and Pawky. Speaking of which, Pawky likes to bully Quill by overpowering him (Pawky is a fat, chonky cat and Quill at 3 months is still small and skinny). I like to think that it’s brotherly love and bonding.

All in all, I’m really glad that I decided to adopt Quill. I think he’s a terrific addition to my family. Plus, Pawcard has a new playmate so he can get more exercise!

By the way, for those wondering about the name: I named him after Peter Quill, one of my favorite MCU characters (aside from the 6 OG Avengers). I was so mad at all the hate he got for his actions in Avengers: Infinity War; thus, I decided to say “fuck you, haters” and name my cat after a character who displayed a tremendous ability to love, and who delivered on the difficult task of trying to kill his beloved for the good of the galaxy.

I’d love to see stories about your pets as well! Do you have any cats, dogs, snakes—anything, really, is an interesting animal story! Link me yours in the comments!

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