Sometimes in our moments of weakness (or on what I like to call “level red mental health days”) we make these impulse decisions and it may not feel like the smartest in the moment but either you are going to learn from that weakness or you are going to bloom from it
– Drunk Uncle Otis was the moment of weakness here in the adorable house of misfits but it is a journey that we have elected to take as a family in ongoing efforts to continue to fan the flame that is our dumpster fire family (said with absolutely love)!
Drunk Uncle Otis was scheduled to be put to sleep at a clinic about an hour or so from me, the “owner” stated that the original D.U.O was 17 years old and no longer used the litterbox and it was simply his “time”.
Que the record scratch here, folks.
Luckily thanks to the observant and empathetic eye of the veterinary hospital they realized that:
1. If dude was 17 that he was the most impressive looking, Benjamin Button ginger in the world – they have him estimated to be about 6 years old. (oh the stories people will weave!)
2. D.U.O is also front paw declawed and has a mild form of cerebellar hypoplasia and since he was “no longer using the facilities” he was no longer worthy of compassion or love (total FYI he has had zero litterbox issues since coming to the land of adorable misfits).
I am sure that you all know how difficult it is to adopt out handicats to stable and loving homes let alone them being older (or having multiple handicapable qualities) so you know my inner guilt began to play on me (that and I was having reruns of when Bifford was D.U.O’s age and scared all alone waiting for his time to shine).
So just slap a kick me sign on my back and a dunce cap on my head as #MadMax and I embarked on our Saturday morning adventure to go get Drunk Uncle Otis (who is named after the drunk uncle from the Andy Griffith Show).
Pretty much instantly I knew that the D.U.O would be joining our happy band of misfits as we were not even two miles from picking him up (with well over an hour left in the car on the freeway) and D.U.O gifted #MaxMax and I with what I had initially thought was throw-up only to be delightfully tickled to know that it was, in fact, urine that he then began to roll around in without any shame in the world.
But in that moment, I knew he would fit in with the other handipets here aboard the S.S PEN15 and that filled my heart with a morbid sense of happiness and fulfillment.
Thinking I had this handicat mom gig in the bag I placed D.U.O in our spare room with a baby gate installed to keep the others out and he in (imagine my utter shock when I thought I outsmarted the ginger handicat by putting up said baby gate only to be schooled while he cleared it like he was a catapult jumper) in addition to what we can only assume was being beat up and bullied at his former home because though he is not mean he speaks three levels of Satan whenever he sees one of the other handicats galivanting about the house behaving without concern by D.U.O and his saucy attitude sprinkled with some few choice words.
Was I absolutely concerned that the handicats would react poorly to D.U.O? Sure!
Are they? Abso-sh!t-ley not! They could give two cat turds less that this red menace is bouncing around the house grumbling to himself.
I understand (and remind myself multiple times a day) that I cannot save them all, I cannot take *all* of the handicats or overstretch my limits but I *can* agree to help when I can, educate when I can, lend a hand when I am able to.
And in this particular moment something called me to D.U.O. I know there are plenty of adult handicats in the world needing love and homes but for the moment I will consider this a win because we are changing the life of one handicat in particular: Drunk Uncle Otis (as well as Bifford, Bart and Max!)
John Lennon once said, “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans…” and I never understood what that meant until I was sucked into the most recent whirlwind of poo covered tornado that has come into my life.
Buckle up friends, it’s a wild wild ride.
I have finally learned what it is like to feel like Bifford (the constantly drunk looking, woozy feeling) –well, sort of – and I thought I had my fair share of gnarly neurologic episodes of my years dabbling with epilepsy (totally the universe’s gift of course) but boy was I far from wrong as the universe proudly announces to hold their beer while they razzle dazzle my paperweight of a brain with more shenanigans.
Last year I got COVID-19 and though my symptoms were mild (thanks to the vaccine, wearing my mask and washing my hands) I had no idea what the lasting effects would be but I was soon to find out one of them: Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) which commonly happens after viral illnesses and usually affects women between 13-50 (lucky us right ladies?). Basically, it is a blood flow issue where you can feel extremely lightheaded, faint, nauseous, diarrhea and much more fun exciting things. The absolute kick in the shin? There really is no absolute cut and dry treatment plan (when is there ever?) but essentially with diet changes, lifestyle changes and more there is hope the symptoms lessen over time though it is something that could last anywhere from a few months to a lifetime.
On top of being epileptic and having a plethora of mental illnesses (again, don’t we all in one way or another?) I was gifted with this too. Meh it is another hurdle in this crazy chaos we call life and what else can I do then roll with the punches?
Anyway, enough of the plight that is my neurologic health there are exciting things on the horizon for the Misfit’s Campaign!
– Our carrier tags are improving! It is so cool to have all you friends on this journey with us (I am sure a lot of you remember the very early on, rudimentary carrier tags and have watched them progress to what they are today) so now we are diving into this technological world – sublimation printing. Essentially sublimation printing is baking ink onto a surface making it hardier and more durable (which is exactly what we want in a carrier tag!) and will come in an array of colors, designs and handicapable abilities. Tentatively we are hoping to launch these bad boys by the end of November/early December 2022! We are still going to provide them free to those who apply for one (of course you can receive more for just the cost of postage).
– Though our main goal is cerebellar hypoplasia awareness we realized that when we adopted Maxwell that other adorable misfits needed someone to be their voice, for those misunderstood – so we are branching out to adorable misfits of all walks of life. This means that in addition to seeing Bart, Bifford & Maxwell you will see guest appearances from Lucipurr (who is behaviorally challenged) and Bessie (who is vertically challenged) as well as from fellow handicapable friends and their parents. The whole idea for us here is to show the world that “hey! We are all a little messed up in our own special ways, but we are rockin’ it!”
– Constantly updating our Misfit’s map! Not only will it include handicapable cool veterinarians but will be branching out to include misfit cool rescues, organizations, friends – because it is all about helping one another for the greater good of these adorable misfits, am I right?
Between the new chaos and the usual chaos, I have to say that I am utterly exhausted but thankful for each and everyday!
Friends, I must thank you all because I haven’t been tending to the campaign like I would want to. Sure, that means that messages don’t get replied to as quickly, tags may not go out as fast and some of the content may be recycled (more than once), if you are following us on Instagram (@PresidentBifford) & TikTok (#Presidentbifford) then you will see that there has been mountains to climb in our personal, professional, emotional and mental lives and we are working ever so diligently to process all of this in order to better continue to work on what is so near to our hearts: misfits.
Living with a Maxwell here at the adorable house of misfits has been a whirlwind of emotions and overall trial and error on things to best help Maxwell thrive. After hearing from various veterinary professionals and pet parents alike on what Maxwell’s official diagnosis was I finally decided to end the debate and scheduled Maxwell to see the neurology department at Akron (Ohio) MedVet.
Being someone in the veterinary field who handles curbside appointments daily I can tell you that it was a very humbling experience and reminded me to be patient and compassionate and reminded myself that despite not being allowed to go inside with Maxwell the staff, technicians and doctor’s treated him with kindness, compassion and respect (and they absolutely did! I cannot thank Akron MedVet enough!).
The neurologist stated that (among other things) Maxwell has multiple limb deformities along with kyphosis of the thoracic limb region with potential hemivertebra but she reminded me that with the “right family ANY pet can thrive!” and she is absolutely right.
I am unsure why I so badly wanted an official title for what was up with Maxwell, maybe it was because I felt if “it” had a name then I would know better what to expect maybe — but much with life there is no true preparation and we just all have to “roll with the tide” whatever or where ever that may take us!
- Kyphosis is a type of spinal deformity similar to scoliosis the difference is that scoliosis is a lateral (side to side) curvature of the spine whereas kyphosis is a posterior (up and down) curvature of the spine, specifically in the upper, or cervical, portion of the spine.
- This curvature can cause nerve damage, which is the reason behind many, if not all, of the symptoms presented.
- In older dogs, the condition can be caused by trauma (like a spinal fracture) or wear-and-tear on the spine (which could lead to arthritis or osteoporosis).
- In younger dogs (less than 1 year old), the condition is most likely congenital, meaning it was inherited by the individual at birth, as was the case for Olivia, so this is the type of kyphosis of focus throughout this website.
- If you suspect your dog’s kyphosis was inherited, it is important to get in contact with his/her breeder (if possible) to let them know. They will want to make sure to not keep breeding your dog’s biological mother/father so as to stop these defective genes from passing on to any more offspring
Some of the signs/symptoms MAY include:
- Atrophy (loss of muscle tone in affected areas)
- Loss of sensation
- Incontinence (loss of control over bladder/bowel )
- weakness in the back legs
- walking differently
- signs of muscle wastage in the back legs
- an abnormally shaped back
Is the future scary? Absolutely it is! But I would feel the future as scary regardless if Maxwell was in our life or not! I am unsure what the future holds for Maxwell but I know one thing for sure: He is going to live a safe, happy & loving life with myself and the rest of the adorable house of misfits!