This little sweetheart is Soot. My daughter named her Soot Gremlin after the little soot gremlins from Totoro, because like her namesakes, Soot is tiny, black, sneaky, and can blend in wherever she hides. My daughter finds these qualities admirable.
In Totoro, the soot gremlins live in the shadows in an abandoned house and move away when they decide the new family that moves in is nice. Soot has decided that we are nice, but rather than moving away, she is spending far less time hiding.
Soot is a manx, and she has spina bifida too! The mutation that leads to the shortened or absent tails in manx cats can also cause spina bifida or other spinal abnormalities. In dogs, spina bifida is most common in bulldogs. Dogs and cats of any breed can be born with spina bifida, but it is very rare. Just like humans, the severity varies with each case depending on the amount of nerve involvement.
Soot has spina bifida occulta, which is the least severe form of spina bifida. She can use the litter box and walk independently, but her back legs are weak so sometimes she hops and wobbles, especially when she is tired. Even pets with more extensive special needs can live wonderful lives too!
We are so happy to have Soot as part of our family.
To follow Soot's progress, like her Facebook page Soot the Kitty With Spina Bifida!