When Ashley learned about Attis, a tabby and white special needs kitten who had recently been saved from euthanasia, she immediately offered to foster the young cat, thinking he would be the perfect companion for Odahviing, her foster kitten who was born with a cleft lip. “I needed a buddy Odahviing’s age,” explains Ashley, “and Attis is only four days older than him so it was perfect.”
Attis — who was born with cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), a non-progressive neurological condition that affects balance and coordination — was rescued by the veterinarian who had been asked to put him to sleep by his mother’s owner. “His CH was much more severe as a newborn,” says Ashley, “so it was understandably terrifying to watch him wobble helplessly, seemingly unable to move around.”
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Thankfully, instead of euthanizing Attis, the veterinarian contacted Wrenn Rescues, and the organization agreed to help the four-week-old feline. On April 12, 2021, Ashley met Attis for the first time, and while he was very energetic and playful, he was also extremely loving and affectionate. “He was just unbelievably sweet,” remembers Ashley. “A true Pisces. Plenty of kitten energy, of course, but there is a soft sweet soul inside him. You can see it in his eyes.”
While the symptoms of his cerebellar hypoplasia — which occurs in utero, often when a pregnant cat contracts a virus like feline panleukopenia — were quite severe when he was first learning to walk and run, by the time Attis arrived at his foster home in Oxnard, California, his balance and coordination had improved significantly. However, it wasn’t long before Ashley started noticing issues with his vision, and a thorough examination revealed Attis was blind in addition to having cerebellar hypoplasia. “His blindness is considered congenital cataracts, and he most likely does not see anything at all,” says Ashley.
Despite being unable to see, Attis adapted quickly to his new environment, and it didn’t take long for him to form a very strong bond with Odahviing, his adorable foster brother.
More than two months later, Attis is doing better than ever, and while he’s blind and has cerebellar hypoplasia, he has no trouble getting around Ashley’s home. “As he’s grown his [cerebellar hypoplasia] symptoms have decreased and now his wagging tail is the only real giveaway, and his back legs occasionally kick out,” explains Ashley. “We call it his party legs.”
Also, while Ashley thought Attis’s blindness might cause him to be a bit fearful and to have trouble coping with changes in his environment, that definitely hasn’t been the case. “While I haven’t done any major rearranging, I have moved some things around in my kitten room to keep things entertaining for the two kittens who do see,” says Ashley, “and to my surprise he figures out the new layout immediately every time. He hardly ever runs into things.”
Despite having cerebellar hypoplasia and blindness, Attis is an excellent climber, and he’s not the least bit afraid of heights. In fact, sometimes this adorable tabby and white boy is a bit too brave for his own good! “I have seen him climb up on the cat tower and jump off arms spread, zero fear of what might be below him!” says Ashley. “That’s why we keep soft pillows and blankets around the cat tower now.”
In addition to scaling his cat tower, Attis likes to eat, and after every meal he will purr and rub against Ashley as if thanking her for his food. Attis also loves to play, especially with crinkly and jingly toys that make a lot of noise, and he enjoys tussling with his foster brother Odahviing. “He loves to wrestle his best friend Odahviing, and is never far from him,” says Ashley. “I took them on a short car trip recently, and he was very confident in the carrier. He was on an adventure with his best friend!”
Consequently, Ashley wants this adorable duo to have a home where they can be together forever, so she’s determined to find a family who will adopt both Attis and Odahviing. Their adopter needs to live within four hours of Los Angeles, and they must agree to keep them indoors at all times and to never declaw them. “Attis’s ideal adopter would be someone who is passionate about him and Odahviing,” says Ashley. “Attis and Odahviing are not high maintenance kittens by any means, but they are unbelievably sweet and precious and we want someone who will appreciate all the love that they have to give!”
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While Odahviing doesn’t need any special accommodations due to having a double cleft lip, Attis might, so the person who adopts this pair has to be willing to adapt their home to ensure his safety and well-being. Also, due to his cerebellar hypoplasia, Attis might need a little help keeping himself clean, but he definitely doesn’t need anyone’s pity, nor does any CH cat. “They are happy to be alive, and meeting them where they are is all we need to do for them!” says Attis.
When Attis — who was named after a Greek deity associated with springtime and rebirth — goes to his forever home with Odahviing, there’s no doubt Ashley will miss this very special boy. However, she will always be grateful for the role she’s had in giving Attis, who was rescued from euthanasia, the second chance at life he deserved. “Attis is such a tender sweet boy, he melts my heart with his open mouth purrs and cuddles,” says Ashley. “He is so happy and thankful to be loved and cared for.”
If you’re interested in adopting these adorable kittens, you can complete an adoption application.
If you want learn more about Odahviing and Attis, you can follow them on Instagram.