A kitten with a full head tilt was surrendered to an animal shelter for a chance at a better life.
They named her Tippy.
Tippy was brought to Cat Utopia of Pendleton, Oregon, after she was found during a TNR (trap-neuter-return) project. The kitty was in desperate need of medical attention.
Deanna from Eastern Oregon took her in as a medical foster. "She had chronic ear infections as a tiny kitten, and because she was one of a large horde, her ear infections were not properly treated," Deanna told Love Meow.
Tippy shook her head rather often due to discomfort in her left ear. She was very dizzy and unable to eat. Despite all the challenges, she was so loving and sweet as if she knew help had arrived.
Two days later, she underwent ear surgery to have a polyp removed. When she was discharged from the hospital, she felt much better and purred nonstop.
Tippy has a rare vestibular disorder, where she holds her head to the side (referred to as a vestibular tilt).
"We continued to fight chronic ear infections for three more full months, traveling back and forth the nearly 3-hour round trip to the clinic. I was determined to get her as comfortable as I could," Deanna added.
Once Tippy was clear of infections, Deanna and her family officially adopted her. "I have my own vestibular injury from a traumatic head injury. As I realized and could appreciate her injury and suffering, I knew I could never let her go."
There are ongoing challenges as Tippy has episodes of vertigo, which cause her to experience a rocking type of dizziness. She's also developed Horner's Syndrome, a neurological disorder affecting her symptomatic nerve in her eyes.
She can't hear from her left ear, but the brave little girl doesn't let anything stop her from loving life.
"Tippy has her head tilt, which is her attempt at seeing the world as she believes it is," Deanna said.
She continues strutting about in the house and doesn't have a care in the world. "Despite her condition, she brings hope, and joy. Tippy is sweet, fluffy, wispy and full of love."
"Tippy loves to bird watch, and she loves chips of ice that might fall out of the ice maker on the fridge," Deanna told Love Meow.
She often offers a helping paw in the kitchen, supervising her humans and giving culinary advice.
"She is very affectionate and literally hugs me. She never complains, and I don't believe she has pity on herself," Deanna said.
Watch Tippy's journey in this video:
Kitty with head tilt finds loving home she always wanted www.youtube.com
"I can't change the neglect Tippy experienced, but I can do my best to spread the word - special needs cats are wonderful creatures, powerfully resilient, and worthy of living their best life."
Tippy is all grown up and has blossomed into a happy and very cuddly love-bug.
She adores other kitties in the house and showers them with hugs.
"We had no idea we would make 10+ round trips back and forth to the vet. We had no idea the heartache of experiencing her hours of vertigo episodes. We had to discover how to comfort her in those times.
"What we did know was simply one thing — she would be (and is) worth it, every minute and every penny."
Tippy the little wonder kitty has found the family that she always wanted.
"She is worth allowing ourselves to risk loving her, and giving her a chance at a good, comfortable, happy life. Loving a special needs pet is like medicine for the soul," Deanna said.