As with Siren from last year (who came from the same mobile home park), these two wonderful kitties got progressively worse after many months and CH is not a progressive disease. After Phoenix had a seizure and was agonal, we had to make the hard decision to have him put to sleep - we had to, he was suffering. It was only a few weeks later that Sunbird had a seizure and passed away overnight.
We took Sunbird's body to Rollins Lab at the NC Vet School and had a necropsy performed and it turns out that these sweet babies did not have CH, but instead had a rare disease known as Lysosomal Storage Disease. Lysosomal Storage Disease is a genetic disease and affects the cerebelum causing similar clinical symptoms as CH. (Tay-Sachs diseases for humans is in the Lysosomal Storage Disease class.)
This explains their diminishing motor skills, stunted growth, and progressive symptoms. There is nothing that could be done to help these kittens, other than what we did - love, care, patience. Lots and lots of patience. For the last several months of their lives, they still had a lot of energy and wanted to play in their wobbly, can't stand up way and did not appear to be suffering at all. Their foster mom would bath and blow-dry them each night and they did wear diapers. She had so much patience with them. As their health progressed, they went to a different foster home Sunday evening through Friday evening - a foster home where someone was always home.
We are happy we could provide these babies with as good as a life as they could have in their short life. And we will be working even harder to TNR the whole darn mobile home park - even if it's ninja trapping after midnight!!
Here are some pictures to help remember these beautiful angels. Most of them aren't great quality as they're from a not-so-great smart phone.
Sunbird and Phoenix - after baths and all tucked in for the night
Sunbird and Phoenix - diapered kitty bottoms