A Warm Welcome to Nellie and Tuffy!

Our family continues to grow as we welcomed two special needs kitties to The Lily Pond!

NELLIE is a lovely tabby cat who began life facing enormous challenges. She found herself orphaned as a kitten, facing life in the big world all alone and with a congenital neurological condition called cerebellar hypoplasia. This disorder causes her to wobble and makes it difficult for her to keep her balance.

Fortunately, a local veterinary technician spotted Nellie on the side of the road and stopped to pick her up. She was taken to the clinic and given medical care. The vet tech fostered her and was able to find an adoptive home. But then her adopter decided she didn’t want Nellie because she is not fond or people or affection.

Nellie’s rescuer knew that it would be difficult to place her in a home with her combined neurological disorder and shy personality. That’s when she contacted The Lily Pond. We immediately agreed to provide Nellie a forever home and she joined the gang at the cat house.

This has worked out well, as Nellie loves other cats.

She has made several friends and can often be found cuddled up close to Toblerone. No surprise there, as Toblerone makes it a point to welcome every new cat. As the Head of the Department of Mischief, we suspect that Toblerone’s motives lie in recruiting new partners in crime to accompany him in shredding curtains, eating plants, and decorating the family room with festoons of toilet paper.

Despite her imbalance, Nellie has no problem navigating the numerous cat trees. She is curious and likes to explore. Her favorite spot is the toy basket, where she curls up for her daily

nap. Nellie is also a huge fan of kitty treats, weaving in and around our ankles when we bring out the treat jar for bedtime snacks. Welcome home Nellie! You are safe.

TUFFY is an older fellow with jet black fur. He spent most of his life a a feral cat, having a very rough time of it. Jodie LoMeli, the founder of the rescue group O.C. Safe Cats, works tirelessly with feral cat colonies, feeding them and ensuring that they get proper medical attention. She observed Tuffy struggling to survive. His fur was muddy and terribly matted. More concerning was the constant drool coming from his mouth.

Terribly frightened of people, it took some time and strategy to trap Tuffy. She rushed him to the veterinarian who diagnosed a respiratory infection and severe case of stomatitis, which is a painful condition of the mouth caused by rotten teeth and inflamed gums. Medical care began with antibiotics and the complete removal of all of Tuffy’s teeth. His fur was so matted that it had to be shaved.

Tuffy slowly recovered, but Jodie knew that he could not be released back outside without teeth. He was also not a candidate for adoption given his aversion to people. That’s when she contacted The Lily Pond. We agreed to give him a home, but this precious soul was too confused to appreciate it at the time.

Tuffy was frightened and showed a distinct dislike of other cats. He kept to the corner of his cat tower, resenting any overtures of friendship. But we do not give up on any animal! It has taken much time, patience, and clean up since Tuffy initially refused to use the litter box. But over time he has relaxed, no longer hissing when we give him a bowl of food. He has found a comfortable spot in a corner cat tree, so we placed a litter box next to it and continue to bring him food, as he does not venture out into the room.

The other cats respect his space, so he grows more comfortable in his new home each day. Once in a while, Tuffy will allow us to scratch his back (excellent progress!) but we keep our interactions brief out of respect for his wishes. If you visit the cat house, you will spot Tuffy right away, as the removal of his teeth causes his tongue to stick out in a cute and endearing way. He’s our new star of #TongueOutTuesday on Instagram and FaceBook!