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Well, little Alice kitten is now officially a grown up cat having celebrated her first birthday in November! She has been with me for nearly a year and what a year of highs and lows it has been. When she first moved in she was a tiny little thing, very unsure of herself and with a strange head wobble which was under investigation by her vet. She had to spend sometime in her crate which was partly to monitor her stability and partly to separate her from my two young daxi boys who weren’t sure what to make of her but regarded her with a little too much interest.

Rocky, the elderly foster boy, was quite happy to play with her at first but as she grew and became more dominant he decided his days as a playmate were over and his ‘nanny’ role was taken over by Mollycat, my elderly Otterspool adoptee, who very quickly realised that this little annoying lodger had a large supply of toys, lots of treats and several meals daily which she was happy to share. The head wobble became almost non existent but before any investigation started she suffered a series if fractures and suffered pain episodes and the focus then turned to finding the cause.

In spite of this setback Alice was growing, had a huge appetite and a very strong character was emerging. Exhaustive tests were carried out, Alice was given her 15 minutes of fame on a veterinary consultaion website and finally there was a diagnosis of type 2 rickets which meant that she needed Vitamin D to improve her low calcium levels, the complication being that althougjh she was given large doses of calcium and strong medication she was not absorbing it.

Throughout the weekly blood tests, x-rays and a variety of meds, Alice developed a playful side to her character, was – and still is – very vocal and demanding of my attention. Alice became stronger, the pain episodes ceased and there were no more fractures but I had to make sure that she didn’t climb on furniture or stairs; I discovered a brand of papier mache scratching boards which were safe for her to sharpen her claws but they didn’t get caught as they do with sisal. Mollycat loved these boards and when Alice had finished playing with them took to sleeping on them!

Finally after months of treatment Alice’s calcium levels were normal and she has now had normal readings over several months. She still has to be crated occasionally and always at night or if I am out of the house but is otherwise exploring her environment with great relish and has a wonderful personality, a very loud voice and what is clearly a belief that the household revolves around her, which of course it does. Because her early days were painful, restricted and most human contact was to medicate or examine her she was very skittish around me, difficult to catch at times and stressed around strangers. She now greets me begging for tummy tickles, rolling on her back and purring and although it is clear that she views me as her devoted slave that’s alright by me!

Well done Alice, even though you have had a variety of humans at your beck and call it has been your indominable spirit which has shone through and hopefully to carry you forward.