Diabetic cats like me call our humans vampires, because they are always sticking us and draining blood from us so that they can test our blood sugar levels. When I bite my human and draw blood, it is revenge, but I am not a vampire.
There is a special needs cat, however, that you could definitely call a vampire cat. His name is Lazarus, and here is his story.
Cindy Chambers is a special education professor at East Tennessee State University who has a soft spot for animals. So when one of her students found a sick, malnourished cat who seemed to be missing his nose wandering the streets, she was the natural choice to turn to for help. Given that the professor specializes in helping those with disabilities and there was a cat who had one, why not bring the cat to her?
Poor Lazarus was not in good shape. He was malnourished, had fleas, and his mouth was in very bad condition. Lazarus was in such bad shape that the professor was worried that the veterinarian would tell her the cat needed to be put down. Even a diabetic cat like me has nothing on this!
Lazarus also has a cleft palate. This deformity left him without an upper lip or the soft padding on the top of his mouth. But that condition wasn’t the worst thing Lazarus was dealing with. He had bone exposure on the roof of his mouth, and a bad infection that had spread from his mouth to his nasal passages.
It took a while to learn that the infection was coming from an abscessed tooth. Once his human learned this, Lazarus had his canine teeth and the infected tissue removed from his mouth and his nasal passages.
Now Lazarus is a healthy cat whose only real medical problem is the occasional bloody nose. His human handles that by putting a humidifier by where Lazarus sleeps.
There’s one more hurdle for Lazarus to clear, and that’s to pass the tests to become a therapy cat. You’ll remember we told you about Dexter the therapy cat. Once Lazarus gets older, his human wants him to join that very special group of cats.
Whether it’s a cat with a cleft palate or a diabetic cat like me, special needs cats just need a little extra attention. If you’re a human who is willing to give us that special care, we can be loving friends for you.