A Heart for Phillip: Special Needs Kitty Beating All Expectations

Born with a loud heart murmur, Phillip, now 7 months old, is as active as any other kitten his age. “He’s expected to live a long, healthy life, but the heart murmur will always be present,” his foster mom Lisa Mayer, said of Phillip.

Phillip, a brown tabby male, is quite a charmer. He likes to sit on Lisa’s lap, put his paws on her chest, and get kisses. “He loves other cats and has done fine around small dogs.” He follows his foster mom and loves kitty treats. He meows like crazy when Lisa gets them out. Phillip loves to be held and sleeps next to his foster mom. His favorite toy happens to be ponytail-holders. Phillip is known around Lisa’s house as “the ponytail-holder thief!”

A cardiologist performed an ECHO medical test, a 3-D ultrasound that looks at the heart in action and diagnosed Phillip’s condition as a restrictive ventricular septal defect in his heart. Lisa explained, “That means that Phillip has a hole between the two chambers of his heart, and the hole shouldn’t be there.” But Lisa added, “The cardiologist said this is one of the better [heart-related] problems Phillip could have and that it shouldn’t have too much of an impact on him” or his life expectancy. It is not a condition that requires surgery or that surgery would help, Lisa explained.

In April, Phillip is to have another ECHO, and, Lisa said, if it shows no change, everything looks great for the ponytail-holder thief.

And that’s fabulous news to Lisa. “Phillip is very special to me because at one time, we were thinking he would not live long. I decided I would try to give him the best life possible for the time he had, so I spoiled him rotten. Now he thinks he’s special and loves all the attention. He will make a great friend for someone who enjoys a Velcro kitty. He even waits outside the shower for me.”

Adel Petterson, one of the leaders of St. Louis Pet Rescue, pointed out that Phillip’s future adoptive family will need to be able to take him to see a specialist in the future should he ever need it. Phillip’s adoption fee will be the group’s normal $125 for kitties even though Phillip’s medical expenses have reached at least $500.

“I’ve grown very attached to him over the months and will truly miss him when he finds his forever family,” Lisa said. But Lisa wants very much for Phillip to find that forever family, a family who will love and cherish him and know, without a doubt, just how special a kitty he is!

Posted in February 2012 Newsletter, General News