Yvette is a cat loving lady with an incredibly big heart.
Her journey as a cat mom began when she adopted Ivar. He was found alone on Galveston Island as a kitten.
He was either abandoned by his mother or by a family that no longer wanted him.
Once he was at the shelter, it was difficult to find the right family to adopt him because he came across as aggressive.
This was mainly because he hadn't been socialized properly, but also because he was blind.
But Yvette knew that adopting Ivar was the right thing to do.
She realized caring for him would be a challenge, but she was smitten, and especially loved the perpetually surprised look on his face!
Then along came Toad.
He was born with Radial Hypoplasia, a congenital or hereditary condition that leads to underdevelopment in the front limbs.
As with Ivar, Yvette knew that adopting him was the right thing to do.
"Toad is a love bug all day long," she explains. "He wants everyone to love him and he just wants to play and eat snacks. Toad is an all around happy little guy."
This was when Yvette realised that she tended to gravitate towards animals that were not as adoptable due to some form of disability.
“Different doesn’t necessarily mean difficult,” Yvette told We Love Cats and Kittens, adding that a special needs cat is playful and loving as any other kitty.
Yvette's journey continued when she decided to adopt siblings, Jenni and Fred.
They were born with Tibial Hemimelia, a condition where the back limbs don't have a tibia bone.
And let's not forget Alice, she's a beautiful Maine Coon that Yvette affectionally calls "the queen of the house!"
"She may be a queen, but most of the time she isn't very ladylike!" She jokes.
All of the cats in Yvette's family have very different personalities. But Ivar is very temperamental so he requires a little more effort to make sure he feels secure.
Her biggest challenge was introducing the cats to Ivar when each one was adopted. He doesn’t like change so it took about 3 weeks of slow patient introductions with each cat so that he wouldn’t feel overwhelmed.
"Their disabilities are not necessarily difficult to accommodate," Yvette explains.
"Jenni and Fred require stairs and low entrance litter boxes, and Toad requires several throw rugs throughout the house because he bounces from place to place and rugs help stabilize himself better when landing."
Ivar's blindness makes him prone to anxiety so they try not to move anything around the house so that he always has a clear path.
"We have a pretty good daily routine so all of the cats are adjusted pretty well."
All of the cats have moments when they are not getting along, except of course for Toad because he loves all of them equally.
Ivar is a little tougher to win over but Toad is working on him relentlessly and every now and then Ivar will be receptive to Toad and let him sleep next to him.
Yvette loves all of the cats and says that they all lead extremely full lives - she wouldn't have it any other way and feels that she's the lucky one to have them in her life.
"I would say to anyone considering adopting a special needs cat to research the cat’s condition to assure they can accommodate their needs emotionally, physically and financially but a special needs cat is as loving and playful as any other cat," she told We Love Cats and Kittens.
"The rewards far outweigh any extra accommodations that might be needed. Different doesn’t necessarily mean difficult."
And when you look at this family, we’re sure that Yvette’s 100% right!
Watch the video to see Toad and his family in action:
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