What a difference love can make.
Vets suggested that Tiny Tina and Oopsie Daisy, two adorable kitten siblings, be put down due to an odd quirk they shared—endless shaking.
Tiny Tina and Oopsie Daisy were born with cerebellar hypoplasia, a neurological condition that affects a kitty’s fine motor skills, balance and coordination (VCA Animal Hospitals). It can occur when a pregnant cat is severely malnourished, or—more commonly—becomes infected with feline panleukopenia virus and passes the infection to her unborn kittens.
Symptoms of cerebellar hypoplasia might not become apparent until the kitten begins to walk around on its own, but usually involve jerky movements. It’s typical to see a wobbly gait known as hypermetria, as well as mild tremors, some of which may become more pronounced the more a cat tries to perform some kind of focused activity such as playing or drinking.
A now viral TikTok posted by their owner shows Tiny Tina and Oopsie Daisy go from looking like they’ve had too many shots of espresso to having no apparent symptoms whatsoever.
It might look like a miracle. But really, it’s just the result of patience and love.
The video’s caption reads “sometimes, vets don’t know best. CH cats can live quality lives - they just need a little more help.”
@thekittyandmarley Sometimes, vets don’t know best. CH cats can live quality lives - they just need a little more help #chcat#chkitten#cerebellarhypoplasia♬ original sound - Nick
Kittens can adapt to the disability over time. But, as with any special needs pet, they might require a little extra attention. With dedicated play time from their owner, Tiny Tina and Oopsie Daisy were able to build their little muscles. Plus they had each other. There’s a quick moment in the video where we see the two sisters licking each other’s faces, and that's every bit as sweet as you’d imagine.
The video ends with two clearly healthy, thriving young cats. No shakes or jittering to be seen. Oopsie Daisy even shows off her impressive climbing skills on a cat tree at the very end.
In a follow up TikTok, their owner shared that the 1.5-year-old cats had such mild symptoms they didn't even need special living accommodations.
@thekittyandmarley As a responsible pet owner - educate yourself, advocate for your pet, and find a vet who will work with you as a team to provide the best care for your pet. #chcats#cerebellarhypoplasia#responsiblepetowner♬ Living My Best Life - Ben Rector
She also made sure to add the caveat that her videos were “in no way meant to bash the veterinary field,” adding that, “Vets are human and make mistakes. A good vet will admit when they’re unfamiliar with a condition and be willing to learn or refer you to a specialist.”
If a pet’s quality of life is undeniably compressed, then considering euthanization might be a responsible decision. However, animals with birth defects can go on to live happy, fulfilling lives. They can still make wonderful companions. They still deserve the very best from us. Kudos to this determined pet owner who acted on her compassion.
And of course, congrats to Oopsie Daisy and Tiny Tina, who now proudly goes by Tubby Tina. May all nine of your lives be filled with love and joy.