What do you get when you mix a kitten with a serious disability, a bunch of PVC pipes and a woman with a heart big enough to figure out how to handle it all? You get MayMay the miracle kitten in her adorable custom wheelchair created to enable her to live a full life. Halteman’s Haven Rescue was established in 2006 by Keli Halteman specifically to “rescue and rehab sick and injured animals; the ones that have no or little hope of being rescued or taken care of. Those who have been hit by cars, burned or neglected, the homeless, the ones that nobody else will take.” Animals like MayMay.
MayMay was first discovered laying helpless, unable to walk, as her mother stood vigilantly by her side unable to help. A kind man brought her into a vet clinic at two weeks old. His intent was to humanly euthanize her, but the vet hospital he brought MayMay to just happened to also be the place Halteman worked. She took one look at MayMay and snatched her up.
“I immediately admitted her to the hospital to have full blood work done. We figured out she had cerebellar hypoplasia and our journey began,” Halteman said.
Cerebellar hypoplasia (CH) is a condition that can be caused by several types of bacterial and viral infections, malnutrition, poisoning, injury, or general accidents during the development of the fetus. Cats with CH are also known as a “Wobbly Cat” because of the way the condition affects the cat’s equilibrium. CH cats wobble as they walk, often falling down.
Four days after Halteman took MayMay she became very ill, testing positive for toxoplasmosis, a type of parasitic infection she likely got from her mother.
“I slept on the hospital floor for two days,” Halteman said.
Part of MayMay’s recovery involved movement, walking, which she was unable to do because of the severity of her CH. So Halteman had to figure out how to get her moving.
“I had no idea how to do that,” Halteman said. “I went to the local Home Depot and walked the floors for four hours trying to figure out how I could get her up and walking.”
In the end, she settled on a simple PVC construction that would carry the majority of MayMay’s weight, but allow her movement to exercise her muscles. The contraption is affectionately known as the “MayMay Mobile” and Halteman has built nine others, which she provided to families free of charge.
“I have had her for four years now. She’s perfectly healthy and she runs around my house and runs just like the others,” Halteman said.
Today, MayMay is the ambassador for the Halteman’s Haven Rescue. The rescue takes in the unwanted, places them in loving foster homes, and provides all of their vet care until the animals can finally be placed into their forever homes.
For more information about MayMay and the other animals in the care of Halteman’s Haven Rescue, you can visit their website at www.haltemanshavenrescue.org. You can also donate to help with the overall costs to maintain the rescue, or even sponsor an animal to help cover its day-to-day costs to lead a happy, healthy life.