Handsome Special Needs Cat Loves Racing Around Hawai’i In His Wheelchair!

When we learned Snapple, a tuxedo cat we featured back in September 2021, found a forever home with Ed and Gina in Hawai’i, we were thrilled for him and his foster mom Kris! We were even more excited to learn that our video played in role in Snapple’s adoption, and happier still when we discovered additional testing had revealed he actually had cerebellar hypoplasia (the same congenital non-progressive neurological condition our cat Keanu has), not a potentially degenerative disease as was originally thought.

tuxedo rescue cat with cerebellar hypoplasia
Via @moana.and.snapple on Instagram

We reached out to Snapple’s parents to learn more about his adoption story and his new life in paradise, as well as to provide an update to our original feature that included the misdiagnosis. Gina, Snapple’s mom, graciously agreed to answer our questions, providing all the details about his retirement in Hawai’i, his new sister, and more! We’ve featured hundreds of cats over the past six years, and Snapple is one of the most memorable, in large part because it was extremely gratifying to discover how our video led to his adoption, and we hope you’ll enjoy learning more about this incredibly special boy.

Meow As Fluff: How did you learn about Snapple?

Gina: Snapple’s Meow As Fluff video came across Dad’s Instagram feed through @tuxonwheels’ account in Oct 2021. He then sent the video link to Mom via text message and wrote, ‘I wanna adopt him.”

tuxedo rescue cat with cerebellar hypoplasia
Via @moana.and.snapple on Instagram

MAF: What made you decide to adopt a cat with special needs?

G: I don’t think anything specific really made us decide to, other than we both have a love for cats and we felt we both wanted to and were ready to help a kitty with special needs. We had both been following special needs cats and foster accounts with special needs on IG for a long while. We had a conversation about how we were willing to foster or adopt special needs cats at some point. It just all fell together. Our conversation happened maybe two to three weeks prior to Snapple’s video showing up on Ed’s feed. Ed felt an instant connection with Snapple through the video and it just went from there. He said it was Snapple’s spark for life and of course his sweet face that got him!

 

We had two boys prior to Moana and Snapple, and they were with us from when they were eight weeks old until one passed at 14 and the other at 17 years old. It had been a few years since we had furbabies until Moana, our first foster, and first foster fail in March 2021.

tuxedo rescue cat with cerebellar hypoplasia
Via @moana.and.snapple on Instagram

Both our boys had chronic kidney disease and we were giving meds and administering SQ fluids at home daily for years, so we felt like we could take on a little extra care and more.

MAF: Can you tell me a little about how you learned Snapple actually had cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), not brain and cervical spinal cord disease?

tuxedo rescue cat with cerebellar hypoplasia
Via @moana.and.snapple on Instagram

G: Once we knew we wanted to adopt him, we knew we needed to get him an MRI and any additional testing required to help us get a firm diagnosis of what conditions Snapple had. The MRI confirmed that he has CH, and that nothing else was abnormal in his brain. We also did a spinal tap and it confirmed he did not have any cervical spinal cord diseases. We had a full panel of blood work and urinalysis done at the same time. All the results showed that he was a healthy cat, other than his cerebellum being underdeveloped.

 

MAF: What are some of Snapple’s favorite activities?

G: He loves going through his tunnels, playing with and chasing Moana (with some assistance from mom and dad), and running in his cart. Oh, and eating!! Churu is a front-runner for treats.

 

MAF: What does he mean to you?

G: He’s a family member, as is Moana. They mean the world to us and no less than any other human family member we have.

tuxedo rescue cat with cerebellar hypoplasia
Via @moana.and.snapple on Instagram

MAF: What made you decide to adopt a cat with special needs?

G: I don’t think anything specific really made us decide to, other than we both have a love for cats and we felt we both wanted to and were ready to help a kitty with special needs. We had both been following special needs cats and foster accounts with special needs on IG for a long while. We had a conversation about how we were willing to foster or adopt special needs cats at some point. It just all fell together. Our conversation happened maybe two to three weeks prior to Snapple’s video showing up on Ed’s feed. Ed felt an instant connection with Snapple through the video and it just went from there. He said it was Snapple’s spark for life and of course his sweet face that got him!

We had two boys prior to Moana and Snapple, and they were with us from when they were eight weeks old until one passed at 14 and the other at 17 years old. It had been a few years since we had furbabies until Moana, our first foster, and first foster fail in March 2021.

tuxedo rescue cat with cerebellar hypoplasia
Moana/Via @moana.and.snapple on Instagram

Both our boys had chronic kidney disease and we were giving meds and administering SQ fluids at home daily for years, so we felt like we could take on a little extra care and more.
MAF: Can you tell me a little about how you learned Snapple actually had cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), not brain and cervical spinal cord disease?

tuxedo rescue cat with cerebellar hypoplasia
Via @moana.and.snapple on Instagram

G: Once we knew we wanted to adopt him, we knew we needed to get him an MRI and any additional testing required to help us get a firm diagnosis of what conditions Snapple had. The MRI confirmed that he has CH, and that nothing else was abnormal in his brain. We also did a spinal tap and it confirmed he did not have any cervical spinal cord diseases. We had a full panel of blood work and urinalysis done at the same time. All the results showed that he was a healthy cat, other than his cerebellum being underdeveloped.

tuxedo rescue cat with cerebellar hypoplasia
Via @moana.and.snapple on Instagram

MAF: What are some of Snapple’s favorite activities?

G: He loves going through his tunnels, playing with and chasing Moana (with some assistance from mom and dad), and running in his cart. Oh, and eating!! Churu is a front-runner for treats.

 

MAF: What does he mean to you?

G: He’s a family member, as is Moana. They mean the world to us and no less than any other human family member we have.

tuxedo rescue cat with cerebellar hypoplasia
Via @moana.and.snapple on Instagram

If you want to learn more about Snapple, you can follow him on Instagram.

 

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