Junior was born April 2013 to a feral mom. Junior, his brother and sister were caught and taken into foster care in May 2013. While in foster care Junior's personality was so large everyone instantly fell in love with him.

Junior always was the big man stomping around not taking any attitude from anyone. It was after about 5 weeks we noticed he didn't seem to be growing as fast as his siblings but we figured he would catch up.

One day Junior had his first major hepatic episode and fell off the ledge he was sleeping on. He had temporary paralysis and blindness. He was rushed to the emergency vet who suggested he be humanely euthanized. We decided to wait and get a second opinion. The next day thinking he was injured the vet took x-rays and diagnosed him with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Thinking Junior could have a massive heart attack at any time we spoiled him. Junior was given everything he wanted which turned out to be the worst thing for him. Junior became more hepatic. Symptoms included heavy drooling, tremors, head pressing, blindness, paralysis, seizures and severe aggressiveness.
We decided we had to do something. An appointment was made with a cardiologist who took one look and said this cat has a liver shunt. Junior was taken to UC Davis. Our first appointment was interesting. Junior in a full blown episode tried to crawl the walls. He looked like a cat version of the exorcist.  When I tried to hold him so the staff could look at his tongue that was bleeding he ripped me open in a few spots and tore my shirt. Dr. Zacuto immediately put him on hills l/d, lactulose, amoxicillin and pepcid. It only took a few days and we had the cat we all knew and loved back.

 For the next year, a team of us worked on raising money for his surgery. We sold shirts, had a raffle and shared his story. April 2015 Junior went in to have ameroid ring surgery. The morning of surgery, the surgeon called to let me know he had a special shunt. It was one vessel that was both extra and intra-hepatic. We went over the additional risks which included extra time in surgery but decided to go ahead. Junior did fantastic. He was a stubborn boy and refused to eat at the hospital. I ended up syringe feeding him on one of my visits. When he came home we learned he was very talented at getting every cone off.  Junior was so good I finally gave up and left the cone off. Thankfully, he was a good boy and left his stitches alone.

 Junior's surgery was successful and he is now weaned off all meds and back on regular food. While we can still see some side effects, Junior basically is now a normal, happy, healthy cat who still thinks he is charge.

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