In memory of Norman and a lasting legacy to help many other fragile cats with extra special needs we have decided to continue with NORMANS CONQUEST. Norman arrived at BCWR on 6th June 2019.
On arrival he was unable to stand, eat unaided, wash himself or mobilise . He was assessed by our vets and diagnosed as having a neurological condition called hydrocephalus (cerebral spinal fluid on the brain). This condition results in pressure causing a dome shape usually on the front of the head. He was also diagnosed as likely deaf, blind and extremely wobbly. We felt very uncertain about his future.
Despite this we gave him a chance and he began his rescue life a very playful and happy kitten indeed.
Due to his complexities our specialist volunteers monitored and nursed his condition. We expected likely changes in his condition including; seizures, an Increased domed, irregularly shaped head (indicating fluid retention), Behavioral problems, irregular sleeping habits, slow growth, high stepping, difficulty eating, drinking or swallowing and coordination issues.
On the 11th June 2019 volunteers were pleased to share news of how Norman had come on in leaps and bounds and, for a kitten with such a severe neurological condition and with no sight and limited hearing, we think he is doing amazingly well. Hydrocephalus is a serious neurological disorder with lots of complications and, whilst we simply did not know what the future held for Norman at this stage, what we did know is that his quality of life was, at that time, of absolutely no concern.
The weekend of 13-14th June 2019 saw a successful re-homing weekend at BCWR and Norman even found himself a new girlfriend (pictured). As you can see in the photos it was love at first sight and a lovely moment to share with such a little bundle of courage.
On 17th July 2019 we launched NORMAN’S CONQUEST. This project saw the development of our safe outdoor space known as our SENSE Garden where we brought our PROTECTAPET fence forward into the garden by approx two metres on two sides, which created an extended Memory Garden and Paws for Thought Picnic area. It had become very apparent that Norman had defied the safety element of the original boundary PROTECTAPET fencing installed two year previously and we realised we needed to minimise the chance of any accidents for Norman and his other special needs rescue friends. Due to his condition, one minor bump for Norman on the head could have been fatal and a tree climbing Norman would not have been safe Norman at all.
Our SENSE garden framework means that we always strive to ensure a:
Whilst this project came with a price tag of around £1000 in materials, you simply cannot put a price on the safety and well-being of our cats. We were very lucky to have a builder, architect and the fantastic team at PROTECTAPET, generous support from Manninghan Concrete, and of course our own volunteers who donated much of their skills and time to NORMAN’S CONQUEST.
Sadly on the 4th August 2019 we shared the sad news that our little Norman had passed away peacefully. Norman had a sudden onset of paralysis and, despite every single attempt to help him, mother nature took over. After much thought we decided to continue NORMAN’S CONQUEST in his memory and to share a lasting legacy to help many other fragile cats with extra special needs.
We opened our new SENSE garden and Sanctuary View on 26th August, with our beautiful Boudicca (you can read her story here) and volunteers providing cream tea to visitors. The transformation has been amazing and has made a huge difference in allowing safer space for all for many years to come. We could not have completed this without the financial and physical support of our volunteers and visitors and we are so grateful to have such a spirited community around us.