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Pet Stories: In Your Own Words


By: Betsy B. Kennerly

The story of my "special needs" kitty named Cody. He has helped a child with a life-threatening disease 3000 miles away from him. They have never met but he has inspired her to face many obstacles. Here is his story and toward the end it will tell you about the child. To understand how Cody bonded to her you must understand Cody's story of obstacles.

Cody's Story-A Story of Special Needs and A Very Special Bond of Love

Cody is a one year old Golden Tabby Persian who has touched many hearts throughout the world. He has a huge internet following and has been featured on websites of people who have been touched by his story. He has been called "our special one..our hope....our inspiration." However, Cody has had his own share of tragedy.

At 4 months old he was suddenly unable to use his hind legs, had definitive ataxia and pain in his spine. It was thought that he sustained a spinal cord injury. He was crate confined and required total care, including bowel and bladder management. It was uncertain that he would recover and euthanasia was remotely being discussed. He did make steady improvement because he was blessed with a wonderful team of veterinarians who worked with love and dedication to Cody's needs. They became "Cody's voice". Nature and veterinary medicine allowed Cody to continue to make progress. Cody was yet to experience another setback in his young life. At 6 months old, Cody was found to have, under routine anesthesia for neutering, a rotary instability of his neck. The diagnosis was made of Atlanto-Occipital Rotary Instability. Xrays and medical records were sent to the Department of Neurology at the University of California for a team evaluation and recommendations. The opinion was that this was an extremely rare condition and a potentially fatal one if he was not protected. Later information revealed that there is no treatment for this condition due to the fact that this is so high up to the head and neck. It was then that I was told of Cody's future: cage confinement to protect him as much as possible.I looked at this happy, playful, lovable little kitten and realized that he deserved the best care and chance at life that I could give him. I had to provide him with the unconditional love and protection that he required.

Cody is now one year old, still lives in his daytime and nighttime cages, but is able to have brief supervised outings with me in one room daily. I am constantly amazed by people who write to me and ask if they can put a picture of Cody and his story on their websites. I am also amazed at the number of people whose hearts have been touched by Cody. People tell me he is their inspiration to face their own human frailties. Others believe that Cody has a "mission" while he is here on this Earth. Recently, a doctor from 3000 miles away wrote to me to tell me about a little girl who has a life-threatening rare disease requiring a bone marrow transplant. The child was depressed and not talking, and all of the hospital staff's efforts to encourage her had failed. Somehow this doctor thought to tell the little girl about Cody and his story. The next day, the doctor walked into her room and the child had written a song about herself and Cody. She called it "Cody Song". From that day on, the child became known as "Cody's Little Girl". There are now websites relating this story. I sent pictures of Cody to this child and she drew pictures of she and Cody together, wrote loving notes to Cody, and now they maintain a long-distance "friendship" and bond. The same day as the child wrote Cody's Song, her insurance approved a procedure that they had , to this point, refused. Her doctors say they are usually somewhat skeptical, but they have to think that this is "Cody Magic' at its best. What I've come to learn is that every little breath he takes is magical and a miracle to me.

All animals with special needs deserve no less than our love, devotion, and care. I no longer question why this happened to Cody. I believe he is here for a reason, and it's a reason far more spiritual than we know. He has a way of bonding with those he meets and those who he may never meet. This type of loving soul defies explanation. I am blessed to have Cody in my life.

Now when I look in his eyes I see the love of ALL animals who have special needs. If I can help just one person to understand, love and care for a pet with special needs, then my mission is accomplished.Cody's mission will continue to be, simply, to love. I have learned great lessons from Cody. I have learned the art of patience. I have learned to be and to think in more gentle terms. I have learned that it is really quality, not quanity, of life that is important. I have learned the purest form of love.


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