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Tiny Timmy: He's never going to be the cat he was born to be.

Tiny Timmy came into the life of  Claudia Tietze in 2009 as a damaged kitten; flea riddled, poisoned by chemicals, and with neurological problems. Claudia devotes herself to Timmy’s care and rehabilitation, while waging a campaign against the flea products she blames for his neurological disorder.

This week, Claudia and Timmy are in the spotlight over her backing of the principals in a lawsuit over harmful products and the damage they cause.

Timmy’s early story, from The Journey of Tiny Timmy:

“I was rescued from death. When the peeps came to pick me up, they were told I had a “muscle disorder” and would never get better. The bad people thought this was funny. They would try to push me around like a broken Tonka Truck to get me to run so they could laugh… It wasn’t funny…

The peeps noticed straight away that my body was coated with something. It felt like dried old hairspray to them. They started not feeling so good, then figured out it was Sergeants Flea & Tick spray. It’s marked for cats, but it has pyrethrins and permethrin in it. Both of those are toxic to kitties. The bad people gave a bottle of it to my peeps. The smiled and said, “Only $2 at Walmart”

I was so very sick. And the spray they used on me didn’t even work. All the fleas just clung closer to my skin. The peeps gave me a flea comb and a warm bath. I was too sick to care, so I just hung there in their arms. They flea combed me after too. There were about 60 fleas in the tub, about 40 they pulled off of me with the first combing… After the bath, there were even more on my little body. Over 350 fleas came off of me. I felt so much better without my hitchhikers, but I was still too sick to care much…

I could not walk and could hardly stand. I mostly just laid around. The peeps brought me a pet bed in my special room where I stayed for a while until I was strong enough to be around the other kitties. I couldn’t get into or out of the pet bed myself. I had severe tremors and muscle spasms. The peeps watched me all day and night to be sure I didn’t have a seizure.

I was so weak I could hardly keep my head up by myself. If I tried, it would lull from side to side and I would just close my eyes cuz it made me dizzy. The peeps held me a lot and took me to see a vet who knew a lot about kitties like me.

This is the first place I was fed kitty food. Before I got beer, cheetos, pizza, hot pockets and ice cream.

The vet said my nerves were very damaged but that since I was so little, I might recover some. Nerves grow back at a really slow rate, but kitties grow up really fast. Some days are really hard for me because I grew faster than my nerves grew back. The vet said we should know how much damage I will have after about two years. That’s a long time for a kitty like me.

I love noms… all kinds of food really. I used to peck at it like a chicken because I would tremor when I ate. I’ve gotten much better about that. I would wear a lot of noms on my face because of the pecking. It wasn’t all bad, though! It meant I got to have noms long after the bowl was empty!

See how I am trying to balance myself? My front legs are way far back. I was still pecking at my foodies. It was like I knew what to do, but I just couldn’t make my body do it.

When I was in the bad place, they had a huge box I could not get into unless someone put me ontop of a high bed and I fell into it. Then I couldn’t get back out of it again. So potty time was always stressful for me. I would poop standing up, then go totally rigid as a board and fall backwards. It hurt my back, so the peeps made this for me! Sometimes I would be so weak I could only lay down to go, but that happens really rarely now because I try so hard to be like all other kitties.”

Tiny Timmy’s personal journey continues from there, to include neurologists, acupuncture, improvements, setbacks and ordinary days. Timmy tries to be a normal cat and is given lots of love and diligent care.

Timmy is also a spokescat for his petmom’s crusade to inform petlovers of the dangers of  OTC (over the counter) flea and tick products. Claudia and a few of her colleagues have gone to Washington DC twice in the last two years to be heard by the EPA.

Claudia maintains a Facebook page, Tiny Timmy’s Healing Journey and a website of the same name Tiny Timmy’s Healing Journey, at tinytimmy.org

The news video below features Claudia and Timmy, along with her message,  and includes the most frequently used responses from the companies selling the products in question.

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7 comments

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    November 22, 2011 11:12 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Tracey

    Timmy you are so lucky that Claudia has you and I am sure that she would say she is to have you. I hope that you will live as good a life as possible and that all goes well from here on for you. Be strong and know that you are loved.

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    November 23, 2011 3:45 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Anne McQuiston

    So sorry about your begins Tiny Timmy. Hope you get better soon and able to be a regular cat and do all the things that regular cats do. You are an inspiration to all cats. Get well soon my friend and I love you alot also.

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    November 23, 2011 4:53 pmPosted 3 years ago
    Aby

    My girl, Aby, was suffering from hyperthyroidism, but was on medication that would make her better. My vet assured me that my very ill 14 year old kitty baby could be treated with Advantage spot flea treatment for kittens. The day after I gave her the flea medicine, she went downhill FAST. She lost control of her bladder, was lethargic and cried in agony. While some of this may have been the hyperthyroidism, I think she was made even more sick by the flea med. Within three days after giving her the Advantage she was miserable, in pain, with no control over her bladder and had very little strength or life. I’m convinced that the Advantage helped to kill her. When I called Bayer, they insisted that they did not think it could be their medicine, but they did not know if it interacted with her thyroid or thyroid medicine. Even though my vet told me it should be okay for her if I gave her a kitten does, I’m positive there wasn’t enough knowledge about what illnesses and drug interactions would do..
    I had to put my Aby to sleep three days after giving her the Advantage though it tore my heart out; I felt like I killed her. She was, I’m certain, affected by the Advantage. Be VERY careful with Advantage if your kitty is ill.
    I am now afraid to give my other cats Advantage, the Sargeants and Hartz had never worked to kill fleas, but they did at least give our money back (this was years ago) and it never caused illnesses at all as they did with Timmy.
    I am so glad that Timmy has a loving home, it makes all the difference in the world. Love him gently and unconditionally, he is a treasure. I will never forget my AbyNormal-who never suffered a sickness in her life. I know she could have beat the hyperthyroidism, but not the flea medicine.

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      November 23, 2011 11:05 pmPosted 3 years ago
      Editor (Author)

      I’m so sorry for Aby’s suffering and demise, and for your continued suffering and regret.

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        November 25, 2011 8:33 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Tracey

        Remember the story of the kitty ,Tulip, who had swam to help with her nerve damage and she got to save her leg. Maybe Timmy could also swim and get some help with his nerve damage. Maybe you get this message to Timmy’s owner so he could get some more relief. I love that he has a loving owner. Thank you for posting this story.

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          November 25, 2011 10:23 pmPosted 2 years ago
          Editor (Author)

          Yes, there’ve been a few stories of cats who have benefited from swimming. I know Timmy has benefited from acupuncture. ‘Will pass on your suggestion. Thanks so much, Tracey

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        December 19, 2011 1:49 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Aby

        Thank you. I just want to know if that flea medicine, made by Bayer, contributed to her death.
        I love this site and am grateful for all the good that you do. I will always send out shares of your moving and sometimes horrific stories.
        Keep up the great work.

        Reply

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