Derecho’s Determination Paves the Way for Many Others


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DerechoDetermination. It’s not something many small kittens already have, but Derecho had it from the start. He arrived at Friends of Felines Rescue Center (FFRC) in Defiance, Ohio on July 4th, 2012, in the aftermath of a big storm that had hit the area.

Derecho was only seven weeks old and was found in a wood pile, apparently abandoned by his mama and siblings because he could not keep up with them. The reason behind this weakness? He was just too wobbly.

When he arrived, the staff and volunteers at FFRC quickly realized that Derecho was a special cat with Cerebellar Hypoplasia, commonly referred to as a CH cat. These cats are born to a mama that probably had distemper while the babies were being formed. The condition shows up in an underdeveloped cerebellum and, since the cerebellum is responsible for balance,               cats with the condition end up being “wobbly” or off balance.

Derecho struggled and struggled to get around. He could get up, but his unsteadiness made it difficult at first. Then one day he figured it out! If he spread his legs apart, it immensely helped him to keep his balance, for the most part.

The first day that he walked 20 feet without a “topple over,” the volunteers were all elated. While he will always be a “wobbly” cat, his determination to figure it out has been outstanding.

Derecho’s Determination Walk

As a result, Derecho became the CH spokescat for FFRC. There are now 13 CH cats at FFRC, ranging from mild to severe cases. The staff and volunteers love them all! If it were not for Derecho, they admit that they may not have had their eyes opened to how wonderful these cats are. They never consider it a disability-they’re simply cats with abilities!

Because they are a no-kill rescue and mostly take in adoptable cats in order to find them homes, they never realized the potential to give some of their rescue efforts to CH cats until Derecho came along!  Some of these cats are adoptable and some are permanent residents.

Regardless, they have a lot of love to give and are a true inspiration. They figure it out-they work and work, figuring out the best way to be mobile. Above all, they all have something in common-giving love and receiving love!


Friends of Felines Rescue is a non-profit, no-kill rescue located in Defiance, Ohio. All cats at the rescue live free of cages, other than for brief quarantine periods. They are free to climb, run and play wherever they wish and snuggle up to a friend for a nice afternoon nap.


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4 thoughts on “Derecho’s Determination Paves the Way for Many Others”

  1. Derecho is one awesome kitty. I’ve been to FFRC and let me tell you it is a wonderful place. I call it my “happy place”. Love abounds there. Every kitty is loved. I am lucky that I have met all of the CH kitties at FFRC. Each one is special to Jacci Moss and the volunteers. Derecho was one determined little guy and what a handsome happy boy he is now. Thank you Jacci Moss for taking in these special kitties.

  2. I have been a daily dedicated web “cammer” of FFRC since October 2012. I had never heard of CH before seeing and falling in Love with Derecho. I have not had the privilege of visiting FFRC, yet, but when I do, Derecho will be the first kitty I look for! He has the most sweetest disposition. Always so gentle with the kittens and always allows all cats to come up and say hi. It is also great fun to watch him play with his favorite toys or with other cats. Such a gentle soul. Thank you to Jacci, the volunteers and Jacci’s family for allowing the world be apart of their lives and these well loves cats!

  3. Derecho is a real sweet boy. Jacci and the volunteers do a wonderful job with all the kittens and cats. The love they receive at FFRC is wonderful. Derecho can be a real inspiration to a lot of people too. Never give up and continue on. I thank jacci and her lovely family volunteers mods for allowing the world to take part in such a lovely place. It’s truly a happy and lovely place to visit. Derecho we love you.

  4. I love Derecho so much! I am a member of The FFRC Nation since 2011~ derecho is one of my favorite cats! His determination is what makes him so loveable and I want everyone to know this wonderful cat! He means the world to me!

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