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Athena is a beautiful black cat who was found on the side of a Minnesota Highway as a small kitten. She has severe balance and coordination problems due to a condition known as hyperplasia cerebellum (comparable to cerebral palsy in humans) caused in felines by a prenatal distemper infection, and it appears to be this condition which led to her abandonment all those years ago. No matter her coordination issues and in spite of a traumatic start, Athena is in all respects a happy, playful and well adjusted cat. She loves toys of all sorts.the outdoor cat run in the summer, and is unique among the cats in the North cattery in that she will come trotting up in response to her name being called, almost like a dog would!

Home for Life has many black cats, and to help our new staff tell them apart, each wears a collar - staff can then consult the collar key to identify each cat. In Athena's case, she has always worn a yellow honey bee collar to distinguish her, but it is her cheerful, sunny spirit  which sets her apart. Athena has always been independent and optimistic, living in peace with the other cats but tending to seclude herself from them, maybe out of a sense of self protection with her condition. Perhaps because of her disability, Athena has remained no bigger than the size of a large kitten, yet the other cats have always treated her kindly, allowing her to go her own wobbly way on her own terms. Undoubtedly it is that independent spirit and will to survive which kept this small black feline alive when she was alone in the world, left to fend for herself on the interstate when only a kitten. Now 13 years old, the  small but mighty Athena has overcome abandonment and the daily challenge of her disability while always retaining her sweet purrsonality. 

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