To say that Frankie, an 8-year old Tuxedo cat, is a beloved member of the Vartanian family is an understatement. This fur baby is cherished by his family, even more so since Hilary and her husband became empty nesters and then endured the subsequent pandemic.
Hilary and her son, Alex, had wanted a cat for years, but her husband wasn’t a fan of the idea. Undeterred, Hilary and Alex went to Animal Haven in New York City to check out the kittens. Frankie was one of three brothers and the only one left in his litter. When Frankie went up to Alex and sat in his lap, it was a done deal: Frankie found a home and a brother. Since then, Hilary’s husband has fallen hard for Frankie and they’ve developed their own special relationship.
Since then, their son went off to the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU). Then enter 2020 and the pandemic. Living in the heart of New York City, they were in the middle of one of the hardest-hit areas and went into a full lockdown in March that lasted until May. Hilary described the lockdown as “a very dark time. A very grim and scary time. But Frankie bolstered us emotionally. He gave us a sense of comfort and hope during those days of uncertainty.”
One night, Frankie woke Hilary up around 4 a.m. convulsing, seizing and stumbling. He had always been in perfect health, although a bit on the heavy side. In the middle of the pandemic, Hilary and her husband had to figure out a way to get Frankie to the only veterinarian hospital that was open in the city. Fortunately, they were able to find a taxi and get him across town to the hospital before dawn. The health care team intubated Frankie while Hilary and her husband waited outside of the hospital. The vet determined that Frankie had had a vestibular stroke, which has symptoms such as falling, lack of coordination and a head tilt. Ten years ago, the vet may have recommended putting the cat down, but today’s thinking is that attention, time and nurturing can bring a cat back to an almost normal existence.
Frankie’s Recovery at Home
One of the positives of the pandemic is that both Hilary and her husband were home, so they were able to care for him around the clock when he came home from the hospital. They got the house prepared for Frankie’s return, kind of like prepping a house for a toddler by laying pillows around the floor in case he lost his balance and fell over. They carried him to his food bowl and litter box and lifted him onto his favorite sofa for a nap every day. Soon Frankie started to get his strength and mobility back. They did notice that Frankie was always scratching his ear and had a pronounced head tilt.
When Hilary was getting her son settled at CU for his freshman year, she discovered Moon Mother Hemp Company at their retail store in Boulder. It was a fortuitous meeting where she met the founder, Jessica Bates. They struck up a conversation about life and the transitions she was facing sending her son off to college. Jessica recommended the Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Cinnamon Tincture to ease Hilary’s nerves and the CBD Dream Balm, which she ended up applying to her heart, temples and ears for a more restful sleep. She also purchased the CBD Muscle Balm for her husband to help him with chronic injuries as a result of playing hockey most of his life.
CBD Pet Care Topical Balm for Frankie
“I’ve always been focused on holistic health and CBD quickly became part of my daily routine, but I hadn’t thought about how to incorporate CBD into our pet care regimen or Frankie’s recovery,” said Hilary.
Knowing that CBD products had helped her family, Hilary reached out to Moon Mother to see if there were any CBD products that may be able to help with Frankie’s ear scratching. They told her about their CBD Pet Care Topical Balm. They suggested rubbing it very gently on the inside of the ear, as the nerve endings in the ear are like pain receptors.
“Frankie loved it,” said Hilary. “He would curl up on my lap. It was like a cat massage. We continued to do this every night. We noticed that Frankie stopped scratching, and he became more at peace with things.”
Over the next few weeks, Frankie started getting his confidence back: he was able to walk across the room without stumbling and he got back to jumping as he always used to do. Also, he started to walk better and his head became straighter. Hilary credits the CBD balm with helping him regain his stability. “We were able to nurture Frankie back to health with the introduction of the CBD Pet Care Balm, and he’s almost back to normal!”