Life with a Blind CatPublished July 19, 2010
While I generally assert that I have always equally loved each of my cats, I have to admit, there have been a few affectionate exceptions.
I first met Yo-Yo, a female Seal Point Siamese when she was 4-weeks-old. An adorable ball of fluff, her deep blue eyes, her roaring purr and loving disposition, along with her insatiable curiosity, wove tendrils of love deeply into my heart.
Her breeder and I were close friends, so I promised that if she gave the kitten to me, I would grant her visiting rights whenever she desired.
Eight weeks later, in a delightful surprise, my friend rang my doorbell, carrier in tow. Once I lifted the cover, Yo-Yo sprang out like a jackrabbit, immediately establishing a lofty position in the hierarchy of my resident cats. With lots of purring and an abundance of licking, my other felines accepted her in record time, thoroughly succumbing to her charms. Yo-Yo already held an unrivaled place in my heart as well.
And while the joy of sharing our home with Yo-Yo was sheer delight, it was not without its downsides. She was frail, requiring extra special care. She bore one litter of kittens that were not fully developed and died in utero. She also had a very delicate digestive tract and food allergies. But through it all she purred, rubbed her soft body against my legs, her tail always straight in the air looking like some furry pointing device.
At 10 years of age, Yo-Yo started showing signs of going blind. For instance she began missing landings on her athletic broad jumps. A veterinary ophthalmologist confirmed our suspicions and diagnosed her with a rather rare condition, Feline Retinal Atrophy.
Living with a blind cat is basically no different than living with a sighted cat. One only has to make small accommodations and not move furniture around precipitously. Blind cats adapt extremely well to what some folks might consider a "disability". In fact newcomers to our home never knew she had lost her vision.
So I found it very disconcerting and heartbreaking to learn that many blind cats surrendered to shelters are often considered unadoptable, resulting in unnecessary euthanization.
Fortunately there is a very special organization, Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary, Inc. located in North Carolina.
This nonprofit opened its doors to care for and protect blind cats, and presently has over 48 resident special needs kitties, not only blind, but also with an array of other health issues.
During a delightful impromptu phone interview with Alana, the director of this unique organization, I found myself enchanted by her philosophy and the huge amount of tender love she and the other volunteers give cats in their care.
Alana says, "Blind cats are cats that just happen to not be able to see." It was obvious that every resident cat holds a special place in her heart.
Any cat that is certified blind by a licensed veterinarian will be accepted by the sanctuary. Cats placed have a forever a loving home. All cats must be neutered or spayed, FIV/FEL tested and up to date on vaccines. The sanctuary will consider accepting a FIV/FEL positive cat on a case- by-case basis.
Watch this delightful video of their resident cats, uploaded to YouTube by Blindcatrescue.
Let's give Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary, Inc. and its resident kitties a round of apaws, by leaving a comment.
Photo: A resident kitty at Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary, Inc.