Meet Mea the Beautiful Kitty
Who is Mea?
She is a cat
How old is Mea?
Mea was born in Miami FL sometime in October 2011 (we don’t really know)
Where did the name Mea come from?
This was EXTREMELY easy for me. You see, my mom died of Jacob-Crutzfeldts Disease (the human version of Mad Cow disease) when I was 17. Even though she’s not with me anymore, I know she’s watching over me even though I can’t see her. Well, her middle name was Mea and I thought, how PERFECT that my baby girl won’t ever be able to see me but she knows I’m here and taking care of her So the name Mea is FULL of all sorts of meaning!
How did she come into your life?
Being an animal lover I have “liked” MANY pages on FB. One of them is Last Chance Animal Rescue (LCAR) in Waldorf, MD. This is where I saw a picture of Mea just after her surgery to remove her eyes. I contacted LCAR by email inquiring into Mea but with me living in NE I really didn’t expect to hear back from them. But a week later, I got an email in return! So, I called them, did the paperwork the same day and talked with the director. I was going to be in Washington DC doing a presentation the week of April 15th, which was 3 weeks out. They agreed to hold her for me so on Friday April 20th, I rented a car, drove to LCAR and got to meet all the wonderful women that had taken care of my baby for a number of months and bring her home with me on the plane sitting on my lap the whole time! (shhhh…don’t tell the airline! haha!)
How many eye infections did she have before the vet decided it would be best to remove her eyes?
Honestly I don’t know the answer to this. LCAR had said that when she was 11 weeks old, they got her all the way from Miami FL and brought her to Waldorf, MD (yes, this little girl has traveled!) when they got her, her eyes were so bad that they knew they couldn’t save them and that it would be best to remove them. So she was around 3 months old when she had her eyes removed.
How did she react to that?
Honestly, animals are SO resilient that it didn’t seem to be a big deal at all! The worst part was likely wearing the cone around her head because for a kitty that’s blind, they really need their whiskers to be able to feel around and it would affect the way sound came into her ears as well, so the cone is not the greatest thing for her.
Did you have to make changes to the house when Mea was brought back home after the surgery?
Actually, I adopted her knowing she had no eyes. I did my research before bringing her home to know what would be best to help acclimate her to the house and really, there were only minor things we had to do. You see, her blindness really isn’t a disability at all! Her sense of smell and hearing are so hightened that you would never know she was blind! The few things we did was that we bought a water fountain instead of a bowl so that she could hear it the first few times she had to find it. When we brought her home we put her in her litter box right away so that would be her “starting point” of which everything else in the house would be based around. We don’t move furniture in the house b/c she learned the mapping of the house in the first 2 weeks, so it’s best to keep furniture where it is, just so she doesn’t have to learn a new route to get around the house. But other than that, she does everything a cat normally does! She climbs our 6 ft. cat houses like a pro, chases toys and has actually caught two flies mid air! Like I said, her hearing is UNBELIEVABLE!
How does Mea get around? Does she use sound to help to find her brother or her way around the house?
I kind of answered this above, but really, the best way for you to see how well she does is to watch the video’s on her You Tube page “Mea the Beautiful Kitty that’s Blind” http://www.youtube.com/user/agebhardt34?feature=guide
and you can friend her on FB too with the same name https://www.facebook.com/MeaTheBeautifulKittyThatsBlind
You will be AMAZED by watching the videos I post as many as I possible can and most people are 100% amazed and surprised b/c you really would never know that she doesn’t have eyes! She does EVERYTHING a normal cat would, short of not being able to chase a laser light but she CERTAINLY chases her brothers when they are chasing the light!!!!!
I read that she has 2 siblings, are they special needs cats as well?
We do have two other cats but they are not special needs. Our oldest cat, Shadow, is a 8-9 yr old male black short hair. He was actually my other half, Dusty’s cat and Dusty rescued him when he was a baby. We got our other cat, Peanut, from a farm litter. He was born on St. Patricks Day, March 17th, 2011 and is a male short hair tabby. Shadow is a very independent cat having lived as an only cat for the first 6 years of his life, so he didn’t really care for Peanut much at all. I didn’t realize how much Peanut needed a friend to play and love on until Mea came home and those two are literally inseparable! They are never more than a few feet from each other and the clean each other, play, fight, romp and sleep together every day They are truly best buds!
How did you get interested in animals?
I give my other half Dusty all the credit for that! If you can believe it, I never had an animal ever before! I wasn’t allowed to have pets growing up and until meeting Dusty, I’d never really known cats! I tried to understand Shadow as much as possible when Dusty & Shadow moved in, and we learned to love each other quickly, but it really was when we got Peanut as a baby that, within 24 hrs. of him coming home, it was an instant switch to becoming a HUGE animal lover of ALL kinds of animals! I now volunteer at our Humane Society, I donate as much money as I can to the charities I’ve researched and found to be reputable, and I even became a vegetarian since getting my kiddos! It’s been an amazing shift!
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about adopting a blind cat?
Truly, do your research. You will realize that the animals themselves, whether it’s blindness, loss of a leg, etc….they don’t know they are disabled. All they know is they are the biggest, baddest, sweetest, most amazing creature they know! and I can’t disagree at all. It’s us humans that put this label and stigma on them! There is very little that I do differently with Mea than I do with Peanut! The biggest thing is that I let her smell my hand and “feel” it before petting her so that she knows I’m there. I really don’t pick her up often and when i do I do it slowly b/c that disorients her to where she is in the room (which makes TOTAL sense when you think about it!) but those are the only two things that I consistently do with Mea that I don’t have to do with Peanut or Shadow. Otherwise, she does everything a normal cat would and there really are no differences!!!! I’d suggest that if you are thinking about getting a cat that has special needs, you would be a human angel for them! Animals with disabilities are the first to be killed in most shelters b/c they are “less adoptable”. I say that the more we can get the word out that there is very little difference with these animals, the more we will realize that the issues are with us humans, not the animals at all
Shadow, Peanut, Mea or the soon-to-be new member Sir Walter (Wally) Moo
c/o Angela Gebhardt,
PO Box 94683,
Lincoln, NE. 68509
Mea Related Links:
http://www.youtube.com/user/agebhardt34?feature=guide – Mea’s Youtube Page
https://www.facebook.com/MeaTheBeautifulKittyThatsBlind – Mea’s Facebook PageThank You’s The Author would like to thank Mea’s guardian for her patience with all my questions about the beautiful wonderful Miss Mea. All photos and videos have been used with permission.