May I ask how old you are?
About 5-6 years old. The shelter didn’t have an exact age.
Where did your name come from?
It came from the woman I lived with before my new home. She had to go to a nursing home and her other cats (my mom and dad don’t know how many) were all adopted but me. No one wanted me because I was blind. That made me very sad. Then the Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary in North Carolina put up a notice about me on Facebook and my new mom saw it and called them immediately. She filled out the application, but was number two on the list. The number one lady lived in Connecticut and she decided it would be a long scary ride for me to take so she let me go to my mom since we were both in Maryland. My new mom said she didn’t want to change my name because she knew that it would be the only thing I’d recognize when she took me to my new home.
Were you born blind or did you become blind over time?
I was born blind.
Were you excited to get your very own forever home?
When I first got to my new home, I was very afraid and I hid under a bed for about two weeks. I’d slink out to eat and use the litter box and quickly run back under the bed. But as I got braver and started coming out more and more I found out that my new family was nice and only wanted to love me and take good care of me. What kitty wouldn’t love that?! And I felt good knowing there was another cat to keep my company when the humans weren’t home.
Was it scary riding in the car?
It was! I was very quiet and didn’t move even though my new mom spoke to me all the way home. I didn’t recognize any of the sounds and none of the voices. My mom and dad had to come to what they call the Eastern Shore in Maryland to get me from the shelter and take me back across a big bridge to where they live.
How long did it take for you and Buster to get used to each other?
Not too long. My new mom and dad put up a baby gate so that Buster could see me and I could smell him, but I surprised them by jumping over the gate the first day! MOL! I might be blind, but that doesn’t stop me from being a cat! Ever since then, Buster and I have been friends.
Did your mom have to make any adjustments to make sure you could get around easy?
Not really. With my long whiskers and super-power hearing, nothing much gets by me! She was afraid I wouldn’t find my food or the litter box so she kept everything in one room with me. After a few days they started moving everything back to where Buster always had the little box and food and I had no trouble finding either one! Buster and I have a very tall cat tower with three perches and I jump up into the bottom one and Buster uses the middle one. My mom and dad were surprised to come in the door one day and see me lying up in Buster’s! To this day, they don’t know how I got up there! MOL!
What are you favorite things to do?
I have a favorite mouse that used to be tethered to a pole, but I wanted it so bad I pulled it off! Now I walk around with it in my mouth and meow very loudly so everyone knows I caught it again! I also love to take it to my mom’s pillow every night as a gift and she’s most appreciative and tells me what a good hunter I am!
My favorite place to be is wherever my mom is. I sleep with her at night and when she’s home, I lay down next to her.
I also love to stalk and chase Buster through the condo! Sometimes he gets upset and bats at me, but that never stops me. It might not be fun for him, but it’s fun for me! (My mom said it’s kitty karma because Buster used to chase Chi-Chi!)
Questions for your mom – Is this your first blind cat?
Yes. I read the book, Homer the Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper, and it made me want to have a blind cat myself. I was super excited to go get Beanie once we were approved and I’ve never regretted a second of having him share our lives. I would recommend having a blind cat to anyone.
Are there things that Beanie can’t do?
One thing I don’t allow Beanie to do is to go out on the patio. I will occasionally let Buster out there, but I’m afraid to let Beanie out because we live on the second floor. He might be fine, but I’m afraid he might try jumping up over the railing so I don’t let him go out there. Other than that, I’ve haven’t found much of anything else. No one told him he’s blind and he doesn’t feel limited. One day I was listening to an email a friend sent me that contained the songs of different birds. As I was playing the various songs, Beanie was sitting in front of our patio door and looking up out the window with his head tipped listening for the birds. Even though he’s never seen one, his instincts still kick in! We also feed hummingbirds on our patio and Beanie listens to the hum of their wings when they’re at the feeder.
Also, I travel to New York quite often to visit my family. I used to bring Buster (and Chi-Chi, our other cat who has since gone to the Rainbow Bridge) with me when I went. I won’t bring Beanie because I know he’d be lost and scared there and wouldn’t know where anything is. I know it would also be a frightening ride for him since it’s six hours of driving each way. So we now hire a cat sitter to come in to check on the cats each day when we’re gone.
How long did it take for Beanie to get used to his surroundings?
It was only a couple of weeks. He warmed up to everything quicker than we expected and we were amazed at how well he adapted.
What would you like to say to people who are hesitant on adopting a blind cat?
Don’t hesitate at all! Beanie is such a joy and he’s a truly affectionate cat. I can’t imagine my life now without him and I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to adopt another one.
How had Beanie changed your perception of blind cats?
I always thought it would be very limiting to have a blind cat in the home, but I now know that they’re just as easy to take care of as a sighted cat and the joy he brings is unlimited! I now encourage people to adopt blind cats.
Is there anything you or Beanie would like to add?
Beanie would like everyone to know that he and other blind cats will bring you love and happiness like you’ve never known before. And I can’t stress enough how much my life has been enriched since we brought Beanie into our lives and home. If anyone decides to adopt a blind cat, you will never regret it! I will definitely do it again.
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Beanie & his mom for letting me interview them both. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit Beanie on his Facebook page – Beanie (The Blind Cat)
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