Extra Love Needed: Meet Matt the Blind Cat

may I ask how old you are? Where did your name come from? How did you come to live with your family? Were you born blind or did you have an accident to cause you to be blind? How long did it take you to learn your new surroundings? Do you live with any other fursiblings? What are your favorite things to do? What advice would you give to other cats like yourself looking for a permanent home? What advise would your humans like to give to those who are worried/concerned/scared about adopting a blind cat? Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself or your humans would like to share about you? Maybe I borrow pictures of you for the article? I will state they were used with permission. I will also link your facebook page. Thank you for your time.

 

I was rescued in Stephenville, Newfoundland. A lady found me huddled in the snow. She called Port Aux Basques and Area Scaredy Cat Rescue, who then got me to a vet. They thought I was approx. 4 months due to my size, but the vet determined I was roughly 8 weeks old at the time based on my teeth. I had pneumonia as well as upper respiratory infection, conjunctivitis etc. My eyes were so infected, they swollen shut. As they healed the vet realized that I had been born with eyes that hadn’t formed properly. My rescuers called me “Matt Murdock” after Daredevil the blind comic book character. After a few months of healing I was adopted by a gentleman in Cornerbrook. Sadly a few month later our house burned down. One of my kitty brothers died. I was then found the next day in the basement of my house soaked and terrified. I had severe smoke inhalation. I then returned to my previous foster home where I spent many months recovering from the trauma of the fire. It took me a long time to recover from that and it broke my foster parents hearts. I had been such a loving fella when I left and returned scared and withdrawn. They then decided I would stay with them forever because it took so long for me to settle in their home again, to send me to yet another would have been hard on me. It doesn’t take me long to map out a room. Usually within one day I have it memorized. I climb the cat trees just like my furry siblings (I have 7 others kitties living in my home), I can navigate just as well up onto the furniture as they do. Sometimes something might be left on the floor like a suitcase, box etc and I just feel it with my whiskers and go around. I spend lots of time on the Victrola greeting people who come visit us. My forever mom and dad run the rescue so we have lots of visitors! Besides lounging I love playing with soft balls…I carry them around in my mouth. MY favorite thing to do is bumming vittles from my humans. My nose is super strong so I can smell all their good food. My advice for other kitties who are blind is just be yourself and let your true self shine. Change may be scary, but when your forever home comes through its the best feeling ever! While the thought of adopting a special needs cat might seem to be a lot to take on, really having Matt has been no different then having any other cat in our home. As long as we’re not moving the furniture around drastically he does quite well. We’ve made small furniture adjustments in the livingroom, and it he mapped it out quite quickly. Feel free to send us anymore questions you may have. Also take whatever pics you need. I’ll be posting more in the next day or so. Thanks so much for sharing Matts story. Hopefully in convinces others to consider adopting a bling kitty. =^.^= Matt, Bob and Kat

Meet Samson the Blind Cat & Company

Author’s Note: This has been revised as the pictures and editing did not show up when it was published. My apologizes.
Many thanks to Samson’s mom for letting me interview her about the furry family. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit the facebook page – Samson the Blind GA cat to follow their story.

How many pets do you have that need extra care?
We have four are blind or partially sighted, one is deaf, one has FIP.  Gracie, a little long-haired tabby, is about ten months now, and was thrown from a car as a kitten.  I found her in the street, injured, with a concussion, and unable to walk.  As a result, one leg is paralyzed.  But she gets around very well.  She can outrun me!
 samson
How many of them are blind?
Sammy, Cricket, and Bones are totally blind.  Stevie has a little sight in his one remaining eye.  He sees as we would if we were looking through a small circle.  He has to move his head to align his field of vision.
May I ask if they were born blind or lost their eyesight due to infections/disease?
All are rescues as adults so we really don’t know the causes.  All the blind ones came from high kill shelters.  Two are black and blind, pretty much a guarantee of euthanasia in a shelter.  Black cats are the last to be adopted.  Black and blind cats stand almost no chance at all.
We had a lovely Siamese named Li who was adopted as an elderly fellow.  He had gone blind from untreated glaucoma, as did another blind senior girl named Abigail.  Li passed away last year, and Abigail about three years ago.  With the others, we really don’t know the causes, except for Stevie.  He was born with Microphthalmia, meaning his eyes were underdeveloped.  One eye was completely blind.  His lashes turned inward and irritated it so badly that we had that eye removed.  It wasn’t even attached to the optic nerve.  He’s much more comfy now.
Samson (Sammy) was born without eyes.  He was caught as a kitten in a feral cat trap in the mountains.  His rear leg had been broken at some point and healed a bit crooked.  At first he was terrified of being off the ground, so we figure he broke it in a fall.  Now he’s probably the bravest of the blind cats and loves to climb and explore.
Do they have full reign of the house or do they stay in one section/room?
They’re allowed all over the house, except in the formal living and dining rooms.  We have a screened porch in the basement with a cat door, and they all love being out there in pretty weather.  The blind ones navigate the stairs with no issues.  Only Cricket, who is the shyest, doesn’t go downstairs.  She can, but she chooses not to.
How long does it take for them to adjust to their new environment, or does it vary with each cat?
When bringing in a blind cat, we start them out in just one room.  For how long depends upon the cat’s personality.  When they seem comfortable and curious about what lies beyond the door, we will let them have access to another room.  It just increases from there as they seem ready.
We have found that cats born blind are pretty much normal cats.  When they go blind, as from glaucoma, it is more of an adjustment.  Those born blind know no other way to be and think nothing of it.  Those that go blind are usually more cautious and take longer to adapt.  Our Earl Grey was born blind and LOVED exploring.  We nicknamed him Houdini.  If there was a way to get outside, he would find it.  Earl knew no fear.  Sadly we lost him from a probable aneurism a couple of years ago.
Can you tell me a bit about the other cats?
Shamrock is a lovely white Maine Coon with stunning green eyes who is totally deaf.  He startles easily, so we’re always careful to let him know we are there by flicking the lights or waving at him.  If he’s asleep, I’ll hold my hand by his nose.  He’ll eventually pick up my scent and wake up without being startled.  I didn’t know he was deaf when we brought him home.  I figured out when he didn’t run from the vacuum that something was up.  Like the blind ones, he can never go outside, but Shammy loves the porch and lying in the sunshine.  He does understand hand gestures.  If I want him to come, since I can’t call him, I gesture for him to come to me.  He usually does.  He is difficult to treat medically – give pills or meds – as you can’t talk to him to soothe him or calm him down.  Blind cats are pretty easy to treat since they can’t see what’s coming!  🙂  Shamrock loves traveling and often accompanies us on vacation.
Shamrock – white with green eyes – Maine Coon – Deaf
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Cricket – Orange and white – Blind
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Grace – Young tabby – paralyzed leg  after being thrown from car
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Sammy – black with no eyes
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Stevie – grey tabby with one “bluish” eye
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Bones – Black standing on couch – blind
 Bones (1)
The blind cats really need nothing special.  We provide toys that make noise – bell balls or crinkle balls, and they love furry mice.  The laser pointer does nothing for them.  If I move something in the house, they figure it out.  People often ask if they can find their food or litter box.  Not a problem!  They climb, play, and run just like all cats.  Cricket is the shyest of the blind ones.  She is more cautious about climbing steps or jumping down from a bed.
Can you explain a bit about FeLV, FIP & FIV?
We’ve had many FeLV cats over the years.  That is Feline Leukemia.  There’s a good article here with details: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/feline-leukemia-virus
We’ve had FeLV cats live from 8-10 years but others not even make it a full year.  We’ve lost a few immediately after neutering.  Surgery can cause the FeLV to ‘kick in’ and they crash quickly.  FeLV cats CAN live good, happy lives.  Too many vets recommend euthanizing them immediately.  There are precautions you can take to help them.  Our Bo lived 8 good years, and Nala made if over 10 years.  It’s not necessarily a death sentence.  Avoiding stress, a healthy diet, and giving L-Lysine to boost the immune system are all good things for an FeLV kitty.  A positive result could mean the cat is a carrier only and won’t show symptoms.  One of our vets had an FeLv+ kitty who lived 17 years.
Our Biscuit is positive for FIV.  That is Feline Aids (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)  https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/feline-immunodeficiency-virus-fiv
Again, not a death sentence.  Positive can also mean he is a carrier and may never show symptoms.  This disease weakens the immune system, so like with FeLV, avoiding stress, a good diet, and supplements help keep them strong.  If another cat is sneezing or sick, I isolate Biscuit from that cat.  He was a Tom living on the streets, but he’s loving life as a pampered indoor boy.  So far, he shows no signs of the disease at all.
FIP is the one I most dread and hate.  There are two forms – dry and wet.  We’ve dealt with both over the years.  While there are some experimental treatments, they are extremely expensive.  There isn’t a diagnostic test for FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) so by the time the cat shows symptoms, the disease is usually in the latter stages.  Sadly it often claims kittens.  Our Luna lived with dry FIP for about five months longer than expected, maybe because we tried the expensive treatment with her.  She hated taking the oral liquid meds, though, and fought so hard against them that we opted to discontinue, plus the cost – hundreds of dollars a month – was too high for us to continue longer.  I hope one day they find a way to diagnose and treat this horrid disease.

What has been the hardest thing about having cats that need extra love & attention?
Nothing hard about it at all!  We love each one so much and are blessed to have them in our family.  The vet bills can mount up with one of the diseases, but there aren’t any drawbacks to having blind and deaf kitties.
What has been the most rewarding thing about the experience?
Just knowing that these cats who would have been euthanized as ‘unacceptable’ now have a happy and loving home.  Rescue kitties know you saved them.  All the rescued blind cats are very attached to us and like nothing more than being close by.
What would you like to say to people who are hesitant to adopt a cat that may need extra love & attention?
To quote Alana Miller, director of Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary  www.blindcatrescue.com, blind cats are just…cats.  The rewards are so great.  With the ones who have FeLV, FIP, and FIV, you have to go in with your eyes open and know the possible outcome.  But if you believe that these animals deserve a chance for a happy life, regardless of length, it’s easy to open your heart to them.  You may be surprised how hard they fight and how long they will be with you.  I can’t imagine living without a blind cat now.  They amaze us daily with all they can do.  For anyone interested, visit Blind Cat Rescue’s website and read a book called Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline’s Tale or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wondercat.  You’ll never think about blind cats the same again.

Extra Love Needed: Meet Beanie

May I ask how old you are?

About 5-6 years old. The shelter didn’t have an exact age.

Beanie in his new home

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.

Meeting Buster his new brofur

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!

Picking out a toy to play with

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!)

Enjoying some time in the cat tree

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.

Relaxing Sundays are the best!

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.

Buster & Beanie

 

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)

 

This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed Theme. Please click on the below page for more articles on pets that need extra love and care.

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Extra Loved Needed: Meet Melody

How old are you?
I just turned one year old! The nice people at the shelter estimated my birthday to be July 16, 2013.

Where did your name come from?

My mom rescued me at a music festival, so she had to name me something music related! My name at the shelter was actually Melody Star (for the Star of Bethlehem, because the music festival was in Bethlehem, PA). Often mom likes to call me Mellie or Moose!

How did you come to your forever home?
Answered by my mom: In August, there is a local yearly festival called Musikfest. While we were there one night last year, we walked passed some teenagers standing by a box. The first time I contained myself and just kept walking. The second time we passed that area, I saw another teenager walking away from them with a kitten sticking out of her purse. That was all I needed to see! I walked over and started talking to the young boy “watching” the box. He said they had found the kittens and were trying to find homes for them (I do commend them, they were trying to help!). There was 1 kitten left, but it was already “promised” to someone. While talking to him, I observed that the kitten was too young to be away from its mother, and that they had a little dish of tuna they were trying to feed them. Then, as one of the girls came over and picked the lone kitten up, I noticed she had what looked to be very infected eyes. Long story short, I was able to convince them to give me the kitten to take to the shelter we volunteer and foster for (The Center for Animal Health and Welfare in Easton, PA) since it really needed medical attention. At this point, I didn’t know what I was getting into and hadn’t even called the shelter to be sure they would accept her, but I knew the kitten needed help.
The next morning, I took the kitten to be evaluated at the shelter and kept her to foster. At that time she weighed 7 ounces. On Melody’s half-birthday- January 16, 2014 we officially became foster failures and signed her adoption papers! Melody was born with Microphthalmia, so her eyes never developed. She was blind from birth. It was recommended that we remove her eyes as not to have a risk of cancer in the future.

Do you live with any fursiblings?

I have two fur brothers: Socks and Sawyer, and two fur sisters: Mona and Eclair. Mom and Dad still foster for the shelter, so there are also always a number of foster kittens or adults for socialization in the house to play with.

What is your favorite thing to do?
I love to play with toys- especially ones that make noise that I can follow easier. I also enjoy when Mom takes me places and I get lots of love and pets from people!

This is a question for your mom: Have you ever had a blind cat before?
No! I’ve seen cats at the shelter that had to have one eye removed or had some scarring, but never one that was completely blind. We were a bit hesitant taking her into foster, but we had read Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper about a blind cat and knew she would be fine.

Did you need to make any special adjustments to your house for her?
Not really. Melody has been with us since she was very tiny, so she grew up with everything how it is. She did go to my sister’s house while we were on vacation and learned the layout of the house in 2 days!

What would you like to tell others about blind cats?
Don’t feel bad for them! I had people tell me when she was little that she should just be put down because she wouldn’t have a good life. Melody was born blind, so she doesn’t know any different. Get to know them and you will find that they are just normal cats- they eat, walk around the house, use their litter box, play, and snuggle (and get into trouble!).

How long did it take for her to heal from her surgery?
Melody has had 3 surgeries so far. The first she was spayed and they removed a portion of her third eyelid on each eye to be sure it wasn’t blocking any vision she might have had. The second was to remove her left eye. The third was to remove her right eye. She recovered from all of them within a few days. The third one she ended up ripping out half of her stitches the night after her surgery so we had to go to the emergency vet and they put staples in.

Does she need any additional help/care?
Melody needs no further surgeries and is a happy and healthy girl!

Is there anything you would like to add about her?
Melody is a great cat, and I feel like she was brought into our lives for a reason. She opens people’s eyes about how normal a “special needs” cat can be. She loves being pet and being social when we have her out, so we are thinking about getting her certified as a therapy cat. I just need to find the time to be able to take her to places on a regular basis! We love that it makes her happy to make others happy and do good for others- both humans and other animals waiting for their forever homes!

 

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Melody & her mom for answering the questions. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit her on her Facebook page – Melody the Rescue Cat: Love is Blind

 

This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed Theme. Please click on the below page for more articles on pets that need extra love and care.

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Extra Love Needed: Kazu the blind cat

Kazu & his bff the water fountain

How old is Kazu?
Kazu is appx. 7 month old now ( we guess he was born in Dec.2013)

Where did Kazu’s name come from?
Kazu’s full name is Kazuyoshi. It’s Japanese. it means “Number one beauty”.

How did Kazu come to live with you?
Kazu was found as stray in cold January,about 4 weeks old with his one-eyed- sister & another blind brother, without mama cat.
Good Samaritan took them to vet, and vet contacted to non-kill shelter, Purrfect Pals in Arlington, WA ( north of Seattle). Then they had good care of their deformed eyes. Kazu needed to lose both eyes. Sister needed to lose one eye ( right eye). The shelter volunteer made their facebook page, and Mom saw their page, because Mom always follow facebook page of Purrfect Pals.
We thought they would be adopted very soon because they were so adorable. Even they were brought to an event for cats and met Oskar the blind cat but for some reasons, nobody wanted to adopt them.

Kazu & Nozomi

Mom & Dad could not attend the event because of work schedule. So we were surprised no one adopted them. After one week from the event, still they were on adoption list. Mom could not forget them and decided to adopt them. One blind boy was adopted by foster mom. So we got Kazu and Nozomi (one eyed girl, Nozomi means Beautiful hope in Japanese)

How many blind or partially blind cats live with you?
Blind is only Kazu. Paritally blind is just Nozomi. But FYI, Juri (long hair tortie)has deformed front leg, so she is 3 and half legged.

Juri

What advice would you have for those hesitant to adopt a blind cat?
Basically, blind cats can do most of basic things, finding food & water, using litter box, finding their bed.
It’s not difficult but need to accept the difference between ordinary cats and blind cats. Watch them very carefully and closely. Don’t push them to do completely same as sighted cats. You need to listen to them and know what they can do in their own ways or what they cannot do in any way. Then you can see when & how you should help a blind cat.
Of course, they cannot see, so you must make some sound to get their attention or lead them to something. We tap floor or counter to lead him, use toys making sound. We also use short command/ words that he can understand and memorize. Because he cannot see our hand signs or expression on our face as other cats can do.
And you don’t want to change rules you make or layout of room so easily.
But if you are real cat lover, you will do that unconsciously. If your human family members have some difficulties, you will try to do your best for making their life better and easier naturally. Same as cat family members. Try close eyes and think what you want people to help you.

Did you have to make any special adjustments to the house for them?
No, we didn’t. We already had 6 cats then. They are not blind. But in a way, cat-friendly house.8 litter boxes are everywhere in our house. Human toilet lids are always closed. Interior doors are always left open. Cats must be in 100% indoor. Human foods are in sealed containers or pantry.
Fortunately, our sofa & dining chair are covered with fabric. So Kazu can climb up & down using his claws like cat tower covered with carpet.


 

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Kazu and his mom for answering my questions. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit him on his Facebook page –Love Paw Family with Kazu the blind cat

This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed Theme, please click on the badge below for more articles on pets that need extra love.

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Extra Love Needed: Seymour the Wonder Cat

hello!

Where did your name come from Sir Seymour?
Me name iz just Seymour. >*.*< Momma sez me name wuz Santa before me came to furever home. When me comed to dis new house, momma and daddy just call me Seymour!

Momma:Seymour, sweetie, how about if I type for you so we can just use hoomin English, okay?
Seymour: Okay, Momma!

How old are you?
The shelter gave me the birth date of Oct. 1, 2013, so I am almost 10 months old!!!

How did you find your forever home?
I was at the County Building, where the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley (Las Cruces, NM) has a kitty condo for adoptable cats. Momma came there to vote in February and she walked by and saw me and we locked eyes! (well, locked auras or energies or something) Turns out Momma was in the wrong building all together and so it was kismet! She went home, but I was stuck in her heart. She brought Daddy to meet me the next day, then they had to go on a long weekend away. Momma thought about me the whole weekend. Momma told herself if I was still there when she got back, then I was meant to be hers! And I was…and so I am!!!

I read you had a bad upper respiratory infection that caused you to lose your eyes, I am so sorry sweetie.
It’s really okay! I don’t remember having eyes and I don’t miss anything. When Momma and Daddy met me, I still had (blue) stitches in my eyelids but that just made me more adorable to them. I’m very healthy now and have no lasting effects from my early illness!

How long were you at the vets?
Momma doesn’t know. I was fostered with a few of my siblings while I was recovering. Momma was told I came in to the shelter with my mom and 11!!! siblings! Momma doesn’t know what happened to all of us (and didn’t ask on purpose!) but I was with my two sisters at the County Building. One of them had to have one eye of her eyes removed too.

Were you scared?
Me scared? Never! I’m a brave kitty!

Rawr!

Did it take long for you to “map” your home when you got back?
I already was no-eyes when I came to furever home, and it didn’t take me too long to get around here. It’s a big house and I just kept exploring and exploring! Recently, Momma let me go out in the backyard (supervised!) and I LOVED!!!!!!!!!!!!! it! Now, whenever they open the door, I run to it and hope I can go out and explore more. If they don’t let me out, I cry and whine.

Did your sisfur and brofur treat you different?
I was the new cat, so we all had to adjust to each other. I have 2 cat siblings: a sister, Speck, who is 8 years old and a brother Squeekie who is 3. They are both black! I have 2 dog brothers: Gila, a 10 year old Flat Coated retriever and Levi, a 5 year old pug.

What is your favorite thing to do?
I love to chase my sisfur and wrestle wif my cat bruder! I love to play with the soft toys. I love to chase momma around the house! I like to feel the breezes and sniff the air through the windows when they are open.

Purrss

Did you need any medication while you were recovering?
I’m sure I had meds but I was done with them by the time I came to furever home. Momma did have to get a treatment for a skin fungus I had when she adopted me (I gave it to her too! Ooppsss!!!) but that is all cleared up now.

What would you like to say to people who are hesitant on adopting blind cats?
Why be hesitant?! We are great kitties!!! We are probably less trouble than sighted cats because we don’t see all the high places and want to explore them. (or that is momma’s experience!)

Questions for Miss Rachel: Is this your first blind cat?
Yes. We had a dog who had some pretty serious social and health issues and my old kitty Monty spent the last year and a half with 3 legs, so I have had some challenging pets before. I volunteered for a week at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary more than a decade ago and spent some time in with the kitties who live in the “Incontinental Suite”. They were all special needs; some dragging their back legs, some missing legs, some with neurological issues. They didn’t act differently than other kitties, they just moved differently. They were all eager to socialize and play and they weren’t feeling sorry for themselves. It made me realize they don’t see themselves the same way we do; they only know what they CAN do and they just go on from there. It really opened my eyes to special needs animals.

Did you have to rearrange furniture for him?
He was blind when we got him so no, no rearranging. I do have to be careful about where I leave things, like laundry baskets and such. Also have to be careful where I throw his toys so he doesn’t run into things.

What are a few things you would like to tell people about blind cats?
My experience has been nothing but positive. Seymour has been, in some ways, easier than a sighted cat because he hasn’t been up on everything he can jump on. He’s not discovered countertops yet, which is good. We also think it’s been a little easier introducing him to the other cats. Generally, when cats meet, they stare at each other, which is intimidating. Since he has no eyes and can’t stare at the other cats, our perception is that the other cats are less intimidated by him. Yes, he chases them, but he’s not STARING at them. And when he first got here and was busy exploring the house, they would observe Seymour from up high without him knowing it and that was good too. I had one night when I first adopted him when I thought, “I am crazy to adopt a blind cat!” but seriously, it has been easier to introduce him to the home than any other pet we’ve brought in.

If you DO adopt a blind cat, don’t assume they want noisy toys. Seymour actually prefers the quiet ones. Don’t know why…maybe they’re more challenging. Just like any cat, they have their peculiarities and you just have to learn who they are. The biggest challenge with Seymour is that he loves to chase me around the house and I have to be very careful not to trip on him.

Is there anything you or Sir Seymour would like to add?
I frequently get “Poor baby” or “so sad” comments on Seymour, either on Facebook or when I tell people I have a blind kitty. I would really encourage people to stop thinking of special animals from a sad point of view. If they are born that way, they don’t know any different…they’re just themselves and they don’t look at other animals and think “they’ve got something I don’t”. Even when circumstances happen later in life that change an animal’s situation, they just take it as it comes and accept life as it is *now*, not thinking about how things were before. So when I get a “oh, poor baby” response, I usually tell them “poor nothing! This kitty is a pistol!” If you’re willing to adopt a rescue animal, then also consider adopting a special needs animal. They have enormous hearts, just like a “regular” pet. Be sure you have the financial resources if the animal you’re wanting to adopt has ongoing health issues.

*waves paw*

 

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Sir Seymour & Miss Rachel for answering my questions. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit him on his Facebook page – Seymour the Wonder Cat.

This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed Theme, please click on the badge below for more articles on pets that need extra love.

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Extra Love Needed: Meet Aerostotle the Blind Vat Philosopher Cat

Just me laying around

How old are you?
Presently, I am 8 months and 2wks old. My birthday is July 4th.

Where did your name come from?
I was given the name Aristotle, after the Greek Philosopher, when I came into the shelter, but mum changed the spelling to Aerostotle.

How did you wiggle your way into your forever mum’s heart?
I think it was the other way around. Mum didnt see me until after I had both eyes removed and all I did was face the back of the cage. But when she came in to meet me and she said my name, I turned around and went straight to the front of the cage (that was the very first pic mum took of me). It was then I knew I was going to a forever home. We both fell in love with one another hearts. Mum rescued me at 5wks <3

May I ask if it was scary to have the surgery to remove your eyes?
I was itty bitty and had them removed at 3-4 weeks old…so, I don’t remember anything

How long did it take for you to adjust?
It only took a few days..I had to learn my new surroundings, the new sounds in my environment and to learn my new siblings: Sobe da ONE Kenobe, Hannah and LillyBelle.

Who can resist this face?

What tips does your mum have for fostering a blind cat?
It takes a lot of time and patience and trust. We may be blind, but we can live a very happy and stable blife with the proper care. Always do research..adopting/fostering/rescuing a specially-abled kitty may sound cool and awesome, ye have to have the committment and ye want to do it–feel it in the heart.

How did you win the Most Kissable Kat Contest?
Who can’t resist kissing this cute face???

What are some of your favorite things to do?
I like to play with my turbo scratcher, and kitty bunk box, play with my siblings…be wif my mummyand give her hugs and kisses. I like to make my “pawsies” smile and laugh when they watch one of my  videos or see a pic. I have lots of cwinkly and noisey toys, so i play with them also.

You pose so well, did your mum teach you or are you a natural?
I am a naturale

I’ve got my bowtie on and I’m ready to share my philosophies on life.

How did you become a philosopher?
I take a picture I have and add a morale to the end..like how we should “pay it forward”, or always take the challenges

What are some of your philosophies so far?
Life is too short so learn to “let go and move on” Always help out the ones who has no one. My blindness doesn’t keep me from doing anything, it may be more challenging, but in the end, I am a winner.

Is there anything you or your mum would like to add about you or blind cats?
Just do the research and realize it is a life time committment, just like any animaux ye adopt/rescue. Just because Aero is blind, he has other senses that helps navigate him through life–his hearing is heightened and he can follow sounds real well, he has a good sniffer. My mission in life is to educate people that blind cats can lead a normal life given the proper care and love. Everyday is a challenge for specially-abled and handicapable animals of all species and breed.

Sun puddles are awesome

I am still amazed what Aero can do on a daily basis. He has no fear…none.

Dedication:

This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Miss Amber. Fly free sweetie.


Many thanks to Aerostotle & his mom for answering the questions. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit him on his Facebook Page Aerostotle Smith or on the group page Aero’s Treehouse. This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme, please click on the badge below for more articles on pets that need extra love & care.

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Extra Love Needed: Meet Champy Pants the Blind Siamese Kitty

Champy Pants
How old is Champy Pants the Blind Siamese Kitty?
The Vets estimated he is about 8 years old but could be as young as 6 years by the quality of his teeth. Because he was rescued from a shelter will never know his true age.

Where did his name come from?
When Champ was rescued he was in extremely bad shape. We think he was hit by a car in NYC and left for dead on the side of the road. North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, NY rescued him and worked around the clock tending to his severe injuries. He was in the emergency care unit for months trying to survive. They said he was such a fighter they named him Champ, short for champion. We kept his name because he is nothing short from being a true Champ. Each morning he starts his day out by putting his “Champy Pants” on!

* You can find his hospital photos from NY here:

Can you tell me how he came into your life?
I first saw him posted with a picture of him still injured on facebook. He was found by some woman and she took him to a kill shelter where he stayed for 3 days with a broken jaw, split palate, and both damaged eyes. After 3 days I saw he was rescued but did not know who rescued him. Only a month later did I see that it was North Shore Animal League who had rescued him and I was able to read his update. He had new photos showing his jaw wired shut and a feeding tube in his neck trying to survive. When I saw these photos and his updates I knew from that moment I had to adopt him. I started writing to the shelter constantly on how much I loved Champ and had to have him in my life. I couldn’t imagine my life without him. It was love at first sight; it was love online!

Still handsome as always, Champy
How long did it take for him to be able to walk again?
He was in a cage in ICU for months trying to heal. He was very weak from his injuries and his weight dropped to 5.4 lbs. (He’s over 10.5 pounds now.) It wasn’t until he was improving and was able to be moved from the ICU to the shelter unit that he was able to really stand and start to walk again. When we adopted him and took him home, he walked very slowly and didn’t know how to climb the stairs. This is when he really started to get his movement and strength back. He also had to learn to navigate without his sight.

When did the vets realize he lost some of his hearing?
Only 3 weeks after adopting him, I woke up on morning and he was on my bed. He could not walk and was curled up and making circles trying to get up. I rushed him into the ER thinking he had a stroke. I was so scared for him after everything he just went through in the past few month and trying to recover. We found out he had a inner ear infection and he could not balance not to mention stand or walk. Only at this point did we discover he had some type of blockage in his ear. We didn’t know if it was from the ear infection itself or a ear tumor or scar tissue from the accident. After weeks on his antibiotic and his ear infection cleared up did we know his ear canal was still blocked off. This was the first indication something was not right with his ear. It wasn’t until a bit later that I noticed he was not picking up sound with his right ear. He only responded with his left ear for noises but he responded really well to them. So this is when I realized I have adopted not just a fully blind kitty but a half deaf one too! But that didn’t matter to me, I just loved him even more!

His thoughts on people who doubted him
How long did it take for him to “map” his new home?
This is what really amazed me. He mapped out our 2 story home so quickly. He walked slowly till he learned where everything was and where all the furniture was laid out. I was ready to adjust anything for him to make his life as easy as possible. The only new things I had to learn was to look under my feet and to open doors slowly incase he was behind one. I didn’t want to step on him or bump a door in his face, so I had to learn to be more patient and be aware of him. Now its just a normal part of my day and it comes naturally. He actually did better than me with all the new adjustments. Everyday I am still amazed by him!

Does he live with any fursiblings?
He does. He has 3 “seeing eye cats” to help him live a productive and happy life. We have Muppet who is a Himalayan. She is the sweet girl that likes to be the mama of the house! We also have Monkey & Chewy Bear who are Siamese brothers. Champy really loves to play with them and rough house as boys like to do. They all wear bells on their collars which helps Champy hear where they are. All my cats are rescued and adopted.

I see a lot of pictures of him and his tunnel, is that his favorite toy?
Champy has many toys he loves. He loves the because it make crinkle noises. His favorite toys are ones with bells, catnip, crinkly sounds and toys that you can run across the floor as he can chase it by listening with his one good ear to the sound the toy makes on the floor.
Champy & his tunnel

Do you have any plans for his year adoptaversary?
Yes, we plan on contacting North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, NY and letting them know how his first year has gone since being adopted. We will also have cake, balloons and catnip to celebrate 1 year of his healing and rescue and a celebration on his facebook page with all his 9,000+ fans.

Is there anything else you would like to share about Champy or your life with him?
Champy is just a amazing little blind kitty that just wants to love and be loved. He has given me so much back for rescuing him. I just can’t imagine living one day without him with all the sunshine he brings. He makes me want to be a better person and help even more disabled kitties like him by raising awareness. He is in the process of making and coming out with a children’s story book this year.

Would you like me to add a dedication to anyone at the end of the article?
Yes. I would like to dedicate this to my two Siamese kitties that I lost which tore my heart out. Meeko on 8/21/11 and Simba on 2/7/13. I want to thank Simba from the bottom of my heart for sending Champy my way just 3 weeks after he crossed over Rainbow Bridge. I also want to thank my peanut, the love of my life for making the long 7 hour round trip drive down to Long island, NY with me to pick little Champy Pants up and bring him home where he now lives a happy and very spoiled life in Worcester, MA.

Champy meditating

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Champy Pants and his mom for letting me ask questions about him and sharing his story. Pictures were used with permission. You can find him on his facebook page – Champy Pants the Blind Siamese Cat 
This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme, please click on the badge below for more articles on pets that need extra love & care.
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Extra Love Needed: Meet Mr. Magoo

Well his name is actually Magoo but he gets called Goo, Bug or Bugaboo more than anything… Although I have a tendency to call him My Moochie Man (short for smooch as he gives the best wet face rub smooches)
Yes Goo lived on the Streets of Phila for about 2 years before he was rescued. I’m not certain he actually remembers, but we do know he gets very nervous and apprehensive when he hears traffic or loud noises outside. He gets this facial twitch when he’s nervous or unsure about things.
Goo rebounded fairly quickly, actually with in days once he came to live with us and was able to get the one on one attention he required and wasn’t constantly around other sick animals at the shelter.
Goo had such a difficult time breathing,  his nose was crusted with blood and discharge, but the ulcers in his mouth were the last things to heal.  Eating was so hard for him, we had to spoon feed him a little at a time until he could eat on his own.
Goo lives with 3 brothers Buddy, Yogi and Bob and 3 sisters Izaboo, Zoe and Emmy but didn’t really get to meet them until the beginning of Dec after he was over being sick and was neutered.
Introduction was delayed as we were hoping  that getting some of the testosterone out of his system would help ease the transition. They have tried numerous times to introduce themselves unfortunately Goo is not really fond of his brothers & sisters, we are assuming it’s because he had to fight to survive on the street and feels like everyone was is threat.
They still need to be separated unless supervised and Goo is in his harness and on his leash. My husband and I work with him to help him get used to his new family and know it will take time & patience.
In the beginning we were nervous, about him getting hurt or falling off of things but Goo quickly showed us that he was not to be babied, he was fearless. Jumping up on cat trees and furniture running around like a nut playing, he did/does on occasion run into things and fall off of things but he gets right back up and keeps on going. Goo does not let his inability to see stop him from doing anything he amazes us everyday!
Da Bird is a favorite toy of Goo’s and he tracks it by sound, we drag it on the floor or whip it through the air and he’s pretty dead on with finding it too. Goo’s other senses are extremely heightened, due to his lack of vision.


Adopting Goo although it was a love at first sight for me, was one of the best decisions my husband and I have ever made. Goo is an amazing soul so full of life and love and with all that he has been through in his first years of life he truly is a fighter. Special Needs is a term commonly used for a  human or animal  that is  not what we consider “normal”, they may be deaf, blind, they may be missing limb or have a severe health condition. I for one don’t really like the term Special Needs, we say “Specially abled” because Goo is Very Special and he is Perfectly Able. Goo has the same needs I do, food, water, sleep, a roof over his head and love. If I had to live on the street for 2 years blind with all he endured, I know I wouldn’t have survived. How he managed to, really does show how Specially-abled he really is!

 

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Mr.Magoo and his mom for letting me interview him. Pictures were used with permission. You can find him on his facebook page .
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Extra Love Needed: Meet Gatsby

Gatsby
How old is he?
Gatsby is approximately 4 yrs old
Where did his name come from?
Gatsby came from Jay Gatsby of The Great Gatsby. My favorite movie.  Gatsby is a grey tuxedo and quite dapper, so I thought the name was very fitting for him.
How long was he in foster care before he came to you?
He was found living in a busy industrial area. Some wonderful people initiated his capture, as they realized he was blind. Once caught, he was fixed, tested and in a foster for about 10 days. I found him on a cross post on Facebook. I had just lost a cat to cancer 3 weeks prior.
Enjoying some quality time with his mom
Did it take long for him to “map” the house?
Not long at all. I would say all of a day! I posted a number of videos of Gatsby on Youtube. One of which is his first walk around the house. It can be seen under Gatsby the blind kitty on Youtube
Have you ever cared for a blind cat before?
Never
What tips would you give to people who are caring for their first blind cat?
Treat them as if they have no issues. Just let them explore and find the right and wrong way themselves. Gatsby was born without eyes, so he thinks all cats are like him! Gatsby has a chip and his claws just in  case he gets out. I keep a close eye on the door!
Loving the sun puddles at the new house
What are some of the things you’ve learned since adopting Gatsby?
Lots. He overcomes obstacles every day with poise and dignity. When I am having a bad day I just think of Gatsby and everything is OK
Do you have any big plans for his “birthday” this year?
His birthday is coming up in March. There will be lots of catnip, toys and extra treats! He is also getting a kitty as a playmate!!!
Does he have a favorite toy?
My feet are his favorite toy! OUCH
Is there anything  else you would like to say about Gatsby?
A blind cat requires no special care. They navigate perfectly well and make fantastic pets. Have a heart and adopt a blind rescue
Gatsby even shows some leg from time to time

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Gatsby and his mom for letting me interview him. Pictures were used with permission. You can find him on his facebook page Gatsby the Blind Kitty .
This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme, please click on the badge below for more articles on pets that need extra love & care.
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