Eyeless but Not Blind
Not long ago, in a land far away, a street kitten lost his eyesight. A generous woman took him in, but it wasn’t a good situation for him. Another kind woman learned of his plight, flying him from Oman to Florida. I suppose she expected Peri to be a timid, quiet, little blind cat. He is a little cat, but that’s about where that ends. The older lady, with the best of intentions, just wasn’t prepared. She introduced him to her other cat far too soon, especially given that Peri was terrified out of his gourd from 24 hours in the belly of a plane.
When Peri’s original rescuer told his story on the interwebs, he gained a worldwide fan club, including me. Knowing a few people in south Florida, I sent out a plea to see if any of them could help him out. Meanwhile, lacking the knowledge of how best to bring any new pet into the home, let alone someone who had been through what Peri has, the lady in Palm Beach brought him to her veterinarian for yet another re-homing. My friend, Dr. O, saw my Halp! and before he could even investigate, there was an exotic-looking marmalade tabby with no eyes in his exam room. Peri. Since then, the hospital has received innumerable inquiries and suggestions as to Peri’s placement. But it would not be in his best interest to be subjected to any more air travel for quite a while. So they have been looking for a good match more locally. Incidentally, to everyone who said they wanted him? Hie thee to thy local shelter and save a life there!
So, despite living in Italy, as Fate should have it I found myself in south Florida this week. Without delay, I went to meet sweet Peri. As he has become acquainted with his new surroundings, made friends, and generally relaxed, he is showing himself to be an awesome little man. Outgoing and lively, his other senses nearly make up for his loss of sight. I was amazed to watch him hunt toys with searing accuracy. The way he subtly shifts his ears to triangulate on sounds we can’t even hear is beautiful to watch. He’s still a little jumpy occasionally and likes to make sure he knows where everyone in the room is, but that is reasonable. We spent a wonderful afternoon together, alternately playing and resting on the couch.
At the time of our parting, the plan was settling down to Peri being fostered by a personal friend in Tampa of his rescuer in Oman. “Fostered,” right; once they meet him, I can’t imagine they’ll ever let him go. If it wouldn’t be another trans-Atlantic flight and 4th story balconies, he’d be going with me. We are friends and I wish Peri Omanicat the very best of everything.
If you are considering adopting a blind cat, check in with Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary. Their cats are not for adoption, but there is much to be learned from them. In the right homes, blind cats can get along as well as anybody. Animals don’t consider being handicapped. There is no stigma, no hang-ups. They do what they can and it’s more than we expect because they are not afraid to try because they are “handicapped.” One more lesson we can learn from our furry companions.