Sunday, July 10, 2011

Our Blind Cat

This is our Manx cat that somehow lost it's sight sometime in the last 6 months.  She is 16 and has lived with our family her entire life.  She has adapted quite well to the blindness and we all agree that she is a "nicer" cat now.  We got Kitty Claws for our youngest son, but she wasn't very fond of him or any one else for that matter.    She seemed to tolerate me the most.  She came on Xmas so he named her Kitty Claws after Santa Claus. 
In her younger days she would chase dogs off our lawn, and was absolutely fearless.  She was always fond of wandering around the yard, but unlike other cats we have lived with she never disappeared for a few days and was always ready for a little cuddle at bedtime.  When she was about 8 we agreed to take my wife's grandmother's cat, when she could no longer have the cat.  This new big black cat was a gentlemanly and well mannered good size cat.  Kitty Claws was NOT happy with a new friend in the house.  She quit eating and drinking. Her health went downhill and we took her to the vet.  The vet inserted a tube and we tube fed her for a couple weeks.  I do not recommend this procedure to anyone.  We did save her life with a 1500 dollar vet bill and two weeks of tube feeding 4-6 times a day. 
We really only had to make one change after she became blind.  We got a large furry stool to set next to our bed because she can't see to jump down.  With the stool, she'll inch her front legs forward until they touch the stool, then she repeats the process getting down to the floor.  For some reason she doesn't have any problem going up or down the stairs to access her cat box and feed.   We have a fairly large deck and she still likes to go out onto the deck and wanders in a counter clockwise circle for a while.  We have a small fountain and the sound of the trickling water must help her stay oriented.  Those big whiskers of her's she uses to navigate down the hall, but when she encounters something unexpected her first reaction is a quick sideways turn of her head.  Her lazy saunter doesn't seem like it has changed speeds.  But she can turn her head and stop rather quickly.  We have never seen her bank uncomfortably off new objects.  We recently purchased some new furniture and she spent a while sniffing and navigating her way comfortably around it.  The only significant change in her behavior since she became blind that we have noticed is her tendency to sleep with her face to a wall or pillow.  She would always face the door, ready to claw and bite any intruder, especially the black cat. 
We have no idea how she became blind, but blind she is and has adapted very well.  Other than the blindness she seems in good health and seems a little more cuddly now.   

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