Monday, June 28, 2010

He's Blind...and Amazing

It's been a little over a month now of living with our newly-blind Kitty. The first week or so was incredibly rough. In addition to being blind, he was also dealing with the crippling effects of suffering a stroke. His balance was off, his front legs would get crossed and he couldn't figure out how to uncross them, he seemed to have forgotten the finer points of using the litterbox. Even his previous inquisitive mews were replaced by a new mournful howl. And I can't even count the number of times he walked into walls or got stuck in a corner.

If one more person told me that "he can still live a happy life" or "it's amazing how quickly they can adapt," I was literally going to punch them straight in the mouth.

And now? He's adapted quite well and seems to be pretty darn happy. And I'm completely shocked.

Physically, he's back to the same cat that we knew before the stroke. He's strong, walks with a purpose, and has tons of energy. The most amazing thing, though, is how well he is dealing with his blindness. He has totally "mapped" the apartment and knows where everything is. He's not even suprised anymore when we leave things laying around; he just trips over them and keeps on moving. Jumping up on the couch is as easy and natural for him as for our other cats. He'll climb onto our laps and sit there purring with the most ridiculous contented look on his face. He knows the sounds of the cat food cabinet being opened and makes a beeline for the kitchen (although, in fairness, this is no different from his food-obsessed behavior as a sighted cat).

I often wonder if he remembers his days as a "normal" cat, or if the stroke completely wiped out all those memories. Does he even realize that he has a handicap? Sometimes, when he stares right into our faces with an adoring look of love, we have to actually wave our hands in front of his face to make sure that his sight hasn't miraculously returned. He certainly doesn't have an ounce of self-pity. Instead, he actually seems happier than ever. And I'm one shocked, proud, and relieved cat parent.

Kitty enjoys his new scratching pad that has been embellished with some "medicinal herbs" (a.k.a. catnip!)

Despite being 12 years old and newly blind, Kitty still has tons of energy and a playful spirit!


Missy said...

It's so, so good to see Kitty! He's doing very well! Will he be living with Rob in DC permanently? I'm so happy it has all worked out for him and y'all.


Rebecca said...

Yes, he seems so happy up there and it's so much easier on him, so I think he'll be staying there. I think Rob also enjoys the companionship during the week!