This doting pet-owner believes that special needs animals can live perfectly happy lives with a little love to help them along

Midnight almost didn’t last the day – the little fur-ball was an orphaned, malnutritioned kitten who was headed for sure death, had Mona Kumar not rescued her. Mona, who volunteers with Humane Animal Society (Coimbatore) in her hometown and works in Hyderabad, got the kitten medical care and learned that the young one’s optical nerves were damaged. The kitten was diagnosed with 50% vision loss. Mona’s family adopted her and made her an indoor pet as the loss of vision progressed. Eight years later today, Midnight is nearly completely blind but has shown herself to be a true guardian angel.

Two years ago, Mona was hospitalised following a serious illness. She had returned home with an intravenous drip, and was battling bouts of nausea brought on by heavy medication. “I was shivering because of the high fever”, she recalls. While Mona’s parents fussed over her, Midnight who had always kept to herself (being a tad timid on account of her poor vision) decided to leap up on the bed and curl up on Mona’s chest. “She sat right on my heart, stared at me and purred loudly…there was something in her look that said ‘I’m taking care of you’. She sat there until I fell asleep – she’s never done this before and never again”, says Mona who believes that cats are an intuitive species. “She taught us so much and gives me a lot of strength”, adds Mona, referring to how Midnight used to injure herself while getting used to losing her eyesight, but always bounced back stronger. “She used to get hurt but wanted to go exploring again the next day. She would never give up”.

Last week, Mona saw a video on Facebook posted by Cattitude Trust (Chennai) of a cat named Totem who had one leg amputated following a serious injury. “The founder had commented that there had not been a single adoption enquiry for him”, says Mona who feels that handicapped animals ought to be given a chance too and that they adapt to challenges in a manner that’s nothing short of heroic. She adopted Totem and is now getting him settled in at her apartment in Hyderabad.

She busts the common myth of cats being aloof and often thinks back to how Midnight rescued her when she most needed it. “There’s this saying… that a cat’s purr is one of the purest sounds you’ll ever hear”, says Mona who reveals that she made a complete recovery shortly after. “I felt really blessed that day”.