We have a new family member at the Cattitude cat home. And he came to us all the way from Mumbai. “As flat as fettuccine” is how the volunteers of WFA (an organisation doing volunteer work for animals in Mumbai) described the sweet white-and-orange tom cat they rescued in Mumbai five months ago: he was just skin and bone at the time. No one suspected that Fettuccine was more than just starved...he was also blind (a condition often found in cats who have suffered the lack of taurine, an essential ingredient in their diets). Today, Fet is a healthy cat, thanks to their dedicated feeding, and his personality is immensely charming.
Adopting a blind cat is not a challenge. A cat relies heavily on his hearing and sense of smell, and that’s why people often do not even realise a cat is blind, because he somehow manages (albeit with much difficulty when fending for himself outside). Moreover, they are happy with so little, do not seek the dangerous outdoors and are content in small spaces. Fettuccine, according to his Mumbai caretakers, mingled with other cats, and behaved normally, and only after a full vet check-up did his blindness reveal itself to us.
All a blind cat needs is one or two rooms to live in. It could be a bedroom and/or a study, a room without too much furniture/clutter. He will find his way around things, use his litter tray and find his food and water. In fact, he will manage brilliantly. He will also be very grateful for affection and make a loving companion if handled with kindness.
What are the rules for adopting a blind cat, other than confined spaces? It is best to stick with routines regarding feeding. Most of all, you just need to keep things the way they are, and not keep shifting them. No sudden moves: approach your blind cat slowly, hold out your hand towards him, let him sniff you, don't pick him up suddenly. If you have loads of noise at home, with access to the outdoors, perhaps yours is not the perfect home for a visually challenged kitty, but if you live in an apartment and lead a fairly quiet life, and if you long for some rewarding companionship, perhaps it is time for you to illuminate your life with a special cat.
The author is the founder of Cattitude Trust. To adopt Fettuccine, email firstname.lastname@example.org