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Living with a Blind Cat




ATTABOY came to us through the local rescue group for which we foster.  At a few months of age, he had been found lying in someone’s front yard, where he had not been moving for 8 hours.  Finally he was turned over to SavingGraces4Felines.  His head hung to his knees all the time, and he was blind.  As his head gradually lifted to a more normal position, he was given to us to foster.  A few tests were done to determine the cause of his blindness and neurological damage, but we can only guess it was due to head trauma.  Attaboy did not use the litterbox properly, although he usually came close, but then scratched through his waste as if to cover it.  We did not think we would be able to manage this sweet boy, but finally he began to go into the litterbox.  He still tries to cover his waste, but really only scratches through it.  I have developed “mother’s ears” and when Attaboy uses the litterbox, I run to remove him before he can “pawpaint in poop!”  After a few more months Attaboy began having daily grand mal seizures.  We finally have that under control with phenobarbitol daily.  Now we are trying to manage chronic diarrhea, for which the vet is suspicious of irritable bowel syndrome and Attaboy is getting meds for that three times a week.  For a long time we kept Attaboy in the main portion of the house because we felt close monitoring was warranted.  Now however, he has graduated to the Magoo Room where he is enjoying the company of his peers.  He has learned to go out the pet door, but hasn’t mastered coming in so we need to be very careful of his whereabouts in cold or wet weather.  It looks as if Attaboy is all or part Maine Coon, and he is our lovely, gentle giant, who needs much protection and care.

May 2011:  Sometimes good news is really bad news, and such was the case with Attaboy.  He too often had a case of blow-out diarrhea and one particular case was especially difficult to get past.  He spent a week in the vets and came home with a new diet which he loved (and no more diarrhea!)  The vet removed him from all medicines except his Phenobarbital for seizures.  Attaboy was eating two cans of food a day and still losing weight so the vet recommended putting him back on prednisolone as that must have been helping with his Irritable Bowel Disease more than we previously thought.  However, Attaboy was now eating 3 cans of food a day, and still losing weight.  We had new blood tests performed and the results were good--he had no kidney or thyroid issues causing Attaboy's problems.  But the good test results were bad news for Attaboy, because it meant there was nothing more we could do for him.  He either had cancer, or the IBD had advanced to the point that he was no longer able to absorb the nutrients from his food.  And so, on May 26, 2011, Joe took Attaboy for his last visit to the vet's office, as I could not bear to see my dear, damaged boy pass.  It was only because I witnessed the weight loss and the change in personality that I could be peaceful about the euthanasia decision.  Many people came to know Attaboy in person or through our website, and I would like to think that each of them came away with the idea that even damaged kitties can have a good life.  May that message be spread, that Attaboy's 7 years on earth has some additional meaning for more than just the people who loved him day-in and day-out.


Attaboy when he was just a little fella. Attaboy stalking prey.

Attaboy playing on the kitty jungle gym. Attaboy playing with some foster kittens.