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Banjo’s Story

 

Last year, I began volunteering with an animal rescue group.  I meet so many wonderful cats & often wish I could bring them ALL home. My husband and I had three great cats of our own and it felt like the right number for the size of our home. But one day while I was volunteering, I met a pair of tiny tabby kittens. They had been rescued from the linen closet of a hoarder’s house & barely survived extremely severe respiratory infections; I learned that the male kitten was completely blind. Both kittens were very loving &  enjoyed being held. As I held the blind kitten, he purred loudly and burrowed his little face into my hair. It sounds crazy but I felt like he picked me that day to be his new family. Shockingly, my husband agreed that we should bring him home. Even more surprising, the following day, he told me that we should adopt the female kitten also. He said, “Why should he lose his sight AND his sister?”

We were nervous when the tabbies arrived because they were soooo small. We named them Banjo and Rosie. At first, Banjo was so tiny that he could not get around on the furniture at all. I had read that blind cats learn the layout of the room very quickly & get around very well, but Banjo was different. He ran into the walls a lot, so we put up bubble wrap and pillows to protect him. I wished for a little helmet to protect his head! I taught him where the furniture was by tapping or running my hand over it until he learned where things were.  I was so glad that we adopted his sister because he gets very lonely without her and would cry out for her if he was alone. The staff at our vet’s office calls Rosie his “seeing eye cat!”

Banjo & Rosie have been with us for over six months now and Banjo gets around much better these days. He jumps on the furniture and climbs the cat tree easily, though he runs into a wall once in a while, especially if he is scared by a sudden or unfamiliar noise. Our other cats still aren’t sure what to make of the new guy at times, but they all get along pretty well. Banjo is a sweet sweet cat, who just loves to snuggle & cuddle & play. When I come home from work, he climbs into my arms purring. His favorite toys are these colorful plastic coils that he chases all over the house. Banjo doesn’t seem to know that he is special & if you didn’t know he was blind, you probably wouldn’t guess it. Every day my husband & I are so glad that this amazing little guy is part of our family.

If you are thinking about adopting a blind kitty, I’d say be patient with him & give him lots of love. You will get back so much more than you expected.

Amy S.
New Jersey

Banjo taking a long cat nap. Banjo and his sister, Rosie, relaxing together.