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Grandville's Story: 

I am enclosing a photo of my beautiful boy, Grandville. When he was 8 years old he was blinded by an incompetent vet at my practice, who injected him with Baytril. Not only did he not have my permission, that drug was not approved for use in cats, and the moron gave him twice the amount prescribed for dogs! Fortunately, that poor excuse for a vet is no longer with the practice, and the practice gave Grandville perpetual care free of charge for the rest of his life. He also receives free care at an eye specialist, paid for by Bayer Corp. who had no part in the incident. They're just being nice!

Grandville is the most beautiful boy. He's so loving and has a very loud, lilting purr. As his sight worsened, he became frustrated, especially when he accidentally ran into our black or dark coated cats. He became less confidant when he could not accurately jump up on counters or surfaces. Whenever we see him near the counter where there is a bowl of dry cat food, we put him up and he's quite content.

In the evening, if I am on the computer with the door closed to the studio, he plaintively cries to get in. I automatically resign myself to the fact I will not be typing on the keyboard, for Grandville likes to lie on my tray, while the high intensity lamp bakes his head. He purrs like crazy. Again, when I am upstairs in the attic, working on my crazy quilt projects, he comes upstairs and plops down on whatever I am working on and bakes his brains under that high intensity lamp, purring his head off. What's a crazy quilt block without a little cat hair?!

At night, when I go to bed, he comes in to his spot at the back of my knees and goes to sleep. One of his greatest thrills is to pull at the heavy stone crock in the bathroom, which is one of the cat's water bowls, until the water spills out. He thinks that is great fun.

Being blind, Grandville sometimes crashes into things, or is not sure which cat he's facing at any given time, and he gets along better with some than others. Some of the others, realizing his vulnerability, tend to pick on him, which causes him great frustration and stress. Currently, we are treating him for cystitis. Since all our animals eat very high-end cat food that is extremely low in ash content and good for the urinary tract, we believe the cause of his cystitis might be stress.

Other than his frustration, Grandville leads a pretty great life. At 14, he still plays like a little kitten, and is as loving as ever. Every evening, if my husband is being a couch potato, watching television, Grandville joins him and curls up next to my husband in his arm, and buries his face in my husband's hand. I call this "mooshy face." It's as if he can't get close enough and has to grind his face into your hand because he is so content.

Of course, we're especially protective of Grandville because of his blindness, but he leads a fairly normal life.

In 1999 we had an elderly marmalade tabby kitty named Maya. She stumbled into our yard and I trapped her and got her to the vet. She was totally blind. My vet said her pupils were totally blown and he could not determine whether she was born this way or had some illness. We had her for four years. My husband sang, and Maya loved his voice. He used to sing ballads to her and she listened attentively and followed him all over the house like he was the Pied Piper. She was a very small, slight kitty, but feisty and none of our other cats dared mess with her. We were always puzzled how she managed to make it into our yard, being totally blind as she was.

In mid-2003, during a large feral cat rescue in my neighborhood, we saved 4 adults and 11 kittens and got them shots, slated for neutering and spaying, and got them to Tiger Ranch. a shelter specifically for feral cats. All of them will live out their lives there, with 135 acres to roam, with veterinary care, and food and shelter. I was so pleased that this happened. However, it cost me dearly and it's something from which I will never recover. After getting the cats and kittens to shelter, we kept two of the kittens. As is always our custom, we have every animal tested before they enter the house. In addition to FIV and FeLV, we test for FIP.  Sadly, one of the kittens, sweet little Bo turned out to have FIP. It showed up only later. All ten of my cats were sick with a coronavirus. We spent thousands of dollars trying to save everyone. In a 7 month period, we lost our beloved Maya, our sweet Corky, a long haired marmalade tabby, our beautiful Somali cat, Spanky, and, ultimately, that sweet little seven month old, Bo.  I have lost family members, but the worst thing I have ever experienced, was watching the life go out of that little girl. That was the moment I lost my faith. All of it was my fault. I caused those deaths and I can never forgive myself. I thought I was doing the right thing in doing that feral cat rescue, but I only got kicked in the teeth for it.

For the past year-and-a-half I have been battling breast cancer. I do believe I am going to be in that percentage of women who prevail, but it's been a rough haul. It is my family of animals who keep me in good spirits. I have 9 cats and one sweet little Pomeranian who thinks she's a cat. They  all make my life special. I couldn't live without them.

The lowest ebb of my life was in 2003. I couldn't function. I didn't want to be around anyone, and I was full of unbearable grief and despair, and I knew I would never get over that tragedy. I often wonder if I succumbed to cancer because of that horrendous heartache. I will say, however, that my beloved family of cats and dog have brought me a lot of love and comfort. I would do anything for them.

I always said, if I were rich, or hit the lottery, the one thing I would do is start a huge shelter, where all cats and dogs would have a permanent home if they weren't adopted. It would be staffed with crazed animal lovers and the best vets. I don't think I will ever realize that dream this time around, so I do the best I can by adopting animals who need me. Even our little Pom, Peachie was about to go into a rescue program. I got her just in time ---and what a joy she is.

I hope I have told you a little about my life with a blind cat. He's just about the dearest creature on the planet and I'm happy to share a little snippet about him.

All best wishes in your endeavors on behalf of very needy and deserving kitties. You are my hero.

Sincerely,
Jackie Geyer
Pittsburgh, PA