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Living with a Blind Cat




In January 2005 we took in two cats from VA.  MIMI was supposed to have been a blind, deaf (in the right ear,) and brain damaged cat.  She had crooked teeth and her tongue hung out, giving her the cutest, sassy expression.  Mimi was not easy to integrate into the family, as she struck out at the other cats if they came near, and she regularly did not use the litterbox.  We thought this was in part due to her blindness.  With the help of a new vet, we found that Mimi was not deaf, nor was she blind.  I had noticed that whenever I went to pet Mimi, when my hand got to a certain place in her field of vision, she would duck as if I had startled her.  What I was attributing to partial blindness was probably a reaction to abuse at some time in her past.  The abuse may also be the cause of her brain damage.  Now our entire approach to Mimi has changed, and so has she.  She goes outside during the day, where she has learned to coexist with the blind cats, and she prefers to use the outside litterbox.  Mimi is at the beginning stages of an autoimmune disease and had most of her teeth pulled for her own comfort.  Finally I can hold and cuddle Mimi.  No, Mimi no longer “qualifies” to be a resident of the Magoo Room, because she is not blind, but having accepted her, we feel a lifelong commitment.

We lost our Mimi girl on August 15, 2008 due to cancer.  The morning of August 11 as I went into The Magoo Room to start the day's routine, I noticed that Mimi looked decidedly pregnant.  Not just fat, but bulging at the sides.  I quickly pulled out her medical records, to verify that she had been spayed.  Yes, she had been, but the rescue that sent her to me was incorrect about her vision and hearing, so perhaps this was a mistake also.  There had been neighborhood or feral cats who were determined and successful in getting into the Magoo courtyard.  Could Mimi have gotten pregnant?  A vet visit that afternoon gave me the answer.  No, Mimi was not pregnant, and no, she didn't have a mass.  She was carrying an abundance of fluid.  The vet withdrew some fluid and examined it.  Mimi had cancer somewhere in her small body, and the prednisone shots she had been receiving probably masked/reduced the symptoms.  She received a prednisone shot that day and we went home with her to try to find a place to isolate her for observation.  By Wednesday we had her in isolation and began additional medication, but by Friday we concluded that Mimi was not eating and we made the decision to have her euthanized.  Little Mimi was only 7 years old, but I hope for the time she was with us Mimi felt loved, safe, and happy.  She is now in our backyard, buried with our other Whiskered Angels.  Stick out your tongue again, Mimi, and show them what a sassy little angel you can be!