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Living with a Blind Cat




Usually when Animal Control gets a request from an owner to pick up an animal, it is because the owner no longer wants the pet and/or its litter of offspring.  REBA'S case was very different.  Her owner was in a wheelchair with a progressive disease that no longer allowed her to care for Reba.  She had no alternative but to call Animal Control and it was a VERY tearful morning for all involved.  I got a call from Animal Control asking if I still had room for a geriatric cat until The Magoo Room filled with blind cats.  "Yes, Ma'am!  I'll be right there."  Reba only spent about 2 hours out of her first home before she landed at our home.  Sweet Reba now occupies a guest room, bathroom, and hallway, as she does not appreciate the company of other cats.  We suspect that is because she is in constant pain in her spine, and is being defensive, rather than aggressive.  She has been to the NC State University veterinary teaching hospital to take part in a food study for chronic diarrhea, and is currently on a pain medication for her back.  Reba's idea of heaven is to have someone sit on the floor with her.  She cannot manage a jump to any height and having company on her level is her fondest wish.  Reba loves chin scratches and crawling into a lap, just like she did with her first mom!

The last year of Reba's life, she lost over five pounds, and became more and more frail, with an uneven gait and little appetite.  I knew she was failing, but was also a kitty that would not tolerate pills or sub-cu fluids well.  I made a conscious decision that it was better for her to decline slowly, than to treat her in ways that would be torture for her and lower the quality of her life.  Reba still enjoyed sitting on my lap for morning tea, and again in the evening at television time, but on the morning of August 18, 2009 she made her way to the kitchen without being able to use one of her back legs.  Renal failure had taken its toll.   I knew it was time.  Joe & I took her to Dr. Wyatt for her final moments.  Reba purred and purred, and headbutted my hand as I petted her.  Our voices were the last she heard.  My face was the last she saw.  Reba passed peacefully from our lives, but not from our memories.  She was a grand old gal of 17.  We were so fortunate to have her for her last four years.


What a striking girl Reba is! Reba bellying up to the "bar" for a little dinner.