How Stevie Wonder Found Paradise
Stevie Wonder is a little blind cat, about 1 year old. We did not know he was blind when we first met him. Our household feeds all strays, cats, dogs, anything hungry. So when my husband was sitting in a chair by the window last November, he just said, “Bon, another mouth to feed” and pointed at a pitiful little orange cat sitting on a flat rock grooming himself. He was very thin, with a matted, shaggy coat. I put out extra food right away, but did not see him again for a few days.
A few days later, my husband went out to pick up the newspaper, early on a Sunday morning, and there was the little fellow again. This time, when my husband rounded the corner of our house, the cat took off, as if scalded, and ran smack dab into a brick column on our porch, which made a “thunk” sound when his head made contact with the column. That gave my husband a pause for thought, “what is wrong with that cat, he couldn’t see that column”?
We started watching for him, and would spot him coming out of the woods near our house. There was a little “vine cave” that was somehow carved out and that was where he was living. I finally discovered he was blind when I put food out on the driveway and went back inside to watch him come out. He would not venture out if anyone was near. He slowly came out and sniffed the air, he knew food was there, and he was hungry. He walked to the driveway, and stopped about 2 feet from the food, continuing to sniff the air, but he could not see it. He finally walked right over the food, then backtracked, and ate. That’s when we knew. After that day, I put food in his vine cave twice a day, and watched to make sure he was fed. I kept talking to him and trying to pet him, but he would have none of that. This went on for 6 months, but patience finally won out. He gradually came closer to me and I could tell he waited for my voice in the morning and in the evening. I had noticed other cats were taking notice of the food, and had been fighting with him (it is easy to pick on a blind cat) so I knew something terrible was going to happen to him if I could not get him to “come in from the cold”.
We started an outside painting project on our house. The painters came and started tearing out bad wood and power spraying, about 20 of them, making a lot of noise. I didn’t see Steve for 2 days and I started to panic, thinking all the hub-bub had frightened him away. I knew he was not very strong at this point; he was eating daily, but I was not sure how much he was getting and how much the other cats were robbing. The weekend before, a neighbor dog had cornered him in the woods and was biting/nipping at him, until I got there and beat the dog off, and I was not sure what damage he had suffered from that close encounter. So, Steve was not doing well and I was worried that other predators (coyotes) would soon appear.
On April 1, I got up at 5:00 am, got ready for work, got out the cat carrier, and went to look for Steve. It was dark and cold when I called at the entrance of his wood world, but I heard a little pitiful mew and there he was, cold, scared, hungry. He came out and brushed against my legs. I simply picked him up and put him in the carrier. That was the beginning of Steve’s journey to happiness.
We went straight to the vet that very morning, where he was examined, vetted, and neutered. I got him back that same afternoon and set up his quarters in the guest room, where he has television, window, bed, food, water, toys, love.
That was approximately 2.5 months ago. My how things have changed! Steve has doubled his size and now has run of the house, upstairs and downstairs, and has become friends with my 2 other cats. We have a German Shepherd that isn’t quite convinced that Steve is the best thing since sliced bread, but I hope that works out in time. Steve loves to run, jump, play ball all night (sounds like a bowling alley upstairs at 2:00 am), be picked up, petted and kissed. He also has quite a since of humor; he will hide behind something and jump out at you, and then gleefully run off. He is just a delight, and smells like shampoo as he is constantly grooming. He is very fastidious, and picked up the litter box drill immediately. He makes me happy just to look at him, knowing where he started from and where he has come to.
Sometimes, I just look at him and wonder how he survived in the outside world for almost a year. His eyes were underdeveloped at birth and he probably never had any vision, but to see him move around a house, you would never know he was blind. His survival instinct is really incredible.
So, moral of the story is, if you ever happen to chance upon a blind cat, snatch him/her up immediately, as it could be the best thing you ever do for yourself and a little soul that just bursts with love and joy everyday, thankful to be alive.