Homer was turned into my local animal shelter, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, in December 2010 when he was a six-week-old kitten.He had been living under a family’s deck with his mother and sister. It was initially believed that Homer just had a severe eye infection, until they cleaned him up and realized he was actually born without eyes. The staff was so compassionate toward him. They even drew a map on his kennel door showing where his food, blanket and litter went so it would be consistent for him every day.
When a friend of mine who worked there mentioned the kitten, I questioned whether I would be able to properly care for him, but as soon as I met him I was determined to figure out a way. I brought him home December 24, 2010 and gave him to my son for Christmas. My son, of course, was born and raised with bottle babies and hissy-spitty feral kittens in addition to our own pets, so his approach to animals is second nature. He was used to the imperfect pets, so to him Homer was pretty normal. We were both shocked to see how quickly the little kitten settled right into life. Within a day or two, he had our small house and all its furniture mapped out in his head.
As he has grown, and even learned a new house when we moved, he has adjusted incredibly well. I’m always amazed by his hearing. I can quietly open the cabinet where his treats are while he is all the way across the house, and he will come running. Every time it amazes me! Yet, he is not afraid of loud noises like the vacuum. He loves people, and is convinced that all visitors are for him. Certainly I keep his condition in mind and don’t leave unusual objects all over the house, but if I do leave the vacuum out in the living room he always senses it. The only time we run into a problem is when he is playing with the dog and he jumps up and runs, occasionally hitting a wall or another object. He shakes it off and keeps on playing. I’m sure that some people who adopt blind cats run into different issues, but I have to say that I expected a lot of adjustment time and some very real challenges, but Homer took everything in stride and we never ran into any serious obstacles. I did my research prior to adopting him and I was prepared to never rearrange my furniture again, but after seeing how well he did with the move I am pretty sure I will be able to safely redecorate if I decide I have the drive to do so.
Homer is an amazing cat, and I am very proud to live with him every day. If you are considering bringing a special needs pet into your home, there are plenty out there with all different aspect of disabilities. Before adopting one, I would highly recommend researching particular issues the pet is diagnosed with, as some (such a deafness in a young dog) can be a real obstacle in training, but all the more rewarding in the end.