Never Give Up on a Rescue Cat Even When he is Blind, Deaf and Aggressive

Coconut was a blind and deaf semi-feral cat. He looked beautiful but awful. He was messed up. He must have had a terrible time surviving on the streets of Boston. His deafness and blindness (it was assessed that he could see shadows) made him defensive and aggressive.

This is quite understandable but it made his rescue and rehabilitation extremely problematic. It is quite probable that the deafness and blindness originate in his glittering but dirty white coat (the genes that cause white coats cause deafness too). It looks like he could have been born with these disabilities. All the more reason to admire him.

Blind and deaf white stray cat who was rescued and rehabilitated

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Enter stage left: Joni Nelson, founder of the organization Boston’s Forgotten Felines. She is definitely a fine woman with a tender heart and a bottomless pit of patience and optimism.

With patience and commitment she rescued him. She took him to a veterinarian. Coconut had a urinary tract infection, ear mites, limping, chronic diarrhea, and he was filthy. His attitude was very difficult. Joni said:

He was very difficult to feed. He would never look up but sure would lash out when I opened his cage (she was bitten twice quite badly as I understand it)

Blind and deaf white stray cat who was rescued and rehabilitated

To cut a long journey short he was cleaned up and patched up. Joni was advised to have him euthanized. She never gave up on him and she was right.

He has a foster carer to care for him. He came out of his shell and the aggression melted away as he gained trust in humans. Now look at what a cracking good cat he is. So handsome.

Ashley Ward, a second foster mom, said:

Coconut is really a sweetheart. Every time I walk into the room, he hobbles over to me to get pets…As soon I start petting him he is instantly purring. He will curl up right next to your side and snuggle his head under your arm so that you can pet him..

Blind and deaf white stray cat who was rescued and rehabilitated

Source: This Deaf And Blind Cat Wouldn’t Let Anyone Approach Him

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.
Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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17 Responses

  1. Sarah Hartwell says:

    My beloved Mr Minns (RIP) bit me badly when we first made physical contact. I discovered he was poorly sighted on one side, which made him attack first, think later. It took a while, but eventually he became a sweetie who always warned first and only bit if the warnings were ignored (apart from the firm but bloodless “bites” after a vet trip or after a boyfriend had visited me). We persevered.

  2. Dawn says:

    God bless Joni and coconut!!

  3. God bless Joni Nelson, Forgotten Felines, and Ashley Ward, Coconut’s latest foster. This handsome cat would not have lasted long on the street, were it not from all of them! Thank God for the selfless people like these, who help save the lives of our lost and forlorn homeless cats.

    • Michael Broad says:

      I really admire this woman, Franny. Such a great attitude. The attitude of a tender loving person.

  4. Frances A Danna says:

    Coconut has to be one strong cat. To survive on the streets of a big city, in a cold climate, while being both blind and deaf is phenomenal. With all the health problems he had also, no wonder he was aggressive. He was in pain, miserable, and fighting to survive. So happy that Joni Nelson rescued him, and never gave up on him. What a precious soul Coconut is.

  5. Eva DR Force says:

    Wow-his [coconuts] story just shows how far Love can go towards healing. A lovely outcome. Eva

  6. Albert Schepis says:

    I took in a deaf and declawed white cat (Polar Bear) who had a tough time too, even after he was accepted by my other cats. He was easily startled, frightened and very defensive. He got hurt often. I made the effort (for years) to communicate simple intentions, friendship and direction with hand gestures, tapping on the floor, exaggerated facial expressions and of course petting and hugging. It worked and created a strong and deep bond between us. He trusted me and we loved each other deeply. It broke me to have to put him down. I’m still broken from it and miss him daily. That’s the downside to it all.

  7. My beloved ‘Angus’ was exactly like Coconut but with patience and love even though bites and scratches ensued I never gave up on him and he turned into a loving affectionate cat and ‘Coconut’ deserves the same.

  8. M E King says:


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