HomeArticles of Barbara BatesThe Blind Cat Rescue & Shelter

I’m sure many PoC regulars will be familiar with The Animal Rescue Site, part of the Greater Good organisation, where we can click daily to help to feed rescue animals in the USA, I’ve been doing this for years now but only about 6 months ago I found out about the Shelter Challenge on the same site where we can also click daily to vote for an animal rescue site that we can choose from a list of many and there are various prizes, weekly and monthly for the shelters with the most votes.

Blind Cats

Blind Cats. Poster by Barbara

The shelter I chose to support with my daily votes was Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary in St Pauls, North Carolina

This is their description of themselves on their website:

“We started in 2005 to answer the need for a safe place for blind cats that were deemed not adoptable by regular shelters and were going to be killed just because they were blind. In 2011 we built a second shelter building to address the need for a safe place for FELV+ & FIV+ cats that were going to be killed just because they test positive for these viruses”

What more can I say, they are just amazing people who want to help blind cats and those with viruses to live the best life possible and, importantly, once they are rescued they stay with the shelter forever so they aren’t upset again by being moved on, they are available to sponsor though.

I have been reading through the stories of the rescue of the cats at the sanctuary and my heart breaks for what they’ve suffered in the past, but I am so happy for them that they are now safe and loved and cared for, for the rest of their lives. With the permission of The Blind Cat Rescue & Shelter I thought that the POC family might like to see just some of the cats in their care and read a potted version of their stories.

In 2011 Morris was found as a little stray kitten.  The lady who found him contacted BCR to see if they could help him and then drove him from Maryland to the Blind Cat Rescue

Gina was posted to a group on Facebook that shares daily details of cats on Death Row, her info was sent to Blind Cat Rescue who in turn posted her details to their Facebook page, no one was willing to give her a home so BCR said they would take her if someone could bring her to them from New York and a lady named Giovanna volunteered, at the same time a man named Steven had posted that if someone got her to Washington DC, he would drive her the rest of the way.

Giovanna went to the pound and got her, kept her overnight, rented a car, drove from NYC to Washington DC and handed her over to Steven who drove her the last 5 hours to BCR.   Gina owes her life to them, she was in poor shape and she had never been spayed so BCR got her to the vets and she had 2 huge uterine cysts removed.  Vets also removed both of her eyes.  She had no sight in them, one had completely collapsed and one was hard as a rock from glaucoma and must have been causing her considerable pain.  She had several rotted teeth, one with roots showing – BCR commented

“She is now home, on good pain meds, a couple of antibiotics and recovering nicely.  She is very sweet considering everything that has happened to her”

Lily went to BCR by way of their vet practice.  Her previous owner had finally taken her to the vet when she was at death’s door.  She lost her sight from the eye infection that they did not bother treating.  The vets talked them into giving up ownership of her to allow BCR to take her and get her the medical care she needed.

Snicker came from the Cumberland County Animal Control Centre in Cumberland County, a pound which euthanizes over 11,000 animals per year. He was very lucky to have some nice ladies working there who liked his friendly personality and went the extra mile to find a place for him instead of euthanizing him.   He is described as super, super friendly

These are just a few cats from the Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary to read more stories of beautiful cats go to Blind Cat Rescue and please also consider voting daily for this amazing place.



The Blind Cat Rescue & Shelter — 33 Comments

  1. Hi Dee, I’m sorry I didn’t realise you have a cat that is blind, was she born blind or did she have an accident or illness? One thing I’ve noticed about the cats at the BCR by looking at the pics and reading their stories, they don’t just sit around, they seem to be into everything just as a sighted cat is, Dreama sounds the same getting on with her life in her own way. Yes you’d think you would have to be able to see the fall to be scared of it, but I suppose as she’s being lifted she knows she is rising from the floor so she must know that there is the potential to fall back down. I must have missed reading about Dreama in the past.

    • Dreama suffered a full arrest on the table when she went under anesthesia to be spayed. She was revived but was blinded as a result of the brain damage. I’m so grateful to have her even though she seems to go into heat every few weeks. As you know, girls in heat can be quite a handful (rolling, scooting, crying). I feel so sorry for her, but I’m afraid to attempt another spaying unless I can find a vet with a new, safer method.

        • It’s really just the luck of the draw. Some cats are hypersensitive or may be allergic. And, ofcourse, the cat’s medical history is unknown in a lot on cases. Not so much with Dreama since I was there when she was born, but with my ferals. I lost an older feral male that way.
          But, Dreama is a joy and makes me laugh all the time with her goofiness. There is, often, some sort of frenzy or such going on in the kitchen (maybe a spoon fell on the floor). She’ll start prancing and dancing around with the commotion going on. She doesn’t know what the heck is going on, but she’s excited.

          • Oh that was awful, poor Dreama and she went through that and still wasn’t spayed, anaesthetics frighten me where cats are concerned, we almost lost Popsy as a result of sedation to have her chest x-rayed, they saved her then but we lost her anyway. There are so many things to worry about when we have cats that it’s a wonder that any real and genuine, caring cat lover actually keeps cats. I’m glad your girl manages to enjoy her life, she sounds a character, I can well understand you being scared to risk another anaesthetic.

            • So true, B.
              I’m terrified to try getting her spayed again; and, she needs to be so badly. It’s been a year now, and she’s doing well. She loves life.

              • I should say so, how awful if it happened again and you lost her this time, but it must be really stressful when she is on heat and so often.

            • I could use a little advise from you and R about a situation with Dreama.
              I’m very protective of her.
              When she goes into heat and starts with…well, you know… she becomes annoying to a few of the others here and they will slap her.
              It’s hard because nobody is at fault. The slappers don’t realize that she’s disabled. My saving grace has been my male, Grey-grey, who sticks to her like glue in those times. I don’t want to confine her to a crate. What I thought about doing is to confine she AND Grey-grey to a room of their own with a litter box, food, etc. just for that period of time.
              What do you guys think?
              I don’t mind the work at all of orienting Dreama to the new environment. I just don’t want her to feel that I abandoned her.
              Can you think of anything else that I can’t come up with?

              • I think it’s a good idea to try that Dee next time Dreama is in heat, I take it Grey-grey is neutered. As they get along so well it would probably be far less stressful for all of you and those two would most likely be happy enough together with you popping in to spend a bit of time with them when you can. She wouldn’t feel you’d abandoned her if you did that.
                It must be very hard for you and I can well understand you daren’t risk her going under anaesthetic again unless she has to.

              • I’m honoured that you should ask me Dee, I have no experience of blind cats at all but it does seem a good idea to keep Dreama away from the other cats for those few days if she gets on their nerves and gets a bit of abuse from them, of course it isn’t their fault or her fault it’s just cats doing what cats do and circumstances to blame, I would never advocate crating a cat but if you have a room you can spare for her and the friend that she is comfortable with is happy to stay with her in there then it might save a lot of stress for your other cats who don’t appreciate her advances and for you as well as you must have to be constantly watching them all. Will it take you a lot of work to orientate her, I just can’t imagine how you will do that, or is it a room she is already slightly familiar with? I admire the effort you put in with Dreama and your other cats, how many more do you have?

              • There’s no reply for either of you, so I’ll write here.
                Thanks so much.
                I have 3 bedrooms: mine, a guest, and the one I’m in now and converted to an office. I thought that putting them here in the office would be best but changed my mind. I would be much more available to them here but would have to close myself out from the rest when on the computer (that’s never a good idea). So, I’m going to set up the other room tomorrow.
                And, yes, Grey-grey is neutered. I have no idea why he has developed such a bond with Dreama, but he has. It’s really adorable. He’s fairly familiar with the room, but Dreama has never ventured there. It’s not hard to orient her. She’s very smart. I take her to the box, her bedding, and where food is. She gets most things a first time. She has come a long way from when she was 12 weeks old.
                Babz, there are 16 cats, at the moment, that are permanently here inside. There are indoor/outdoor ones that come and go all day. Some may stay in on cold nights; others go to the heated shelters on my deck. The outdoor cats shelter themselves at night also.
                At morning feeding, I could have as many as 30 inside to eat on a cold day.
                Then, back outside for the majority.
                I don’t go to the colonies until that’s accomplished. Then, I feed the strictly outside cats.
                Thenk you again guys. I appreciate it.

              • oh man, Dee I’m on my knees here in supplication to you, you are responsible for all those happy and well cared for cats and you come to us for advice? Madam I am not worthy of licking your boots, I’m in total awe of your achievement you are THE top-cat lady of POC. I had no idea how many cats you care for, your organisation of feeding them leaves me agape really.

                Well the spare room sounds ideal to me, it would have been nice to have them in your office but you’re right you’d have had to close the door and shut off the rest of the house, plus you’d have been watching them all the time and maybe not been able to concentrate on what you’re doing, a room of their own where you can visit and they can be relaxed together is good and you’ll know that Dreama is safe and your other cats not stressed out by her come-hither actions. It’s lovely to see little friendships amongst cats isn’t it, our Jo was special friends with Popsy, they used to play together (roughly at times, she was a real tomboy and always ended up doing the rabbit kick on him) and they used to sleep together sometimes too, and Popsy and Ebony were good friends as well despite their age difference, I suppose they’re just like us, who knows what makes us click with certain people.
                Now I know how much of a cat lady you are I have no doubt you’ll sort this haven for Dreama and Grey-grey out in no time at all, how could I have missed this info, I have no idea!
                What do you feed them all on? Tinned or packet cat food or your own make? the cost daily for their food alone must be high, and time and even washing up! But all that love, it’s amazing Dee. Here’s some of flowers for you 🙂

              • Thanks for the flowers, Babz.
                There are several others from the rescue group I deal with that do as much or more. Most all the cats are fostered in their homes. They have no facility. Some keep well over 50; And, since they are the coordinators for TNR in my city, many also have colonies of their own. I take on as much as I can financially and physically handle.
                There have been some hard times over the years, but I have learned how to be very thrifty and make the most of what I have. All cats are fed the same food. No group of cats is better than another to me. Feeders a filled with wet food, but I also have a few with dry food just in case somebody missed out on feeding time. Many times, I will stretch my wet food with brown rice or cooked oats (all healthy) and boil LOTS and LOTS of chicken since it’s fairly cheap here for chicken and rice. Thanks to Harvey, I’ll be making a lot more homemade food.
                My daily schedule only varies when I have to change my colony appearances for safety or when something very unexpected comes up.

    • Brilliant about Dreama’s fear of falling. It makes sense that she knows she is going to a high place. I never keep her up there without wrapping an arm around her while I brush. You know, I think I’ll come down on the floor to her with the brush.

      • Dee I second everything Babz has said. You are truly an Earth Angel 🙂
        So did Dreama go to be spayed at only 12 weeks old? When I first heard about American vets spaying kittens at such a young age it worried me, I was thinking about the anaesthetic risk for such young animals. I wonder if many suffered blindness like Dreama or even lost their life?
        Thankfully I don’t think the idea to spay kittens so young has caught on here and I hope it never does.

        • Yes, 12 weeks. I didn’t like it much either.
          She was born in a litter of 5 in one of my colonies while I was TNRing.
          12 weeks was a requirement for feral kittens based on the group’s bylaws. I didn’t have a choice if I wanted their financial assistance with my entire colonies. I, ofcourse, didn’t return Dreama to the colony. What I never told anyone was that her 4 brothers were never returned either. I didn’t have the heart to return them to turn full feral when they were workable and adoptable. One boy tested FIV positive and didn’t live but about 6 months even with meds. The other 3 boys were adopted.

          • It must be so difficult there! The powers that be seem to make caring for ferals very hard with their bylaws. Surely they don’t insist toms are neutered so young too do they, their ‘manly bits’ would still be ‘boys bits’
            I’m glad the boys were adopted. Sometimes we just have to risk going against what we are ‘supposed’ to do and do what we know is right, don’t we x

              • Shocking! Poor little souls, at 12 weeks, ideally just ready to leave their mother, I suppose it’s important that all ferals are neutered but it does seem far too young to me. I wonder if anyone has done long term studies on how neutering so young affects cats?

            • I’m glad I didn’t return them. The thought of the FIV boy suffering and dying in the woods makes me crazy. Minimally, I would have kept him even if the other 3 had to go back.
              You’re right, sometimes we just have to do what we know is right regardless of any rule.

  2. I knew a little something about them and am happy you brought them into our light.
    They really are wonderful.
    As all know, my Dreama is blind, but I doubt that a visitor would really figure it out right away. She navigates very well and even adjusts to small changes like litter box placement. I “show” her once, and it’s done. Her biggest tell-tale signs are that she walks with deliberation and head bowed. Sometimes she’ll lose her balance when she turns around to lick or scratch her lower back, and she has a fear of falling when I put her on the counter to brush. The later was something I never expected. I thought that sight was necessary to have that fear.

    • “latter”. Some days, I just can’t seem to spell or wonder if I’m dislexic. LOL!
      In any case, proof in hand. Blind cats can make a great addition to a home.

  3. This is wonderful Babs – I know of them and now I know more thanks to you 🙂 – it is very nice to hear of true animal lovers working in places like the pound and actually goind out there way to save a special needs cat.

    • Thanks Marc, I didn’t really know about them until I started following them on Facebook, I think they’re wonderful people, so kind and yes true cat lovers

  4. A lovely heartfelt article and photos thanks Babz, now I’ll be voting for the Blind Cat Rescue every day too!
    Cats are wonderful in how they adapt to any disability and far braver than us human beings.
    I’m so glad Morris, Gina, Lily and Snicker are all happy and cared for now, bless them.

      • Yes cats just seem to accept disabilities and illnesses don’t they and adapt themselves to manage as best they can, your Charlie is a great example managing so well minus one leg, I can’t imagine how blind cats manage so much of what cats do depends on sight, especially neighbourhood watch cats.

    • Thanks, me too, on their website there are little squares to click on to for each cat and all their stories are told there, poor little things some of them are so sad, thanks for signing up to click daily and help them.

  5. I have a soft spot for blind cats. They push a button in me that makes me want to help. Blind cats deal with their disability valiantly without complaint. They adapt brilliantly and get along pretty well sometimes almost as if they have sight. The cat’s acute senses of smell and hearing get them through this severe disability.

    I admire The Blind Cat Rescue & Shelter immensely. Fabulous work and effort to save Gina was awesome. Truly awesome. People need to find that compassion and energy and use it to save the lives of many more cats.

    It is sad that blind cats are almost automatically assigned to the scrap heap.

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