Woman’s Lifelong Project. Socializing a Blind Feral Cat
This is a woman’s lifelong project: socializing a blind feral cat. What a great lady she is. I think her name is Tina Parkhurst. Tina posted on Facebook a couple of days ago the story of her cat, Neko. I’ll recite the story in my own words.
About 18 months ago, Neko was in a shelter in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. A friend of Tina’s saw him there. She knew that Neko was blind and and unsocialized and therefore had very little chance of being adopted. It was highly likely that he would be euthanized but it didn’t happen thanks to Tina and another person.
Tina’s friend pleaded with her to adopt him so she made the application to the shelter. One problem was that Tina lives in Portland, Oregon, which is more than 2,500 miles on the roads from Atlanta. Remarkably, a person who Tina had never met bought her a round-trip plane ticket to bring Neko to Portland. How about that? We do not know the name of the person but what a person he or she is. They asked for nothing in return except to save the life of this blind, former feral cat. I call that unconditional love.
The story was that Neko had been trapped by somebody who took him to a local veterinarian. The veterinarian then took Neko to the shelter. Fortunately Tina had experience with blind cats and the shelter was obviously very keen that she adopted Neko. She was an ideal candidate.
Neko Had Been Feral
It appears that they did not know at the time that Neko spent the first year and a half of his life as a feral cat. It must have been an awfully tough life for him. As an aside, I remember being in Italy on holiday staying in a nice hotel and outside there was a colony of feral cats one of whom was blind. He managed beautifully sniffing his way to the food. He appeared to be coping as well as the others. Perhaps the others helped him.
Anyway, moving on with the story, Tina has made Neko a lifelong project. He will be three years of age in three weeks time from May 20. She says that “every so often he makes tiny little steps towards being an indoor kitty and not so afraid”.
It is about tiny steps and tons of patience. Then one day he comes to you, looks up and jumps on your lap, asks to be cuddled and loved and when you comply he purrs. You fill up with the joy of having achieved your goal. It makes it all worthwhile.