Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Her Blind Ambition

From my observations, and from further talks with Cammie’s doctor, I think the conclusion must be reached that the princess is almost blind; what little she sees probably isn’t enough to make a difference. Her world now is mostly black.

But her future is not. Cammie has been exploring, and adjusting. Last evening and this morning, before I went to work, I watched her assess her new situation. One of the questions about her blindness was how she would find her way from the bed to other parts of the bedroom, where she spends much of her time. In particular, I worried that she would be able to drink enough water. I noticed that she was spending more time at the big water-bowl on the floor by the door than she ever has. But now she has re-discovered her route to her favourite bowl on the ledge by the window.




When sighted, she would walk from the bed, across the desk, behind the computer monitor, then in front of the computer. This morning, I watched her do it without vision.


Then there was the ordeal of dropping from one platform to the next on the cat-tree. One would think that climbing would be the harder task, but with her eyes no longer working, stepping into darkness became a leap into the unknown. I tried to help Cammie by patting the next level as she descended, to let her hear how far down, and where, the step was. I think it provided her with guidance, though from her grumbling, I suspect that she wished I would leave her to do it her own way. In any case, she made it all the way by herself last night.




And then she was off exploring. She bumps into many things, but that isn’t deterring her. The day after her stroke, she confirmed where the food and litter-boxes were; undoubtedly, her nose led the way in those instances. But, aided by her memory and her whiskers, she is establishing the parameters of her suddenly dark world. It warms my heart to see her eschew the security of the bed to venture out into the new world that is, and is not, like the old one.



As more than one reader has mentioned, blindness need not end a cat’s life, or her enjoyment of life. With her strong sense of smell, and her acute hearing, Cammie can be stimulated by the world almost as much as by her eyes. Furthermore, as she grows older - she is fourteen now - age will naturally restrict her movements, and her desire to move; mobility, and the sight normally required for it, will become less vital. For now, however, I will do my best to help my friend adjust. Nothing, except the odd cat-toy and box, will be displaced; I will announce my presence and try to stay out of her way when she is walking; convenience for her will be arranged. I hope to do nothing to thwart what seems to be her ambition to live as normal a life as possible, even though she is blind.

21 comments:

  1. She's adjusting far more readily than most humans would, certainly than I would. Non-humans are so much more tuned in to their other senses; it's really amazing. Scritches to her from me and purrs from the boys.

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    1. She will get by. As long as she feels safe, that's one of my concerns. I'll pass on those scratches and purrs.

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  2. I had hoped so much that she was able to see more. Not perfectly- but more. She is being cared for with love and she will continue to live secure in her world with you.

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  3. That picture of her here at the end of the blog just goes straight to my heart.

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    1. She always looks melancholy. I'm afraid it's just the way her face is, the poor girl.

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  4. It is amazing how easily cats seem to adjust to the new normal. Would it be that we humans had the same resiliency and tenacity. Your Cammie is such a wonderful girl, I wish her many more years with you.

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  5. She will, in time, remap the entirety of the cozy apartment to her new internal guidance system. It was good to see her get herself down off the at tree. Well done Cammie

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  6. Cammie is a shining example of simply adjusting to one's new world! How I envy her ability to 'take it as it comes', rather than fighting to get back what once was. Hugs to Cammie!

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  7. cammie; we noe ewe will due just fine; once ya haz de "lay oh de land"

    tiz manee a pal we had at de ole catster blog that were site lezz ore partiallee sew N they played, jumped, ran, etc

    all de best two ewe az ya re adjust ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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  8. I love Cammie; she's such a tough customer.

    Cats really do adjust to blindness more easily than humans. Also, I expect that (as generally happens to humans who lose their sight) her other senses will become even more acute by way of compensation.

    However many years Cammie has left, I'm optimistic they will still be good ones.

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  9. Cammie is doing so good, way to go girl. Just don't move the furniture!

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  10. Cammie has had my heart ever since you first got her. She may act like a princess but that's okay in my book! (I have my own diva living with me so I understand). It's such a wonder to me how animals can quickly adapt to handicaps compared to humans! All I can say to Cammie is "you rock, girl"!!

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  11. Cats are so resilient. When they lose one sense others become heightened. She is already showing she can take it in her stride and is adapting well. She also knows she is safe and loved with you.

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  12. I am glad Cammie is adjusting and still able to get around.

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  13. I am amazed at Cammie’s ability to sort out her world and get with life. How quickly she has everything organized. There is so much for all of us to learn from her.

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  14. I've found that cats can be very resilient. Have seen some outside feral cats look like they were on the brink of death bounce back inexplicably. And having the benefit of whiskers, smell, and hearing as well as a safe environment with you, Cammie should do well with little or no sight. I don't think our Ghost sees well... know she sees movement, but I think its one of the reasons she doesn't jump and occasionally misses the stairs by the bed.

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  15. It's great to hear Cammie is adjusting so well to her loss of vision. We occasionally get blind animals at the shelter where I volunteer, and how well they adapt is truly amazing. They quickly learn to use their other senses to compensate.

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  16. Bless!x I did find this on line..
    I was just interested with the results...
    7 Tips for Living With a Blind Cat...

    Blind cats or vision-impaired kitties shouldn’t be overlooked! Photography ©~UserGI15633745 | Thinkstock.

    1. Use a blind cat’s other senses to orient her to her home
    Cats who can’t see still have the use of their other senses. They can perceive the world through hearing, smell, taste and touch, so take advantage of those other senses to help your blind cat find her way around.

    2. You can move your furniture if you have a blind cat
    It’s said that you should never rearrange your home if you live with a blind cat. But according to Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary, that’s not true: A blind cat can figure out the new locations of items, even if they do need a little extra time to reorient themselves. Keep the important stuff like litter boxes and food dishes in the same places, though.

    3. If you pick up a blind cat and move her, place her somewhere she can orient herself
    Since blind kitties orient by scent and touch, if you need to pick your blind cat up and carry her to another room, place her near a litter box, her food dishes, her bed or a place where the floor textures change.

    4. Noisy toys are best for blind cats
    Even though blind cats can’t see, they love to play and hunt just as much as any other cat. There are lots of toys available to stimulate a cat’s hearing and sense of smell. Blind cats love crinkly toys and catnip-stuffed kickers. Interactive toys can be moved and manipulated to make noise, allowing a blind cat to track his “prey” with his ears.

    5. Let your cat know you’re coming
    Blind cats can be more easily startled than others, particularly if they also happen to be losing their hearing. Be sure to let your blind cat know you’re coming, and don’t sweep her up off the floor without an introductory “hello” and some gentle petting.

    6. If your cat is losing his vision, be patient with him
    Cats often react to weakness by hiding that weakness, perhaps by becoming more standoffish or aggressive. Others may become more dependent or clingy. However your cat reacts to his changing vision, be kind and compassionate and imagine how you’d feel if you were going through the same thing. Also, talk to your cat as you’re coming or going in order to reassure him that you’re nearby.

    7. Don’t let your blind cat outdoors unsupervised
    Even though blind cats navigate their indoor world perfectly well, there’s no point in exposing them to the risks of outdoor life. However, an outdoor enclosure or a walk on a leash, if your blind kitty is so inclined, could be a wonderful boost to her quality of life.

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    1. Some good advice there, Willie. Numbers three and five I pay close attention to, especially.

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  17. What a cutie.
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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