With millions and millions of adoptions taking place at animal shelters across the world, you’d think that pet parents and enthusiasts have every reason to celebrate.
But not everything’s “rainbows and butterflies,” especially when you remember the numerous pets that don’t get adopted because they’re unique.
“Special needs” animals like blind cats get overlooked because of the stigma that follows them. We’re aware that they’re equally affectionate and appreciative as animals that aren’t plagued by health problems, but they’re considered a burden.
Whether they’re permanently “damaged” or need treatment to get better, they’re considered more difficult to care for.
Despite that, we can’t say that there aren’t people who bite the bullet and adopt a pet suffering from some sort of health niggle without questioning whether they’re doing the right thing. Special people go for special needs animals, that’s for sure.
More often than not, special needs animals don’t even show that they’re different – they’re running around, playing with neighbors, and snuggling the day away.
When you adopt a pet nobody wants, you’re guaranteed to change much more than that pet’s life. You’re going to change your parents’, neighbors’, and friends’ attitudes and set an example for everyone who takes notice of your pet. You’re going to change your own attitude, too.
When you take your blind cat for a walk, you might not get far. But that’s not because she’s blind – it’s because everyone will want to stop you to admire how darn cute she looks, take photos, and pet her on the head.
Before you pass on the opportunity to make your life better, richer, and more meaningful, consider adopting a pet that nobody wants to adopt. Or two. Or three.
With that out of the way, we’re here to tell you a story of a woman names Lola Ayers who didn’t allow the preconceived notions of special needs animals to stop her from adopting two poor-sighted cats. When Lola decided she wanted to adopt a pet, she went to a shelter near her hometown Roswell, Georgia.
Lola appreciated the animals she met there, but she bonded the most with two cats who had both been born with microphthalmia. Now, before we move on to the rest of the story, we might as well address the elephant that stopped other people from adopting the two cats.
Humphrey and Edgar were poor-sighted due to microphthalmia, a condition that occurs due to a gene mutation, a missing chromosome, or an infection that occurs while the kitten’s in the mother’s belly.
Microphthalmia, to be more precise, causes the cat’s eyes to be underdeveloped or completely undeveloped. Humphrey’s eyes were underdeveloped, but he wasn’t blind – he could see a little bit.
Edgar, on the other hand, suffered from another eye condition, feline eyelid agenesis, which means he was born without eyelids. Edgar, as you might have guessed, was completely blind.
On top of that, the two cats weren’t doing that great. They’d been rescued days before that and they were suffering from a myriad of health problems, fighting fleas, and barely holding on.
They were beaten down and Lola wanted nothing more than to save them – but she didn’t know whether she was ready to care for two special needs cats.
Lola took some time to think and came back to the shelter a few days after. She adopted Humphrey who was over the moon when he figured out he was the chosen one.
Humphrey, as we stated beforehand, was poor-sighted – but he was smart, sociable, and adaptable. He was able to use other senses to move around, play with Lola, and cause trouble like any average cat. He was attached to Lola from the get-go and she knew the two of them were meant to be together.
Lola didn’t regret going back for Humphrey, not one bit, but she couldn’t stop thinking about Edgar. Humphrey might have suffered from the same condition, but he was capable of doing pretty much everything he wanted.
Edgar, on the other hand, needed someone who’d be there at all times.
Months had gone by and Lola couldn’t stop thinking about Edgar. She decided to try to figure out whether he found a forever home the same way Humphrey did. She felt guilty, too, and she didn’t want to give up before she was sure that Edgar was taken care of, too.
She went on the shelter’s Facebook page and found out that Edgar was rescued by Purr Nation in Woodstock, Georgia. She was shocked to uncover that Humphrey and Edgar were actually brothers – Humphrey was white with orange markings and Edgar was white with black markings.
She contacted the rescue and found out that Edgar hadn’t been adopted. She then explained that she had adopted Edgar’s brother a couple of months back and the rescue offered to waive the adoption fee to reunite the two brothers ASAP.
Lola agreed to foster Edgar for a little bit to ensure she was up to the task. She was scared that Humphrey and Edgar wouldn’t get along considering they’d been separated for months, but the two became more attached than ever from the moment they reunited.
Humphrey started following Edgar everywhere he went. Edgar was shy at first, but he didn’t take long before he figured out that Humphrey meant well. Edgar was recovering from surgery and that’s why he needed more time.
When the duo started spending more and more time together, Lola decided to officially adopt Edgar, too. Humphrey and Edgar continue to protect each other, snuggle with each other every night before bed, and make each other’s lives better.
We couldn’t be happier for Lola and her blind boys – we’re keeping our fingers crossed that they’re happy and healthy for a long, long time!