Partially blind, frail and scared, Cici was found roaming the streets of Waukon, IA as a young kitten. No one is sure what happened to Cici before she was found, but we know her first few months of life were rough. One eye was blind and the other was severely infected. A good samaritan called HSNEI and after meeting this sweet kitten we had to do everything we could to give her a second chance at a great life. She never could have survived on her own.
When Cici came to HSNEI she was in very bad shape. One of Cici's eyes was badly infected and took a toll on her health, and she was blind in the other eye and it was susceptible to infection so both eyes had to be removed to avoid infection. As a small rescue organization we do not have a lot of funds, but appealed to the public to help with Cici and donations came in to help with her surgeries. Cici responded lovingly to everyone that interacted with her and quickly learned to cope without eye sight. Blind felines can cope in the right, consistent environment. Their senses of hearing and smelling are much stronger than that of humans, so they learn to cope in a consistent environment where objects remain in the same place--furniture, the litter box, and food.
Once Cici's infection was treated she began eating more, gained weight, and was ready for adoption. Cici learned to put her paw out and use it like a cane to feel her way around in a new environment. HSNEI wanted to find a very special home for Cici given her special needs--special needs plus being a black cat made her adoption more challenging since black cats are harder to adopt out. Stephanie and Matt Hughes were the perfect family for Cici. They set up a "home base" for Cici with her litter box, food and water so she knew where to find what she needed, but it didn't take her long to start exploring the house, making a mental map of the layout, and staking out her favorite napping spots. The main adjustment Stephanie and Matt made was watching their step because Cici moves around so silently. Cici also gets disoriented easily if picked up so has to be put down where she was picked up so she knows where she is, she also can startle easily so Matt and Stephanie talk to her before petting her so she knows they are there. Her adoptive family describes Cici as, "a really friendly kitty with a beautiful, tiny 'trill' of a meow. She loves to be petted and groomed with a brush, and she's very smart." Stephanie was showing her how to use a scratching post with her hands and Cici pushed her hand out of the way as if to say "I got it, thanks. Blind, not dumb."
Cici was a cat many would have written off and euthanized because of her condition, but HSNEI believes every animal is worth saving if possible and saw past Cici's blindness and frailty. Now she has a loving home and is a happy, healthy kitten. HSNEI looks forward to breaking ground on our Adoption Center in Spring 2014 so we can help more animals like Cici find their forever homes.