They say love is blind, and nowhere is that truer than at the Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary in St. Pauls, North Carolina. It's one of only a few rescue organizations in the country that exclusively cares for blind cats.
It was founded by Alana Miller, who was volunteering at a local animal shelter. She adopted a blind cat – who joined her other pet cats, dogs, horses and donkeys on her farm. One blind cat led to another. After adopting four blind cats, she realized there was a real void that needed to be filled, and started her non-profit organization.
Alana now has dozens of blind cats in her care, all who get to live out the remainder of their nine lives in a kitty paradise. They live in groups of 12 in spacious open-air rooms, filled with climbing perches and snuggly beds. They have daily access to a large, safely fenced-in outdoor area, where they can run and romp freely. And they get all the love and affection they need from Alana and many volunteers.
“My cats don't know they're blind,” Alana explains. “They just know they're cats, and they do everything any other cat does.” They even climb trees – and shimmy down the same way they climb up!
Sadly, many of the cats here were previously abused or abandoned. Some had been passed from shelter to shelter before reaching the sanctuary. For this reason, none of the cats are available for adoption.
“These cats have been through enough,” Alana said. “This is their forever home. They will be loved here for the rest of their lives.”
Alana encourages people who want to adopt her blind cats to go to a shelter, where the cats do not yet have a home. “My cats are safe,” Alana said. “Please adopt a cat who is in dire need of a good home.”
Of course you can help Alana's cats in other ways, by donating supplies or money. The most satisfying way to help is to sponsor a kitty. You get to pick whichever cat you like from their photo gallery, and sort of be a virtual owner. If you live nearby, you can visit and play with your sponsored cat. They'll even take a photo of you with your kitty to post to that cat's page. In this way, you personally help the blind cat of your choice get the food, toys and medical care she needs.
Alana's program is so successful that she added a new building to house cats with Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). FeLV is spread by close contact. FIV is transmitted mostly through bite wounds. Both diseases attack the immune system. An infected cat is very unlikely to be adopted. Alana has taken in 12 FeLV+ and 12 FIV+ cats, who are now living safely and happily in her care.
Alana loves caring for her blind cats, but would also like to prevent blindness and abandonment of blind cats. She advises cat owners to take their cats to a veterinarian to treat eye infections and other illnesses that can lead to blindness. And, should your cat become blind, she strongly advises that you keep your cat at home, and not give her up to a shelter where she's unlikely to be adopted. She will adapt just fine at home, and will still be the same cat you loved before.
See the Snouts in Your Town video of Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary!