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Need advice for one of my little girls

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hi everyne. Four years ago, I adopted two lovely rescues. Hunter and Kenzi. They had been disposed of in a garbage can. When they were found, they were in bad shape physically, but not mentally. Among other things, they both had severe infections in both eyes. They underwent treatment and unfortunately, the doctors were unable to save one of Hunter's eyes. Once she was home and recovered, surprisly, the problem did not affect her in any way. She played, cuddled, walked the banister like Nadia Commenici and did everything her sister did.

It was established that both girls had the herpes virus in their eyes, and over the years we've been very vigilant. At the slightest hint of infection, they were given medication or taken to the vet, if the medication did work immediately. This often times happened with Kenzie. Stress would set her eye off. New people in the house, I knew it was going to happened. With Hunter, my one-eyed girl, I don't recall it ever happening actually. Kenzie was always the one with various ailments over the years.

About a month ago, Hunter started exhibiting signs of an infection. Gave her the medication, and it didn't work. She was taken to the vet, who gave her different medication. Her decline was extremely rapid. She was taken to the vet again the following day, and the doctor said she had an untreatable ulcer and the remaining eye needed to removed right away or she wouldn't survive. By that point, she wasn't able to walk or eat as unbeknowst to us, her pain was that bad. Her eye was removed.

Her recovery was incredible. Within an hour of coming out of the anethesia, she was up and walking around, albeit quite tentatively. She started eating again, and going to the litter box. Of course, gymnastics on the banister are out of the question. She still bumps into walls, but has gotten a pretty good layout of the house. When she needs to use the facilities, she goes downstairs by herself and comes back up. She comes when she's called. She still walks quite tentatively and knows to put her foot out to feel, if she thinks she's nears the stairs, or when she wants to get off of a piece of furniture she has jumped on.

At this point, she isn't playing with her sister. I've once seen her pounce when I've put her on the bed and played with her while I was sitting opposite her and moving something that was making noise in front of her. So what's the problem you ask? Clearly, because she is blind, and I assume she's fearful, she hisses at her sister, when all she does is want to play, or even just cuddle with her. She's even hissed at me on occasion, if I'm trying to touch her. We always announce our presence, so it's not like it's a surprise. When I kiss her, I tell her I love her first and lower to her level. Neither of my girls have ever bitten or scratched us in anger. They've never fought and I'm not sure Hunter ever would. I just don't know how to allay her fears. Has anyone ever dealt with a blind furless four legged child? We have been giving Kenzi extra play time, and extra love and attention, but she just doesn't comprehend what's going on, and I feel so bad for her. I also feel bad that Hunter is frightened at all. I'm also sad to see her sleep so much. Does anyone know of anyway to get her back to playing and enjoying life somewhat like she used to? Anyone have any suggestions?
 
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How long has she been without sight? It may take some time for her to realize that she is home and you and her sister don't mean any harm. It may just be an adjustment phase that she is going through. I personally haven't had a blind pet, but from the ones that I have seen usually make out fine especially with a buddy to help guide them. Best wishes that she will bounce back to almost her old self, maybe not the gymnastics part. Keep us posted with her progress.
 

Catzzzmeow

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Bless that little baby. She is so lucky to have a caring and thoughtful forever home to live in. I do not have experience, but a vet tech who worked at our vet’s office shared she had a blind cat several years ago. She said what made the biggest difference for her cat with special needs was making sure everything in the house remained the same, even down to not using fragrances in the house like candles, room sprays etc. she said that her cat needed to hone their other senses and best not to disrupt routines. From furniture not being moved around, to dining room chairs pushed in after use, even down to whether leaving doors fully open and shut. Making their world as consistent as possibly helped build confidence.
 

Condo commando

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This is such a great story. I wish I had more to share but all I can think of is since cats rely on smell a lot maybe you can use that. For example, say there's spot that smells like Kenzi and only good things happen there, maybe she'll associate good things with Kenzi.
 
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How long has she been without sight? It may take some time for her to realize that she is home and you and her sister don't mean any harm. It may just be an adjustment phase that she is going through. I personally haven't had a blind pet, but from the ones that I have seen usually make out fine especially with a buddy to help guide them. Best wishes that she will bounce back to almost her old self, maybe not the gymnastics part. Keep us posted with her progress.
Hi Kauna,

Hunter had the operation a bit over a month ago. I'm certainly hoping it's only a matter of time. I think it's the thought of her being frightened that hurts me most. I know I'm over-thinking it, but I'm scared she might think it's something we've done to her. I know that doesn't make sense, but I'm saddened by her state. I can't wait until she bounces back to her old self. Thanks for your response and comments. They are much appreciated.
 
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Bless that little baby. She is so lucky to have a caring and thoughtful forever home to live in. I do not have experience, but a vet tech who worked at our vet’s office shared she had a blind cat several years ago. She said what made the biggest difference for her cat with special needs was making sure everything in the house remained the same, even down to not using fragrances in the house like candles, room sprays etc. she said that her cat needed to hone their other senses and best not to disrupt routines. From furniture not being moved around, to dining room chairs pushed in after use, even down to whether leaving doors fully open and shut. Making their world as consistent as possibly helped build confidence.
Hi Catzzzmeow,

Thank you. I'm the one who is lucky to have these girls in my life. They bring me such joy, joy that I never expected. Great suggestions about not moving things around, and making sure things stay the same. We've tried, but it's not always easy though, I've got two adult daughters, one of whom can't seem to not leave a computer bag or purse, or whatnot on the floor every step she takes. Of course, Hunter walks into everything she drops. That said, I also forget at times and leave the pantry door open when I'm getting their meals together, and of course, the pantry door is in Hunter's path, to get to her bowl. As you know, these kittehs are just so smart, so we explain everything to both girls as we go along, and they seem to get it. I would give anything to see her running around and playing. It used to be a routine, just before bedtime, they'd run around the house together, jumping from one thing to another, playing. I miss the sound of their feet on the hardwood.

Thanks again, I'll update you when I can!
 
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This is such a great story. I wish I had more to share but all I can think of is since cats rely on smell a lot maybe you can use that. For example, say there's spot that smells like Kenzi and only good things happen there, maybe she'll associate good things with Kenzi.
Hi Condo commando, thanks for your reply. Good ideas. Kenzie tries to meld into Hunter. Wherever. She. Goes. I'm hoping that Hunter gets used to what's happening. They do still cuddle on occasion, but it takes a bit of time for Hunter to be comfortable enough. I know, it's just going to take time. Patience isn't my forte.
 

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Please update us as you find what works best. Your journey/info will one day help another member of the community. I recently saw a video with a blind cat playing on with a toy on a staircase. Key is consistency on all humans in the house.
 
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Hi Kauna,

Hunter had the operation a bit over a month ago. I'm certainly hoping it's only a matter of time. I think it's the thought of her being frightened that hurts me most. I know I'm over-thinking it, but I'm scared she might think it's something we've done to her. I know that doesn't make sense, but I'm saddened by her state. I can't wait until she bounces back to her old self. Thanks for your response and comments. They are much appreciated.
Awe, hugs to you! I understand completely what you are thinking/feeling. It is stressful and nerve wracking wondering if you made the right choice, and it sounds to me that you did. She will get used to her new way of "seeing" her other senses will make up for it. I can tell that you love her dearly and want what's best. I think patience and love will go a long way. She is such a lucky girl to have you in her corner. Keep us posted on her progress!
 

Yoda mom

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@Blueyz , bless you for all the love amd care to Hunter and Kenzi .

It may take some time .. She knows you love her

Does she have a favorite treat ?
You could try treats in a jar at various places to give positive reinforcement when Kemzi goes to snuggle by her - etc treat both -

Always talk to them like you do :)

tell her in advance you are coming over to say hello , picking her up etc
Perhaps different types of toys crinkly balls , bells etc to appeal to senses along with the treats to build confidence I am sure will continue with time
It's a big new world for all .. Lots of love amd time

Thank you for saving these babies .. From a garbage can - shaking my head , what is wrong with people ?
They were meant to be with you amd your family for al other best love amd care that is returned 10 fold -
They are precious!

Will be following closely for updates


(((Hugs)) and head smooches

Her vet may have some great tips and suggestions
 
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Thank you all for your comments and love. It truly means a lot to me.

Today, for the first time, I walked into the kitchen and Hunter was laying down on the range. I had put something in the oven 45 minutes earlier, and she was there, getting the warmth. I have a Viking Range, and I've taken the two iron racks out from the middle, between the burners, where I've placed a folded towel for the girls to cuddle there together. Hunter got there by herself! That was the first time she's been up there, since the operation!

As a side note... about them being put in a trash can, I agree, it's pretty bad, and not something I could ever do. That said, the trash can wasn't that far from the SPCA. I think the girls' eye infections were so bad, and perhaps the owner didn't have the $$ to take care of them, and left them there so they would be taken care of. It costs money to abandon pets and maybe the owner didn't have it. Personally, when I think of what the owner could have done with them, I'm grateful for the choice he or she made. I cannot believe they were mistreated, as they are so loving and playful. They have never even slightly flinched when anyone goes near them, on the contrary, they are very social and will be playing with people they don't know that come into our home, within minutes.
 

Yoda mom

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@Blueyz , awhhh look at pretty Hunter ! So happy to read the update that she is getting out and about exploring up on her own .. A definite positive she is exploring familar routines

Extra head smooches sent to the girls

Keep the good news updates and pics of the girls coming !

Beatiful girls inside and out :)
 

Bailey21

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Awww your picture of Hunter on the stove all by herself brought tears of joys to my eyes! So happy to see she is slowly starting to become her old self again :kiss: She is beautiful
 
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Awwww, she is precious! so happy to see that she is starting to become her old self.
 
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Awww your picture of Hunter on the stove all by herself brought tears of joys to my eyes! So happy to see she is slowly starting to become her old self again :kiss: She is beautiful
Thank you so much! She defo seems to be gaining ground, exploring more than she was. I always call out 'careful' when she's heading for a wall. 95% of the time, she pivots in the right direction. Sometimes, she's not so lucky, and bonks into the wall. At first, I was almost in tears, now, I giggle. Not out loud of course. And it's more of a surprise, than a boo boo. Even if she misjudges the stairs, she's good at step one. A few weeks ago, when we took the barrier away, she stopped falling on step three or four. She will get used to it 100% at some point. Her favourite spot is in our tops, and she's figured out how to get up in there. I think she's happy, and I'm glad we made the decision we did. Kenzie is never far from Hunter.
 

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Yoda mom

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@Blueyz , stopping by to say hello and send head smooches to a Hunter and Kenzie

Keep us updated often
 
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