This week on The Mew, we welcome a very special guest. She’s fluffy. She’s smart. She’s everyone’s best friend. She’s graceful, athletic and aware. She’s blind. Put your paws together for Miss Monkey!
A: Thank you! Thank you!
A: I’d say how beautiful our audience is today, if only I could see them! [Chuckles] I’m sure you’re all beautiful, thank you for coming to hear me.
Q: They are. It’s Santa Barbara! Of course, our audience is beautiful. So, Monkey. You have become a crowd favorite at the Santa Barbara Humane Society. What is your story?
A: Well, as you can guess, I won the genetic lottery and I was born blind. Or at least that’s what I think, I obviously don’t remember things from when I was that young. And now that I think about it, all kittens are born blind, so never mind, but you get the point: I was blind since always and forever.
Q: Was that scary?
A: I have nothing to miss! I joke about it, but I am a cat, so my Super Cat Whiskers totally make up for my lack of sight. I can tell when a door opens by the slight change in air pressure, I can jump up steps higher than my head, and down!
Q: How does your blindness affect your life in the shelter?
A: Well, I’ve had to be very trusting of people my whole life. So, that helps me when I’m meeting new people. I get along with them instantly because I just have to take that leap of faith. I also have to be much more attentive than the other cats here, because when I hear someone come into the cat room to visit, I can’t see them, so I always try to catch their attention verbally.
Q: You seem like you’re doing everything right. Does it hurt, then, to have been here for several months? You’d think that someone would have snatched a nice cat like you up immediately.
A: I think people assume that my condition will be hard to live with, which really is just unfounded. I get around independently and am very self-sufficient. I’m great with my litter box and can remember where things are. If someone rearranged their living room, I guess I might bump into a few things at first, but I’d memorize the layout again and be just fine.
Q: We hope that the right person comes along for you soon, Monkey. You seem like a very laid-back, easy-going cat who deserves so much more.
A: Thank you! It’ll happen. I’m not too concerned. Until then, I’ll keep meowing at visitors until they come say hi to me.
Q: Sounds like a plan!