They wanted to euthanize him as a kitten because he’s blind. Today he played in 2 feet of snow.
That title line introduced an album of 31 photographs of Reddit user raella’s sightless cat Sprite, who will turn 3 this June. Sprite’s photos, uploaded yesterday, inspired a conversation that brought out details of his history and how well he has adapted to his condition, along with a discussion on differently abled pets. The photo of the happy cat playing in the snow speaks volumes about Sprite and why he deserved to live.
Raella, who works in a veterinary ER as an animal nurse and formerly worked at a shelter, shared the following in comments at Reddit:
He was born in a feral colony and was taken to my hospital as a kitten with severe symptoms from the herpes virus. It’s not uncommon for kittens to produce so much infectious eye secretion that their eye(s) seal shut. Everything can build up until the eye ruptures. In Sprite’s case, we received him with both eyes severely damaged and hanging outside their sockets. Sorry for the graphic mental image!
Sprite was actually a patient at the shelter/hospital I used to work at. When a rescue organization found out he’d lose his eyesight, they opted for euthanasia because he’d be ‘too hard’ of an adoption.
He’s really like any other cat most of the time! Just bumps into things here and there.
I attach bells to his toys. If I throw a toy into a pile of toys, he will also pick out the right toy.
He catches house flies and once I saw him go after a tiny fruit fly. I still cannot process how he heard something that tiny!! Not only can they hear higher-pitched sounds, but it also says they can locate the source of a sound within three inches when they are one yard away. That’s how a blind cat can catch a fly. Kitty superpowers.
He memorizes everything and loves to constantly investigate his surroundings. He remembers how high/low objects are. When in an unknown area, and placed on an object, he takes a long time to jump down because he can’t figure out how high he is. He reaches out with his paws and ‘taps’ the air to see what’s in front of him.
I have to be careful with the water bowl – if I move it a few inches over, he’ll run into it and knock water everywhere.
Sprite’s actually pretty independent, but is also extremely attached to me and thrives on his connection with me. If he’s scared, all I have to do is call him, and his tail pops up and he comes running over. He’s an incredibly responsive cat.
He’s the second animal that I fostered and decided to keep. I’m not allowed to foster anymore
I hope my post has helped spread awareness of how wonderful ‘special needs’ animals can be!
See the entire series of photos in the Imgur slideshow here: