Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Odilia's Story



Odilia was turned into the shelter back in April and I brought her home to foster on the 23rd.

At the time it was thought she was three weeks old due to her size, but the more time I spent with her the less likely I thought that was possible.  She had very good coordination, and a peek at the teeth told me more on the five or six week range since she had her back molars in.

Odilia when I first took her in
Sadly there is often very little information in rescue.  I like to ask. The shelter will tell me what information they have, but you do have to realize that all too often people are unwilling or unable to tell us the truth of their history.  As I understand it she was born with another kitten who passed away.  The owner felt that the mother kitty was unable to care for the kitten so she was turned in.    I am not quite sure how much of this is true since she did not have the feel of a failure to thrive kitten since she was round in all the right places.  But I would rather she be in the system than left with someone who felt uncomfortable to take care of her.


Odilia is the first blind kitten I have ever fostered.  I have been fostering kittens since 2002 so I have a good handle on how to help a neonatal kitten become a well adjusted and social kitten that is easily adopted.  But with Odilia I had different challenges.  I kept her confined for the first week or so, close to bedding, food and litter it was hard for her to not be able to find what she needed.  As time progressed I decided to introduce her into a larger area.  I would call her and walk away and have her follow me to each corner of the room to help her learn how large of an area she had as well as navigate to those things she would find important: food, litter and bedding.  Because I was over protective of her, I did this over the course of a couple of days, returning her to the cage I was keeping her in at this point when I wasn't able to watch her directly.  After just a few times she had the room down pat, and she showed me that she was just fine.

It took a while longer for her to drink water, but she came to that on her own.  She also learned to track belled toys and now plays with them on her own as well.  When you watch her play and navigate her environment you would barely know she is blind.  Occasionally she will run and will run headlong into things, but occasionally fully sighted kittens will do that as well.


Her prognosis is very good at this point.  I was worried originally due to the death of her sibling, but she is eating and playing and active and in very good health.  All the stress of going to BlogPaws didn't even faze her.

She does have a few challenges.  First she has a pretty strong under bite and doesn't have the jaw strength that kittens her size usually have.  I am not sure what that means for her, but I do know she refuses to eat dry food (not that I mind that one bit). The second is she is very very small for her age.  She weighed out at 1lb 3oz yesterday.  This is the general size of a four week old kitten.  Chronologically she is probably nine if not ten weeks. She also acts much younger then her age, which is good because it is more in line with her physical size.

I am fortunate to be fostering for a shelter who is willing and able to take on challenging cases.  Because of all of the effort they have put in to improving the conditions for the animals in their care, they have near no-kill stats.  They are often importing dogs and sometimes cats from shelters in parts of the country that have an over abundance.  They even took in some kitties from across the country when their owners needed to find them a new home and no one locally would help them out.  Because of all the good work they do they have a wonderful reputation with in the community.  I have no doubt if that Odilia, if she isn't able to charm someone online to adopt her, will find a home and probably pretty quickly.  For the most part she could probably fit into any home pretty easily, as long as the owners were willing to be patient and work with her and show her around.

The Blind Cat Rescue webpage has a great page about living with a blind kitty.  It just enforces what I have learned caring for her..

I am often asked if I am going to keep Odilia.  While I would love to, I think she is an amazing kitty and I have no doubt she could easily become an internet sensation, I have to also keep in mind the welfare of the cats I already own.  We have a wonderful balance with The Crew and I fear adding to it and causing disharmony.  So I will let her move on and make someone else very happy.. which will also open up another opportunity to help more kittens..

19 comments:

  1. Odilia is an amazing little girl! My second biggest wish for her (after her finding the awesomest home ever) would be that she is adopted by someone who will set up a blog for her so we can see how she is doing! I would love to be able to keep track of her after she is adopted.

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  2. I wish she finds the loving caring home that she deserves with people who are caring and loving with the patience that you have given her,xx Rachel

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  3. Sparkle is right, it would be wonderful to hear ongoing updates about the adventures of Odilia. We're sure she's going to continue to have an interesting story.

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  4. Odilia is a remarkable kitten and you have formed a very special bond with her. It will be very difficult for you to part but we know that when the time comes you will not hesitate to act in her best interests. Our paws are crossed that she will find a truly wonderful forever home. Meanwhile, keep up the good work, Connie - you are an inspiration to us all.
    Purrs ... Rainbow

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  5. I really hope the person who adopts Odilia would set up a blog too. It would be great to see Odi grow up! She seems like a really confident little kitty.

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  6. Odilia has become so much a part of the cat blogosphere, that I too also hope the person who adopts her will set up a blog so we can all keep in touch with her progress! You have done a great job, Connie, especially as she is your first blind kitten!

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  7. For all I have had here, I haven't has a blind kitty either and it was fun to watch her adjust at Blog Paws. I think the one thing I know I forget is that SHE doesn't know she is different. She got around great and didn't seem to care about the change of environment to the hotel. :) As for running into things, you should see the space kittens....talk about running into things. MOL

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  8. I know that must have been a hard decision to make but hopefully she will find her forever home and maybe with someone that has a blog because i sure will miss reading about her !

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  9. Odelia is such a cute, brave little girl. I hope she finds her forever home. Abbi is my failed foster. I look up to foster parents who are able to let go - I'm not one of those!

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  10. I have a blind cat I rescued from the side of a country road. I love him. Anyone afaid to adopt her because she is blind. Dont let that stop you. You would be suprised how well they do.

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  11. Odilia is a little doll! I echo the hope she finds a loving forever home where she will be safe and cared for, for many, many, many years. I'm certain it will be tough to see her go, but I'm also certain you can be proud of the impact you've had on this little girl's life.

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  12. When the mom met Odilia at BlogPaws, she was so impressed at how Odi played and ran around just like a kitten with no challenges. She's lucky to have you as a foster mom, Miss Connie. We think Odi will have no problem finding a furever home.

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  13. I loved meeting Odilia at BlogPaws. What a special little girl!

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  14. What you describe reminds me of Gwen talking about Homer. Cats born blind truly are amazing to us! Once we got Maxwell, there was no turning back with helping Differently Abled kitties. And she'll actively seek out those for adoption in the future. It's kind of sad to think we can never have an Odilia in the home we have now - too many open-air superhighways to fall from!

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  15. What an inspiration, both Odilia and Connie. Thank you for sharing yourselves with us at BlogPaws!

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  16. You are such a good foster mom. Odilia is so lucky to have you to show her the ways of the world with such patience and care. She has well as whoever adopts her will be all the better for it. Purrs and hugs from the kitties at The Cat on My Head, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette

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  17. Odilia brought such joy to those of us that were privileged to meet her at BlogPaws and she will no doubt make someone very happy when she finds her furever home. Bless you for taking care of her, Connie, and it was a pleasure meeting you at BlogPaws as well. Have a nice weekend - Purrs from the Zee and Zoey gang!

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  18. These stories always warm my heart. I am sure you must have heard of Oskar-he has shown the world that while he cannot see he loves life like any sighted cat. I hope Odilia finds a loving home.

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  19. Looks like she's giving you just another challange. :) She seemed to be very popular on blogpaws too!

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