Into each cat-free life a cat must be inserted. So as soon as I was able to, I started stalking suitable cats on the internet. Now there is no ethical basis to this; I stalk to a shopping list (indoor only, male, oriental, not-kitten) and am quite ruthless in finding the perfect animal for the role.
Which is why Baldric is gently snoring on the sofa next to me. Baldric (not his previous name, which has been redacted to save his blushes) is blind, obese and scurfy (the description on his rehoming form, not mine) domestic ish-hair (my category for not quite shorthair). He has had a bit of a checkered past, reading his vet record, became blind when only a few months old, not 100% enthusiasm from the owners about prompt treatment, then he was fed as a replacement for being able to see. I can understand a little of it, but. He is approaching his ninth birthday, and has panda paws (one paw shown, he doesn’t quite get my enthusiasm for photographing his paws, but they have black pads and white patches, which inidicates panda genes in my book).
The description he should have is affectionate, bold and curious. He has been home since 16.30, it is now 19.50 and he is more or less sorted. I have kept him out of two rooms to avoid too much in the way of thrills but he was not up for just one room (as recommended in all the best rehoming guides). Difficult to tell that he is blind, as he is adept at whiskering and hearing, and apart from some differences of opinion about my driving on the way home (him: 40mph with the windows open, me: it’s a motorway, we can’t!) and dinner (him: FOOOOOOOD, me: it says 20g of fat-shaming* diet food on your instructions, actually).
It is interested watching him map the flat, though it doesn’t fit with how I think I would do it if I were blind. I wouldn’t jump up on stuff for a start. But then he has better hearing, smell and whiskers than I do. He is relaxed in appearance but super-alert in terms of hearing, he will lie upside down on the carpet, but jump when a bird lands on the roof.
* While I am fully aware that he is a) blind, b) a cat and therefore not able to read, it does seem harsh to have to dispense meals from a bag labelled OBESITY.