Nikki has been rescuing and fostering cats for a long time. She’s very active in a trap-neuter-release (TNR) program and has done so much to help cats in need find the love and care they deserve. But recently, she rescued a litter of kittens with special needs that need some extra TLC. One of these kittens, Stella, turned out to be a little extra-special. “I trapped Stella on a TNR (trap-neuter-return) job at the end of September along with her two siblings. All three had various eye issues ranging from limited vision to total blindness,” she told Love Meow.
A question that I have been receiving a lot lately is “what made you select Stella from all the fosters that you’ve had?” It’s true, I’ve rescued hundreds of cats and kittens over the years and I have had a special bond with some of them. Former foster Boomer just to name one. I love and care for every foster that comes my way like they were my own and I have shed many tears over them leaving. So many people have asked me to keep certain fosters, but my job as a foster mom is to make sure they are healthy and happy and well-adjusted so that they can be a great addition to their forever families. The day I trapped Stella on a TNR job I told my husband I had a special connection with her. The fact that she’s blind was not a challenge in her finding the right forever home, but the fact that she was feral was. She needed a very particular home that was close to Las Vegas so she didn’t have to be traumatized by traveling. She needed a home that would be patient and let her blossom in her own time. I had a few people express interest in adopting her, but I just could not find the right fit. The combination of me having a connection with her and her being a little bit of a challenge in finding the right home made it clear to us that she was exactly where she belonged. Over the years I have always kept one space open in my home for a cat that came my way that was “unadoptable”. I’m not sure that Stella was entirely “unadoptable” but I was sure that I was not willing to give her up that easily… apparently not at all. If I want to continue to foster, which I do, we are definitely at our limit at this time for permanent residents having two cats and two dogs. This still leaves enough space in my home for fosters to come and go and I’m committed to fostering those in need as long as my circumstances allow. Not adopting every cat I’ve had that special connection to has allowed me to bring in those who need me while also creating happy forever families for those who adopt my fosters. We are so very happy to have Stella and are excited to share her journey as she continues to blossom. #feralkitten #blindcat #fosterfail #candoStella
Stella was born with Micro Ophthalmia, which means she has abnormally small eyes, and had developed an infection in both eye sockets. “I didn’t have the heart to put these three 4-month-old kittens back outside blind, so I took them in my home and immediately got them medical attention and started socializing them since they had never had human interaction,” Nikki said.
Sisters I always get a little emotional as adoption day approaches and this time is no exception. These three have endured so much being found feral, living near a busy road with painful eye infections and even blindness. Both Russ and Sunny have found homes, not together, but both have loving families who are eagerly anticipating their arrival. Sunny will have feline siblings and a wonderful mom who has agreed to not only do daily lubricant eyedrops, but also make sure she sees a vet two times a year to make sure no stray eyelashes are growing that touch her cornea. I will be sure to post adoption photos on Saturday as well as Instagram accounts if they choose to share them. As with all my fosters, they will take a little piece of my heart with them. #ThreeBlindKitties #fosterkittens #excellent_kittens #catstocker #animalsco #cat_features #kittycat #meow #petstagram #cutekitten #kittensofinstagram #catsrequest #instacat #meowbox #cats #kitten #bestcats_oftheworld #thedodo #catsofinstagram #animalsco #cuteanimalshot #cutekitten #catloversclub #cutekitten #cutepetsclub @cats_of_instagram
Stella had surgery to remove her eyes completely and close the sockets so that infection couldn’t start back up again. Two weeks later, she’s recovering very nicely. She no longer has to stay in a crate and is living in the foster kitty room in Nikki’s home. She’s learning to love interacting with her human family and is becoming less and less feral, despite her lack of eyesight.
“She is turning into quite the love bug. She’s always purring and biscuit making. I can tell she feels SO much better since her surgery,” Nikki said. “The day I trapped Stella on a TNR job I told my husband I had a special connection with her. The fact that she’s blind was not a challenge in her finding the right forever home, but the fact that she was feral also,” she added.
Sisters Many have asked how Shadoobie is taking the news that she has a new sister. She actually doesn’t totally hate her which is big for Shadoobie (a former foster herself). I wouldn’t say she “likes” her, but Stella is calm and Shadoobie likes that. That brings our total count of permanent resident fur-kids to four. Two dogs (Frank & Regan) with our two cats. We are officially at our limit of permanent resident pets and happy our family has grown! #adopted #feralkitten #perfectlyimperfect #blindcat #blindkitten #adoptionday #fosterfail #candoStella #thedodo #adoptdontshop #catsofinstagram #russianblue #ThreeBlindKitties #spayandenuter @catsofinstagram
Because of the unique challenge of finding Stella a forever home and Nikki’s special connection to her, Nikki and her husband soon realized that they had already found Stella a forever home – right there with them. They have decided to keep Stella forever despite her disability. Nikki reports that the kitty’s blindness doesn’t hold her back at all. She’s never missed the litter box and can find her food bowl on her own.
Stella has an exciting adoption announcement she plans on sharing tomorrow! #ThreeBlindKitties #fosterkitten #blindcat #blindkitten #ThreeBlindKitties #fosterkittens #excellent_kittens #catstocker #animalsco #cat_features #kittycat #meow #petstagram #cutekitten #kittensofinstagram #catsrequest #instacat #meowbox #cats #kitten #bestcats_oftheworld #thedodo #catsofinstagram #animalsco #cuteanimalshot #cutekitten #catloversclub #cutekitten #cutepetsclub @cats_of_instagram
All of the kittens began to show love and happiness and soon will be living happily ever after with humans. Despite all of them being blind and feral, they will all have a chance to be adopted by people willing to take on loving cats with special needs.