When Emily Shotter’s friend shared a Twitter post with her about a blind cat who was at a California animal shelter, she was struck by how much the fluffy white feline looked like her kitty Moet.
“She grabbed my heart!” says Emily, so she contacted the organization to learn more about the beautiful special needs cat. “I found out that although lots of people had shown interest in adopting her, nobody had been suitable.”
While Emily wasn’t looking to adopt another cat, her friends encouraged her to submit an application. To her surprise, it was approved, but Emily — who lives in Oman — had to figure out how she was going to get the cat from SNAP Cats in Santa Rosa, California, to her home in southwestern Asia. “I was accepted,” remembers Emily. “Then I had to raise funds to help to get her to Oman, which I did in just eight days.”
When Emily adopted Moet, her first blind cat, she was a bit apprehensive about caring for a visually-impaired feline. However, over the past seven years, she realized having an eyeless cat wasn’t all that different from having a sighted one, making the process a lot less anxiety-inducing. “I knew having another would come easily, even if she were a different personality,” says Emily.
In January 2022, the adorable blind cat — who lost her vision buphthalmos, or enlargement of the eyeball caused by untreated glaucoma — arrived in Oman, and Emily decided to give her a new name to commemorate her new beginning. “The shelter had called her Andie after the lady that rescued her,” explains Emily.
In honor of her resemblance to Moet, Emily dubbed the feline Chandon. “Chandon worked well also because it can be shortened to ‘Chandie,’ which sounds like Andie,” says Emily, “so there were never issues getting her used to a name change.”
Despite having traveled thousands of miles, it didn’t take long for Chandon to adjust to her new home or to find her way around. In fact, while people often ask Emily if her blind cats have ever had trouble locating their food, water, or litter, that has never been a problem for Chandon or Moet. “I’m always happy to tell them that my girls have never had ‘accidents’ and have never failed to find their box or food after being shown the first time,” says Emily. “Blind cats are so amazing at navigating their surroundings.”
While Chandon quickly settled into the new environment, it took a little longer for her to become friends with the felines who share her home. “She is quite a different personality to the other cats — much more feisty,” explains Emily, “so the bonding has been much more of a challenge!”
Several months after arriving in Oman, Chandon is doing extremely well, and while she may not be able to see, she’s a fairly typical cat. Chandon enjoys sitting on Emily’s lap while having her coat brushed, although like a lot of felines, she can be a bit picky about where she’s petted. “She’s fond of chin rubs but doesn’t like to have many other areas on her body touched,” says Emily. “You do so at your own peril.”
Chandon also loves to cuddle, and she absolutely adores eating, further proof she really isn’t all that different from the average feline. However, for anyone who is thinking of adopting a blind cat, Emily has one word of warning. “People should be prepared to be amazed by how incredible they are,” says Emily. “It’s like owning a sighted cat, but with many more rewards.”
After all, while lots of people assume it’s Chandon who is fortunate to have found her mom, Emily believes it’s actually the other way around. “She’s a wonderful girl and I feel so lucky to be her mum and to be able to give her a loving forever home,” says Emily. “She means the world.”
To learn more about this beautiful cat, you can follow Chandon on Instagram.