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Meet The Adorable Blind Cat Who Loves Going On Adventures With Her Awesome Dad!

After losing his beloved cat Tabitha, Peter got comfort from the many pictures he’d taken of the stunning feline throughout their life together. “I realized that in the end, I was lucky to have good photographs of her to remember her by, and not everyone is so lucky,” explains Peter.

blind tabby cat with micropthalmia
Tabitha/Image via @sonar.sophie on Instagram

He began taking pictures of other animals, and eventually started photographing cats and dogs at animal shelters near his home in North Carolina, hoping the images would help more pets get adopted. While looking for organizations who would benefit from his unique skill set, Pete came across an image of Sophie, an adorable blind tabby kitten who was born in August 2018.

blind tabby cat with micropthalmia
Image via @sonar.sophie on Instagram

Drawn to the cute special needs cat, Peter contacted the the Spartanburg Humane Society in January 2019 and a week later he drove two hours to meet Sophie in person. “I brought my camera, but I didn’t even touch it,” remembers Peter. “Sophie crawled out of the carrier and into my arms, and would not leave.”

blind tabby cat with micropthalmia
Image via @sonar.sophie on Instagram

The pair had an undeniable connection, so on January 16, 2019, Pete adopted Sophie when she was approximately five months old. While cats with special needs often have a harder time finding homes than average felines, Pete didn’t adopt Sophie specifically because he knew her blindness might make it more difficult for her to get adopted.

blind tabby cat with micropthalmia
Image via @sonar.sophie on Instagram

“It never even crossed my mind when adopting really,” says Peter, who was more concerned about making sure he would be able to provide his new cat with any medical care she might need in the future. “Whatever adversity or problems would come later, I would make it work.”

blind tabby cat with micropthalmia
Image via @sonar.sophie on Instagram

On the car ride home, he was pleasantly surprised by how much the little blind cat reminded him of Tabitha, the special girl who had inspired him to begin photographing shelter animals. While most cats dislike being in the car, Sophie, like Tabitha, didn’t mind the journey at all, and once they got home, she instantly became friends with Pixel, Peter’s 8-year-old kitty. “It’s like the Universe was giving me another go around,” says Peter. “It was the same but different.”

blind tabby cat with micropthalmia
Image via @sonar.sophie on Instagram

After all, while Sophie looked and acted a lot like Tabitha, Peter had never taken care of a blind cat before, so he wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Because Sophie was living on the streets when she was rescued, it’s impossible to know a lot about her life before she ended up at the shelter.

However, Peter believes Sophie was most likely born blind. “When she was found she had no active infections or other issues, other than physically having no eyeballs,” explains Peter. Consequently, he thinks Sophie was born with micropthalmia, a congenital condition that causes people and animals to have unusually small eyes with anatomic malformations.

blind tabby cat with micropthalmia
Image via @sonar.sophie on Instagram

Despite being unable to see, it didn’t take long for Sophie to settle into Peter’s home, and nine months later, this adorable girl is thriving. “Sophie is just as active, physically able, and self-sufficient as any other ‘seeing’ cat,” says Peter. “If anything, her adversity is her strength.” Peter believes Sophie’s lack of sight has helped her develop exceptional hearing, so much so that she can detect the slightest sound.

 

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“She hears a feather hit carpet from across the living room and yeets herself over the couch,” says Peter. “It’s to the point that 90% of the time I forget she’s even blind.” However, Sophie does bump into surfaces and objects from time to time, and her super sensitive hearing makes her less tolerant of loud noises than a typical cat, which can be particularly challenging when Peter takes her on adventures with him.

blind tabby cat with micropthalmia
Image via @sonar.sophie on Instagram

“Since she navigates primarily by sound, having a ‘clean’ soundscape for her to explore in is essential, and somewhat hard to find when you actually look,” explains Peter.

 

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In addition to limiting the number of loud sounds Sophie is exposed to when he takes her out on her harness and leash, Peter makes sure to keep his home relatively free from clutter. He also has to remember to always put the toilet seat down, and he keeps Sophie’s food and water bowls in the same places so that she never has trouble locating them.

blind tabby cat with micropthalmia
Image via @sonar.sophie on Instagram

However, these special accommodations are relatively minor. and Peter believes having a blind cat isn’t really all that different from having a sighted one. Still, he cautions anyone thinking of a adopting a pet, blind or otherwise, to make sure it’s something they can afford. “Don’t own an animal if you’re not willing to fiscally support their medical needs,” says Peter.

blind tabby cat with micropthalmia
Image via @sonar.sophie on Instagram

Thankfully, Sophie hasn’t required any special medical care, and while people often express sympathy for her because she’s unable to see, her dad is confident there’s no reason to feel sorry for this active and fun-loving girl. “She’s my adventure buddy,” says Peter, and when Sophie isn’t off exploring with her dad, she’s at home playing with her best friend Pixel, chasing after crinkly balls and squeaky mice, napping, and stealing tuna.

 

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A post shared by Sophie the Sonar Cat (@sonar.sophie) on

While she isn’t a replacement for Tabitha, Sophie has helped fill the void her passing left behind, almost as if this sweet blind girl was always destined to spend her life with Peter. “She’s my companion; she’s my calm,” says Peter. “She’s very much the world.”

blind tabby cat with micropthalmia
Image via @sonar.sophie on Instagram

To learn more about this adorable cat, you can follow Sophie on Instagram.

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