When Rosie saw an Instagram post about a long-haired blind cat in Wilmington, North Carolina, who needed a new home, she immediately fell in love with the fluffy feline. “I just couldn’t resist her sweet face,” remembers Rosie.
Plus, Rosie knew she would be able to provide her with the special care she needed to thrive, having adopted Matt, a blind tabby and white cat, in November 2018. “I thought she’d be a great fit and I could give her a great new home,” says Rosie.
In December 2020, Rosie contacted the cat’s owner, and she learned the woman — who had adopted the blind feline from a shelter a year earlier — was no longer able to keep her due to personal reasons. “Her first home [before she was adopted by her owner at the time] was with an elderly woman who passed away in the home,” explains Rosie. “When they found her, she had an eye infection that had not been treated and it was so far along that her eyes were unable to be saved so they removed them.”
While she had recovered from the surgery and adjusted well to her new life as a blind cat, just a year later, she was once again available for adoption. Fortunately, after communicating via phone and email, the five-year-old feline’s owner agreed that Rosie would be able to provide the special needs cat with a great forever home. “When I went to the apartment to pick her up, she was making biscuits on the couch, just tiny and sweet.” remembers Rosie. “I put her in her carrier and drove back home. She was quiet the whole ride.”
After two hours in the car, the little blind cat arrived at Rosie’s home in Raleigh, North Carolina, and it wasn’t long before she received a new name to go with her fresh start. “I came up with Ellie as kind of a shortened version and a nod to Elektra from Daredevil,” explains Rosie. “Matt’s name also comes from Daredevil — Matt Murdock — so I thought I’d keep with the theme when naming Ellie.”
In order to help Ellie and Matt slowly adjust to one another, Rosie tried to keep them separate, with little success. “Matt does not like closed doors!” says Rosie. “He wants to be able to go wherever he pleases in the house and can open doors when he decides to, so he would often try to get into the room where Ellie was.”
While it took a little while for Ellie to acclimate to the new environment — and for Matt to accept sharing his territory with another cat — the situation improved over time. “Eventually they got used to each other,” remembers Rosie, “and she started to open up with me, rolling over for belly rubs and coming to sit on my lap.”
More than a year later, Ellie has bonded not just with her mom, but also with Matt. In fact, while Rosie once had to supervise these two closely because Matt would often swat at his much smaller sister, Ellie can frequently be found cuddling with her adoptive brother. “When she’s not snuggling with me or Matt, Ellie likes sitting in her cat bed to catch sun rays in the windowsill, running around in circles, playing with toys that make noise, sitting in the toy basket, and grooming her floof,” says Rosie.
Still, due to being blind, it took her a little while to figure out how to navigate her home on her own. “Sometimes she’d meow — her meow is so tiny and cute! — because she got herself on top of something and didn’t know how to get down, so I’d have to come help her,” explains Rosie, so she understands why people often ask her how her blind cats get around.
However, Rosie also knows that all Ellie needed was a little time and patience to create a mental map of her home using her other senses. “If you were looking at a video of the cats moving around my apartment and you didn’t know they were blind, you would never guess,” says Rosie. “They know where everything is and will run around and play just like any cat.”
Consequently, while Rosie has found people often assume blind cats are slower than their sighted counterparts or have less fulfilling lives, that definitely isn’t the case for Ellie, who relies heavily on her sense of smell to get around, or Matt, who depends more on his hearing. “Blind cats are just like any other cats,” says Rosie. “They have their own personalities and bring so much joy.”
While they definitely require a bit more patience, at least initially, Rosie believes adopting a blind cat is definitely worth the additional effort. “I honestly love having blind cats and I am so happy that two of them have found their way to me!” says Rosie.
Even though Ellie had at least two other homes before coming to live with Rosie and Matt, her mom is confident this beautiful blind girl will never be available for adoption again. After all, Rosie often likens Ellie to “a stuffed animal come to life” because this small and fluffy cat hardly ever meows and is perfectly content to spend an entire day just cuddling with her mom.
“She’s probably one of the sweetest, most easy-going cats I’ve ever met,” says Rosie. “She is so sweet and so loving, and she brings so much joy. She always can make me smile even on the worst days.”
To learn more about this beautiful cat, you can follow Ellie on Instagram.