Colleen was searching on Craigslist for furniture for sale near her home in Seattle, Washington, when she spotted an ad for an adorable blind cat who was being given away for free.
“I think I may have misspelled something I was looking for at the time, because I certainly wasn’t looking for a blind kitty and had no idea animals were sold and given away on Craigslist,” explains Colleen.
However, she felt a connection with the handsome ginger feline, so she set up an appointment to meet him in person, promising herself that she would only adopt him if she was confident he’d thrive in her home.
“I had a very demanding job and spent a lot of time at work,” says Colleen. “The criteria were that he needed to be a friendly kitty that wouldn’t require a lot of my time.” After all, she already had Lily, a Siamese rescue cat, and Colleen hadn’t actually been looking for an additional pet when she saw the blind feline’s picture online.
On New Year’s Eve 2013, Colleen visited the orange cat’s home, and she knew almost immediately that he fit her criteria. “When I entered his home to check him out he was waiting right inside the front door on a table; he looked at me, and I looked down at him,” says Colleen. “I got down on the ground to meet him and within two seconds he jumped into my lap and head butted me!”
Smitten with the friendly feline, Colleen adopted him within just a few minutes of their first meeting, naming him, Oedipus, aka Edward, due to his apparent obsession with her. “I do remember taking him home and he was so happy during the drive; he was at my steering wheel, sitting on my lap, smelling the fresh air while the car was in motion, and I’m almost sure he was smiling,” says Colleen.
However, because his former owners didn’t speak English, Colleen had no idea how Edward had lost his sight, nor his exact age, so she took him to the vet to learn more about his medical history. A veterinary ophthalmologist confirmed both of the handsome cat’s eyes had been surgically removed, indicating he’d most likely lost them to some sort of trauma or infection. A vet also determined Edward was approximately eight or nine years old.
Despite being blind, once Colleen got Edward home, she quickly discovered that contrary to what a lot of people might expect, he didn’t have any trouble getting around. More than six years later, Edward and his mom now live in Denver, and he still doesn’t have any difficulty navigating his home, although Collen tries not to move large pieces of furniture.
“Even when I have to he adapts within seconds; he uses his other senses to adapt,” explains Colleen. “He knows when it’s feeding time and jumps on the bed when it’s bedtime and off when it’s wake up time.”
In fact, this blind feline is so good at getting around, that Colleen has had to “Edward-proof” her home to make it harder for him to get out. “Edward is an escape artist and the house needs to be set up so that he cannot open doors to the outside because he has escaped several times and ended up a few blocks away in someone’s garden,” says Colleen.
The only time it’s obvious Edward can’t see is when Colleen comes home after going on a business trip. “He still tends to bump into walls when I have been away from home for work because he gets so excited to ‘see’ me,” explains Colleen, but in the whole time she’s had Edward, he’s never once had trouble using the litter box.
While this handsome senior cat isn’t very playful, something Colleen attributes to his age, Edward enjoys eating and sleeping, but he’s probably happiest when he’s spending time with his mom. “He is very obsessed with me,” says Colleen. “He follows me everywhere and his favorite activity is sitting on my lap.”
Not surprisingly, Collen believes blind kitties make great pets, and she hopes other people will consider adopting cats who are often thought of as needing a lot of maintenance. Aside from keeping him away from high, potentially dangerous places, such as balconies, and monitoring him closely when she takes him outside, Colleen has found Edward doesn’t really need a lot of extra care. “A blind cat can adapt just like any other cat without a disability,” says Colleen. “Love and patience is the key.”
When Colleen came across Edward’s ad on Craigslist more than six years ago, she wasn’t looking for a cat, much less one with special needs, but she considers herself incredibly fortunate to have this wonderful boy in her life. “Edward means everything to me,” says Colleen. “There is no way in the world my life would be as complete without him. I love him so much and my life really revolves around him.”
To learn more about this handsome cat, you can follow Edward on Instagram.