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Meet The Incredible Deaf And Blind Kitten Who Was Rescued From A Warehouse And Found The Perfect Family!

When Shannon Skinner was asked to rescue an emaciated and dehydrated four-week-old kitten who had been abandoned in a Los Angeles warehouse, she agreed to help the young cat. “We couldn’t find any other rescue to take him,” explains Shannon, “and I couldn’t turn my back on such a helpless little kitten in need, so I took him myself.”

 

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On November 14, 2019, the young flame point Siamese kitten arrived at Shannon’s home in Simi Valley, California. “He was dirty, starving, his eyes were infected and damaged, and he had the loudest gut-wrenching scream,” remembers Shannon. “He must have been so confused and scared.”

 

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After all, not only was the kitten malnourished and in pain, a thorough medical examination revealed he was born both blind and deaf. Consequently, Shannon named him Hercules as an ode to his obvious strength. “He somehow survived being raised on the street while blind and deaf — completely unimaginable,” says Shannon.

blind and deaf flame point siamese kitten with feline eyelid agenesis
Image via @shannonsfosters on Instagram

In addition to being born blind and deaf, Hercules was diagnosed with feline eyelid agenesis, a congenital condition that causes come cats to have absent or underdeveloped eyelids.

 

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“He had eyelashes rubbing on his eyes causing further damage and irritation,” explains Shannon. Unfortunately, when Hercules was rescued, one his eyes was so badly injured due to trauma unrelated to feline eyelid agenesis, it eventually had to be removed.

blind and deaf flame point siamese kitten with feline eyelid agenesis
Image via @shannonsfosters on Instagram

Thankfully, it didn’t take long for Hercules to recover from the surgery or to learn his way around Shannon’s home. It also didn’t take long for this sweet and playful boy to charm Shannon with his affectionate and fun-loving personality, so she decided to adopt Hercules. “He is used to my house and he has a very strong bond with myself and my 8-year-old son who also has special needs,” says Shannon.

blind and deaf flame point siamese kitten with feline eyelid agenesis
Image via @shannonsfosters on Instagram

Approximately five months after he was rescued from a warehouse in Los Angeles, Hercules is doing great, and while he’s not able to hear and can only see shadows and light with his remaining eye, he has no trouble navigating Shannon’s home. “He rarely runs into things,” says Shannon, “and he can climb up on to the top of the couch and find his favorite sleeping spot.”

 

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While Hercules doesn’t have difficulty getting around, being blind and deaf does pose a few challenges for his family. “The biggest challenge we have had to face with Hercules being blind and deaf is making sure we don’t step on him!” explains Shannon. “He’s just a little kitten and he can’t see or hear anything around him, so it’s up to us to make sure that we don’t harm him.”

blind and deaf flame point siamese kitten with feline eyelid agenesis
Image via @shannonsfosters on Instagram

Consequently, Shannon and her family are very aware of their surroundings, and if Hercules is wandering around, they move very slowly until he gets to his destination. Aside from this relatively minor issue, Shannon has found Hercules fairly easy to care for and she believes he has an excellent quality of life.

 

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“People think blind and deaf cats can’t be happy or lead a normal life,” says Shannon, “but Hercules is constantly purring and kissing us. He is very happy and always has been.”

 

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Hercules is also a very active cat, and he adores going on adventures in his backpack carrier and for car rides with his family. He also enjoys spending supervised time in Shannon’s yard, and he loves to play, especially with his stuffed clown fish — which he often puts in his water bowl — and catnip toys. “He does swat and follow toys around, especially when they are scented with catnip because he can smell them!” says Shannon.

blind and deaf flame point siamese kitten with feline eyelid agenesis
Image via @shannonsfosters on Instagram

While it’s obvious Hercules is thriving, Shannon still encounters people who believe it’s impossible for him to have a happy life. “I’ve been told so many times that he should have been put down, but I just listen to him purr and I know I did the right thing by saving him,” says Shannon.

 

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Not only does Hercules now have the perfect forever home, he has shown Shannon — an experienced cat fosterer — just how remarkable special needs cats are. “I have a very special place in my heart for special needs kitties,” says Shannon, “and I will always open my home to foster and help them in any way that I can to raise awareness and get them ready for their forever homes.”

blind and deaf flame point siamese kitten with feline eyelid agenesis
Image via @shannonsfosters on Instagram

Hercules has also inspired Shannon to approach challenges with a positive attitude, something this adorable boy has done since the moment they met. “I have a lot of struggles in my life, but it’s nothing compared to what Hercules lives with,” says Shannon. “Hercules has taught me a lot — he amazes me every day with how happy he is despite his challenges.”

blind and deaf flame point siamese kitten with feline eyelid agenesis
Image via @shannonsfosters on Instagram

To learn more about this adorable kitten, you can follow Hercules on Instagram.

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