When Roslyn learned about a special needs cat her friends rescued from a storm drain near their home in Melbourne, Australia, in December 2017, she agreed to adopt the mostly blind senior kitty practically sight unseen, naming him Soren.
“I didn’t really meet Soren — aside from seeing eyes peering from under my friend’s bed — before adopting him, but with his health concerns, history, and age, we were worried about his adoptability,” explains Roslyn, “and I knew I was in a unique situation to give him a home.”
On January 17, 2018, Roslyn officially adopted Soren, and the pair took to one another right away. “I was not a cat person, but apparently something happened between us, as he curled up in my lap and there was a bond immediately,” says Roslyn.
A visit to the vet revealed Soren was most likely between 10 and 13 years old, he had arthritis, he had cloudy deposits on both of his eyes, and he was almost completely blind except for the ability to perceive light and dark. While the vet was unable to determine the exact cause of Soren’s eye issues, it didn’t take long for the handsome tabby tuxedo cat to adjust to his new home despite being unable to see very well.
“Soren had my apartment memorized very quickly, and had no trouble finding the litter boxes or anything else he needed, especially food!” remembers Roslyn. More than a year later, this former street cat is enjoying his new life, and while his vision is very limited, Soren has excellent hearing, allowing him to tell the difference between Roslyn’s footsteps and those of visitors.
While Soren’s heightened hearing is generally beneficial to both him and his mom, it occasionally presents a bit of a problem for Roslyn. “If I want a can of tuna to myself, I have to turn up some music and open it very quietly!” explains Roslyn. Aside from this relatively minor inconvenience, Soren and his mom — who has health issues of her own — are very well-suited to one another, especially because from the moment he arrived at Roslyn’s home, he seemed to immediately take to the quiet, peaceful environment.
“Due to illness I rest a lot when I am home, but for an arthritic elderly and blind cat this seemed perfect,” says Roslyn. “He doesn’t/can’t climb things, and prefers all the soft furnishings and cushions for snuggling on. He also has a heated cushion for his joints.”
While Soren may bump into walls from time to time, Roslyn has found him fairly easy to care for, and she thinks — contrary to popular opinion — special needs cats don’t necessarily have to require a lot of extra work.
“Sometimes they are more suited to your lifestyle than young or physically able cats,” says Roslyn. “They are just as loving, and can learn to deal with their disabilities very easily.” While Roslyn and Soren had a few setbacks in the very beginning, especially because this former street cat seemed to think his new mom was going to abandon him every time she took him to vet, she credits cuddles and treats with helping them get past these initial hurdles.
“Settling in was the hardest, but once we worked each other out it was fine,” says Roslyn. Soren, who Roslyn named after a character from Star Trek because his eyes look like galaxies, is very content in his forever home, whether he’s snuggling with the toys Roslyn makes for him using catnip she grows on her balcony, sleeping on his heated mat, or yelling at the bathroom.
However, this senior cat — who is now somewhere between 11 and 14 years old — can be a bit of a curmudgeon. “He acts like a grumpy old man, always telling the birds off outside the window for making too much noise!” says Soren. “He grumps a lot, but he really has a heart of gold.”
Before adopting Soren, Roslyn was concerned her own medical challenges would it make it hard for her to care for a cat with special needs, but now it’s difficult for her to imagine life without him. In fact, not only do they share a deeper bond than she’d ever anticipated, Roslyn has actually started feeling better since Soren came into her life.
“I was quite worried my own health issues would make owning a pet difficult, but my health has actually improved with him around,” explains Roslyn. “If i forget my medication, I get herded towards the kitchen; if he is cold, I will wrap him in a blanket. We are fairly inseparable and look after each other.”
To learn more about this stunning cat, you can follow Soren on Instagram.