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This Blind Cat Lost His Vision While Living On The Streets Of Athens But Found The Perfect Forever Home In England!

While scrolling through Instagram, I came across Dmitri, an incredibly cute, affectionate, and spirited blind tabby cat. Even though we’ve featured loads of blind cats over the years, all of their stories are unique and interesting, and I quickly discovered Dmitri was no exception!

Dmitri has such a big social media following, I wasn’t sure if his mom Emma would even see the DM I sent her on Instagram asking if we could feature him. To my surprise and delight, Emma not only responded to my request, but she also graciously agreed to share his story with us!

I discovered not only how Dmitri lost his eyes, but also how he travelled from Greece to England, where I lived for several years, in late 2018 when he was still a kitten. In addition, Emma shared how Dmitri adjusted to her home, and how this remarkably self-sufficient yet extremely sociable boy inspired her to recently adopt another cat with special needs.

We really appreciate Emma’s generosity, and we hope you’ll enjoy learning Dmitri’s adoption and rescue stories just as much as we did!

Meow As Fluff: How did you end up meeting Dmitri?

blind tabby cat
Dmitri/Image via @blind_cat_dmitri on Instagram

Emma: I moved into a place of my own and wanted to adopt an indoor rescue cat. I got in touch with a wonderful charity called Catcuddles. They find homes for rescue cats in the UK and also bring over a number of stray cats from Greece every year. Dmitri was brought over from Athens.

Dmitri/Image via @blind_cat_dmitri on Instagram

When I asked about adopting an indoor-only cat, they suggested to me that adopting a blind cat would be a good option. I was shown a photo of Dmitri (then named Tigger) and fell in love with his sweet face. I then went to meet him at his fosterers. When I walked into the room, he immediately hugged my foot and I just knew I had to take him home.

Dmitri/Image via @blind_cat_dmitri on Instagram

He’d really been through an ordeal — he was found wondering the streets of Athens with severely infected eyes. The vets decided the best thing to do would be to perform a double enucleation (removal of both eyes). After a period of recovery, he was then flown over to London with several other cats.

Dmitri/Image via @blind_cat_dmitri on Instagram

MAF: What made you decide to provide a home to a special needs cat?

E: It hadn’t been something I’d thought about: I really just wanted an indoor cat who would give me lots of cuddles! And Dmitri really fit the bill — he’s very, very affectionate.

Dmitri/Image via @blind_cat_dmitri on Instagram

MAF: What made you decided to adopt a cat with special needs?

E: I was a little tentative about adopting a blind cat at first as I didn’t know what to expect. I had also never owned a cat before. After doing some research, I learned that blind cats are incredibly resourceful and adapt very well since their other senses are so astute. I recently adopted a second blind cat, Camellia, who has a very similar story to Dmitri.

Camellia/Image via @blind_cat_dmitri on Instagram

If I had the space, time and money, I would adopt more cats with special needs. Maybe one day!

MAF: Can you tell me a little bit about the cause of Dmitri’s blindness?

E: We don’t really know too much about his early life. He was found with very infected eyes, this is common in stray cats. Unfortunately his were too far gone to save. I’m not sure how much sight he had before his eyes were removed, [but] I imagine not very much.

Dmitri/Image via @blind_cat_dmitri on Instagram

MAF: What are some of the biggest misconceptions you think people have about blind cats?

E: People think that they won’t be able to find their way around and that they’re permanently in a state of fear. This couldn’t be further from the truth: blind cats learn to rely on their hearing, touch, and whiskers to navigate their surroundings. Dmitri knows my apartment off by heart: he jumps on and off the furniture and accesses his food and litter box with no guidance. He’s even been known to catch flies!

People have even told me that it’s cruel to keep him alive and that it would be kinder to put him down. I refute that! Blind cats can live very normal, healthy, and happy lives.

MAF: What are some of the challenges — if any — you and Dmitri have faced as a result of his blindness?

Dmitri/Image via @blind_cat_dmitri on Instagram

E: Very few. Occasionally, if he’s a bit overexcited, he’ll bump into something. Sometimes I have to be careful about walking in case I step on his paw as he can’t see me coming. Dmitri is also very adventurous and curious and would really love to go outside and explore but this wouldn’t be safe. Luckily I have a balcony and he’s been able to explore an enclosed garden when I visit family — he loved that!

Dmitri/Image via @blind_cat_dmitri on Instagram

MAF: What do you wish more people knew about cats with special needs, particularly blind cats?

E: I wish more people just knew that they’re out there and they need homes and love and that they’re really not that different to sighted cats. I’m so glad that Dmitri’s garnered such a huge social media following and same with other blind cats such as the gorgeous Moet.

Moet/Image via @moetblindcat on Instagram

This exposure has helped people to learn that blind cats exist and can live fulfilled lives. I hope this has inspired people to consider adopting cats with special needs as they’re so often overlooked.

MAF: What are some of Dmitri’s favorite activities?

E: Dmitri really loves crackly sounds! He’d rather play with a scrunched up piece of paper or foil than a toy — perhaps because his hearing is so sensitive. He loves his food, as soon as he hears the sound of his food pouches being opened, he’s up on the table meowing his head off — it’s so cute (and loud!). He’s very social and loves to curl up on my chest and lick my nose — I’m so lucky.

MAF: Can you tell me the story behind his name?

E: I knew I wanted a “human” name for him. The name Dmitri was suggested to me and I felt that it really suited him.

Dmitri/Image via @blind_cat_dmitri on Instagram

MAF: What does he mean to you?

E:Dmitri and his new little sister Camellia are my world. I wake up every morning to a chorus of meows and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Camellia and Dmitri/Image via @blind_cat_dmitri on Instagram

To learn more about this very special cat, you can follow Dmitri on Instagram and Tiktok.

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