Home > Leadership, The Monday Musings Column > life lessons from a blind cat

life lessons from a blind cat

A few months ago we noticed that our cat Tilly was a bit odd, or odder than usual, and then one evening she went out for her nine o’clock patrol and wasn’t back after the usual twenty minutes or so. Two hours later and after a couple of sessions checking the neighbourhood I started to come to terms with having lost her at which point she appeared back at the door.

Over the next couple of days we realised that she was losing her sight and then the vet confirmed that she could no longer see. Now Tilly is probably about sixteen years old; we’re not entirely sure of her age as she came from a rescue centre, but here she is, an elderly cat who has lost one of her key senses. She can’t ask us what has happened, can’t talk to anyone else and dan’t understand us when we waste our breath trying to explain.

But she copes; she gets around the house and goes out into the garden even if the external explorations are now under escort. She can climb up on to a cabin bed that is about a metre off the ground and jumps down of it in an assured way. All of this she has just adapted to. You may not be able to teach old dogs new tricks, but this cat has taught herself.

Watching an animal cope with radical change has inspired me before and I wrote about Samantha, the squirrel that lost one of her front paws at the elbow, yet still raised at least one more litter and lived about another four years. The basic rules of nature apply for animals and they have to survive or die. They have no equality act, there are no lawyers rushing to sue everyone in sight when things get tough and there are no state handouts. They have to get on with the hand that life deals them and sometimes that is their demise.

We have had two cats live into their twenties, one making twenty four, so who knows how much longer Tilly has left, but as long as she is around she will be a constant reminder of how easy a life I have and I am grateful for that.

Tilly 06

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