BLINKIN’S STORY – ANOPHTHALMOS/MICROPHTHALMIA
Anophthalmos and Microphthalmia are often found together and affects one or both eyes. It shows as the complete absence of the eye (anophthalmos) and/or abnormally small globe (microphthalmia). Vision may be normal, reduced, or absent.
Genetics can cause a mutation of the SOX2 gene. The mutation prevents the gene from producing an important protein which develops the eye. It can also be caused by a missing chromosome, but that will also present with additional body mutations.
One of the most common reasons is toxoplasmosis and certain types of kitty influenza which are viruses contracted during fetal development. Mom can pick up toxoplasmosis from coming into contact with or ingesting an infected animal’s fecal matter or infected meat. This is one of the main reasons pregnant women are not recommended to clean litter boxes.
Blinkin is completely blind. The amazing thing… blindness doesn’t stop him. He has learned to expand his other senses to adjust to the world around him. His sense of smell, hearing and touch are above average. He has no trouble finding his food, water, litter, toys and playmates. He knows when I’m in the room and follows me wherever I go. I was very worried about him climbing on the bed with us at night in fear that he would fall off, but that soon faded when we watched him find the edge and then spin around and scoot down backwards. Occasionally he does get on the side table and then just yells at me because he can’t figure out how to get down.
He doesn’t know he’s different from other kittens. He is a healthy and extremely happy little boy and will have a wonderful life seeing the world in his own way!
My favorite thing to do is… I love to run around and play. Toys are awesome but my kitten foster siblings are the best. I love wrestling with them. Also, I absolutely love getting attention from my foster parents. If they don’t pet me when I want, I will yell at them until they do.
I want my new owner to know… I live in a dark world so it is best if I have a safe environment. I also need to have a pet friend to play with so I don’t get too lonely when the humans aren’t around.
There is a chance that I will need surgery in the future to remove the eye tissue. This can be a costly procedure. So far the vet says everything looks ok to stay, but there is the possibility.
What makes me special is… I was born blind. I may be able to see some shadows, but it’s not for sure. I am fully capable of everything a normal kitten can do. I climb all over but don’t worry about me. I figure out how to get down and if I can’t, I yell for my people to rescue me. I LOVE cuddles, snuggles and kisses. I’m super affectionate so you’ll need to want me in your face.
Tips From the Foster
How often I eat? I have food all day long to munch on
Am I eating wet or dry? Wet, Dry
My favorite toys are: I love toys that make noise so I can find them
I sleep: I sleep everywhere but I love the human bed and pillow on the floor
Am I good with Dogs? Yes
Am I good with Cats? Yes
Am I good with Kids? Yes