Shelter & Rescue Spotlight: Blind Cat Rescue
“It’s about restoring hope, and dignity,” she told me. When most people look for a cat, the top requirement is that it’s cute and cuddly. Not Alana Miller. She’s on a different mission.
As the director of Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary in St. Pauls, NC, Alana—along with a small group of staff and volunteers—provides a safe haven for blind cats that are often considered unadoptable by many animal shelters. If it wasn’t for her team, most—if not all—of these cats would have been euthanized already.
In 2005, Alana was volunteering at an animal shelter when they received an incoming blind kitten, Louie. When she found out the cat was considered unadoptable, and about to be euthanized, she intervened.
“What kind of quality of life do you think it will have?” she was asked.
Alana wanted to prove: “It can be a great one.”
“The thing about blind cats,” she explains, “is that they don’t know they’re blind. They run around, chase things, like to play, and are affectionate. Louie became a part of the family.”
A while later, the shelter called her asking if she would be able to take care of another blind cat. And then another. By the time the fourth cat came to her home, she knew it was time to make things official.
Today, Blind Cat Rescue is a registered non-profit organization that is the largest rescue in the world dedicated to providing lifelong care to blind cats. They also offer sanctuary to FEL+ and FIV+ cats. Right now they have 93 cats—some have come from as far away as Kuwait—spread across two buildings on their campus in rural North Carolina, including a longhaired black and white beauty named Elle.
Elle came to Blind Cat Rescue in April of last year. She had been caught in a trap, and was in horrific condition… starving, matted so badly she couldn’t move, and very sick. She had developed hyperthyroidism and was blind.
“I was determined to give her a quality life, even if it was only for six months. She needed to know that not all humans are bad.
“At one point, Elle was suffering from complete liver failure, and we took her to the vet. She was put on a feeding tube, and we were prepared for the worst. She even had a catheter in place to end her suffering. We were ready to say goodbye. But when you look at a sick cat, you can tell if it’s ready to go. Elle was not. I spent the weekend researching liver failure in cats, and some people recommended giving them large amounts of milk thistle. I thought it was worth a shot. She was dying anyway. Five days later, Elle started eating. On day 6, she pulled the feeding tube out herself. On the seventh day, we took her back to the vet for blood work. Her liver numbers were back to normal. Today, she’s a 15 or 16-year-old purr machine that thinks ‘Life is good!’ Three square meals a day, a soft bed, air conditioning, and plenty of love.”
And she’ll get that love for the rest of her life.
Blind Cat Rescue is a lifetime care animal sanctuary. They do not allow the cats to be adopted.
“At some point,” Alana says, “somebody has to say enough is enough, and offer them forever. Many of them have been passed from one home to another their entire life. That’s what we offer them. Forever. Once they come to me, they’re done. They have a home forever.”
We're very proud to have the Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary as a member of the Mr. Chewy Shelter and Rescue Network. If you’d like to learn more about Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary, or donate to their cause, please visit blindcatrescue.com.