HAPPY TAILS

Adopt. Volunteer. Donate.

Happy Tail: King Kermit

King Kermit (a.k.a. King) is a big fan of head scratches, purrs like a race car, and loves to follow Mars around the house when he isn’t playing and roughhousing with his best pal, a dog named Winnie. He also happens to be blind and deaf.

“I knew my dog Winnie needed a companion, and my thought process was, ‘I don’t know if I could handle two dogs, but I could probably handle a dog and a cat.’ That’s when I started looking online at cat rescues and at the profiles,” Mars says.

After reading King’s profile on the ACR website, Mars did some research and was encouraged by what she learned – that deaf cats live lives just as full as hearing cats; they just need support in some areas. She was all in.

About a year after King settled into his new home and became fast friends with Winnie, Mars noticed that something had changed. King’s eyes were reflecting the light really brightly, and he’d been walking low to the ground and vocalising a lot more in the middle of the night. A veterinarian confirmed her suspicions the next morning. King had suddenly developed advanced cataracts, and in addition to being deaf he was now blind.

The veterinarian suggested a few ways to make King comfortable as he adjusted, including both medical and practical solutions to help him deal with the stress of losing his sight. “I left my clothes all over the apartment so that everywhere smells like me. I didn’t move any furniture, and because King had cerebellum hypalgia (not the best balance) I had to get rid of things like his cat tree that were too high up for him.”

King Kermit wearing a pink scarf
King Kermit wearing a pink scarf
Kermit and Winnie
Kermit and Winnie

That was two years ago. When asked how he’s doing now, Mars says, “He’s great, he’s perfect. He’s totally adjusted and is living his best life.”

These days, King has a schedule mapped out in his brain, so he knows what to expect at certain times of the day, and that helps guide him throughout the apartment. Now that he doesn’t have his sight or his hearing, he relies a lot on touch.

He’ll step off of the coffee table and stretch out his body so that his two front legs touch first before he jumps down. Or, if he can smell that Mars has opened up the front door, he’ll come find her and ask to be picked up.

“Cats who have special needs, in my experience with King, are so loving and affectionate. I think that’s his way of showing that he’s grateful. I provide him with a safe home to live in and food that he likes to eat and a sister that he likes to play with.

“It’s like he’s compensating for the fact that he’s not a ‘normal’ cat. ‘I can’t see and I can’t hear, but I’m going to lay on your stomach for an hour at a time to show you that I am still worthy of being your cat.’ He’s truly the sweetest little man in the whole world.”

-Jessica Pellerin