Tara Kawczynski, the founder and president of The Odd Cat Sanctuary, approached Bill Coggshall with a request to foster Beric, a blind kitten who was at risk of being euthanized in a New York animal shelter. When presented with the opportunity to assist the young special needs cat, Coggshall eagerly agreed to help.
The photo was taken at The Odd Cat Sanctuary, a non-profit organization in Salem, Massachusetts that helps cats find homes. Bill had fostered several kittens for the sanctuary and even adopted Shireen, a special needs cat from the rescue. When he saw a picture of Beric, a blind cat, he knew he had to foster him and welcomed the opportunity to learn how to care for a blind cat.
Bill came across Beric, who was living on the streets of New York City before being taken to a shelter. Beric was approximately nine weeks old and had multiple eye conditions. According to Bill, Beric was born with microphthalmia in his right eye and corneal scarring in his left eye. He also had superior eyelid agenesis in both eyes.
Microphthalmia is a congenital condition that results in abnormally small eyes in both animals and humans. This often leads to blindness. Eye lid agenesis, which is the absence of eyelids, can cause serious vision problems because animals like Beric don’t have eyelids to protect their eyes from debris – even their own hair can cause chronic irritation that can result in permanent damage.
Using an image from @berictheoddcats on Instagram, Bill confidently brought home the adorable special needs kitten, Beri, to his home in Foxborough, Massachusetts on October 7, 2018. The two immediately bonded and Bill recounts how happy Beri was to be in his new home. The kitten happily ate and purred loudly in Bill’s lap, climbing up to his shoulder and filling him with joy.
Bill decided to separate the little blind kitten from his other pets for a few days in order to give them all time to get acclimated to each other’s scents. When Bill first started fostering Beric, many of his friends were concerned for the blind tabby and white kitten, worried he would bump into walls all the time and be unable to find his food bowl or litter box. However, their concerns were unwarranted, proving just how special blind cats like Beric actually are. With Beric being so self-sufficient and an absolute joy to be around, it’s not surprising that Bill decided to adopt the fun-loving kitten after just a few weeks of fostering him. It’s been three months since Bill met Beric for the first time, and this incredibly outgoing and friendly cat is thriving in his forever home.
The content describes the special bond between Beric, a six-month-old cat adopted from The Odd Cat Sanctuary, and his blind foster kitten friend Trot. Although Beric can navigate his home without any problems, Trot struggles to jump to high places like Bill’s bed, but Beric communicates with his dad when Trot needs help. Bill is more than happy to help Trot whenever he needs it, and Beric even got a new toy for Christmas. Bill says that Beric’s favorite toy is a fluffy pink stick toy with a bell on it. However, Trot always meows in a high-pitched voice when he needs to be picked up by Bill.
Before agreeing to foster Beric, Bill was inexperienced in caring for a blind cat and unsure of the challenges it would entail. However, a few months later, Bill’s home is now home to two kitties with vision problems, and he hopes that others will consider adopting and fostering felines who are often overlooked. Bill wants people to know that special needs cats can have happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives, and caring for them can be fun and rewarding. This message comes as Bill shares his own experience of fostering and taking care of cats with vision problems.
Beric and Shireen cuddling in a photo from Beric’s Instagram account.
Undoubtedly, taking care of Beric – who has a very playful and carefree personality – has been a joy for Bill, and he’s so thankful he decided to open up his home to this special kitten. “He is so happy when I come home from work and he does such a funny spinning dance when it’s time to eat or it’s treat time,” says Bill. “I truly love this little guy.”
Check out this cute kitten in the image posted by @berictheoddcat on Instagram. For more information and adorable pictures of this furry friend, follow Beric on Instagram.