Blind Rescue Cat Overcomes Health Problems and Gets Adopted with Her Best Friend

Penelope and Orville’s story was originally shared in the Clear the Shelters Adoption Story Challenge on Penelope and Orville won the Runner-up Prize of $1,500 in cash and pet supplies for Hancock County Humane Society! Create your own free Shelter Challenge account and vote for your favorite shelter or rescue group to win cash and prizes. Every time you vote we’ll give an extra donation to shelters!

For a long time I had no name. I had no home. And I was born blind, with no eyes.

I did have one thing: a Kind Person who brought me food and water, and kept me alive. Because I couldn’t see, I wasn’t much of a hunter, although my sense of smell and my hearing are very good. I was lonely and scared most of the time, but I knew I could rely on the Kind Person.

One day, the Kind Person was worried about me. My nose, and the place where my eyes should have been were draining and bloody. I struggled to breathe, and I felt awful! I also had itchy places all over me, and all of the hair on the back of my neck was missing. The kind person called a friend (I call her “Friend-In-Need”) who asked the Hancock County Humane Society if they would help me. They replied “Yes, of course we will take her.” Once I got to the “shelter” I was given a bath, some medicine (YUCK!), good food and clean water, and a big soft bed – the first I had ever slept in.

They also gave me a name that sounds like a cool wind in the trees: “Penelope.”


My runny nose got better, but I had a sore belly that worried everyone. I didn’t have much of an appetite, and I guess it was decided that a “surgery” would help me—and it would also make sure that I had no kittens! A Nice Person put me in a Scary Traveling Box (otherwise, she was very kind to me) and told me “You will be in good hands until I come back to take you home.” During the surgery, it was found that I had a bad uterine infection – so the surgery did help me in more ways than one!

I did not do well with the medicines that were given to me during the surgery. I could not make sense of what was happening to me, and I woke up very frantic and frightened. While we were traveling home, the Nice Person said “Penelope, I am taking you to my house, so that I can make sure that you are comfortable and doing well.” She sang softly to me as we traveled along, and even sang a song about my name: “🎵 Pen-el-o-pe 🎵.” It made me feel less afraid!

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In the days that followed, I felt so much better. I still didn’t like the medicines I was given (YUCK!), but I had no pain, especially in my belly. Food tasted better, and I was able to sleep.

After a few days, I was allowed out of my “safe spot” and found myself in a wonderful new world! It had soft places to walk, soft places to sleep, places for me to scratch with my claws, and something called TOYS! I learned to remember where things were, and after a few days, I didn’t run into ANYTHING.

I also met a new friend, who seemed to be even smaller than me. The Nice Person called him “Orville.” He smelled good, brought me toys to play with (he had to teach me what it meant to play), and slept next to me at night. I had never had a friend like him.


One day, the person said “Penelope, someone wants to meet you.” She put me back in the Scary Traveling Box, which I did not like, but to my relief, Orville came, too! I was taken to meet a kind New Friend, who had strong, gentle hands. She said “I would like to take Penelope home; would she be OK as an only cat?” The Nice Person said “yes,” but must have thought later about how much I loved and trusted Orville, and how lonely I might be by myself. New Friend was asked if she would let Orville come with me, and she said “Yes!”

I now have the most wonderful home, with my two best friends. If I need to find them, all I need to do is make my little “Squonk?” noise, and one of them will come to me.

Thank you for listening to the song of OUR new life, sung so beautifully by so many voices.

With love from 🎵Pen-el-o-pe 🎵 and Orville

Story submitted by Kathleen Free.

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