Vision-Impaired Kittens Thrive and Find Loving Pet Parents Thanks to a Dedicated Foster Mom

Franklin, Curly, and Teddy’s story was originally shared in the Clear the Shelters Adoption Story Challenge on ShelterChallenge.com. The trio won the Runner-up Prize of $1,500 in cash and pet supplies for Green Street Rescue! 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!

Franklin (Wink), Curly(Millie), and Teddy (Sadie) were in the worst shape when Green Street Rescue/Le Cat Cafe found them in an abandoned lot in North Philadelphia. It was one of the worst cases GSR has ever encountered. GSR and Le Cat Café founder, Kathy Jordan was on the case and brought them to safety! She knew these buddies would need a lot of extra care and attention. Immediately she thought of Morgan Peele, our veteran foster home, who would be up for the challenge of getting these sick babies back to health.

Revitalized By a Foster Home

Here is what Morgan had to say about her experience fostering the little ones. “Their eyes were covered in black growths and bleeding ulcers. For the first few weeks I only took pictures of them when they were sleeping because their eyes were–for lack of a better word–grotesque. Four times a day I squeezed medicated drops in their eyes with the hope that the swelling would go down and perhaps they would regain some of their vision. They all had such a strong will to not only live, but thrive.

PHOTO: SALONI DALAL

“Soon they were zooming around my apartment and climbing up the couch as I frantically tried to keep them from bumping into things. The growths on Teddy’s eyes miraculously disappeared. While one of Franklin’s eyes never developed (and was subsequently removed), his other eye healed. Curly remained severely vision impaired, but she learned to communicate with me using a large vocabulary of chirps, meows, and trills.

“All three of them were incredibly bonded to each other, but I knew how difficult it is to find an adopter willing to take on three special kittens. I decided that two girls, Teddy and Curly, should go to a home together because Curly depends on her sister to help her navigate. I hoped that there was a special person out there willing to embrace a kitten and her seeing-eye kitten! Franklin was more attached to myself and my dog. He needed an adopter who was okay with the fact that they would never have personal space again.

“Luckily, a fellow volunteer and her husband fell in love with Franklin. I was worried about the girls though. It takes a special kind of person to adopt a special needs animal, especially when we don’t know if they will need additional medical care in the future. Grace and Anthony are those special people. They have been able to look past Teddy and Curly’s limitations and embrace their feistiness and sweetness. It was painful for me to give up those kittens after months of working to get them happy and healthy. However, seeing them with their new families has made it all worth it.”

Happy to Be a New Cat Mom

Grace shares her experience through the adoption process:

“During the pandemic, I lost every sense of normalcy, just like everyone else.

“My boyfriend, Anthony, and I wanted to have a companion to keep us company. We searched high and low for a cat that sounded like it needed some extra lovin’ and stood out from the rest. Friends of ours told us about the sisters Curly (Millie) and Teddy (Sadie) in the window of The Fairmount Pet Shop. Anthony asked me to fill out an application, as I was shocked he was considering two!

“I filled out the application and marched straight to the shop to play. I had no idea of a vision impairment of Millie until arrival of the shop, and we knew it made them that more special. Millie came right over and licked my hand and right behind her was Sadie rubbing her head on me. They claimed me! Anthony saw me tear up and knew the sisters had to come home with us.

PHOTO: SALONI DALAL

“When our application was approved, we were ready! Millie and Sadie adapted to our home, as we introduced them to new rooms. The girls couldn’t stay away from us! They wanted to be as close to us as they could.

“Millie’s vision impairment was almost unnoticeable. She navigated the floor like a soccer player on the field. If she couldn’t find her way or just wanted attention, she would meow for some help from her sister or from us. Sadie is the best sister and is always cuddling up with her arms around Millie. They love toys with bells, soft mice with tails, and crinkle balls. During the day, Anthony puts on videos of squirrels, birds, and mice, while he works. The girls love it, and I love getting photos of them, while I’m at work.

“The girls’ foster mom, Morgan, and Kathy from Green Street Rescue answered every question a protective mom had about the sisters’ medical history and the story of how they were found and the battles they faced to become healthy kittens.

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“The joy and love they brought to our home is undeniable. They were kittens in the window to our fur babies, Millie and Sadie. I’m proud to join the ‘Cat Mom’ club and extremely grateful to have the opportunity for us to care and love our newest additions to make our home complete.”

As for brother Franklin (Wink), he has made a permanent home with one of GSR’s very own volunteers, Wendy. Wendy and her husband Greg had recently lost both their senior cats to old age. Though Wendy was not quite ready to adopt, she knew immediately after meeting Wink that it was meant to be.

Story submitted by Saloni Dalal.

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