Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lucy Down the Rabbit Hole: Keeping Blind Cats Safe

Blind cats like Lucy can get into a lot of trouble
Normally, I am extremely careful about Lucy's safety. I keep doors closed, I keep the toilet lid down, I make sure she has a clear path to her bed and I clean up any spills when they happen. It's hard to keep her fully protected, however. She is incredibly curious, as are most blind cats, and she doesn't seem to know when she's in danger.

Case in point: This weekend, I inadvertently left the basement door open. I was doing quite a lot of gardening, moving in and out of the house, and I left the door open just a wee crack. When I came in from gardening, I noticed Lucy at the bottom of the stairs. I haven't fully Lucy-proofed the basement, so we don't let her down there. She could easily stumble on something sharp, wet or broken until I get around to fixing it up.

I scolded her from my high perch, and up she came running. But she somehow got startled as she was coming up the stairs, perhaps feeling a draft on her whiskers from the open laundry chute, and she took an abrupt turn to the right. Down the chute she went, which is a drop of about 10 feet.

This time, we got lucky. She didn't sprain anything but her dignity, and I carried her upstairs again to her bed to recover. But I should state that we got lucky. She could have easily broken her neck.

I'll take this as my reminder to close the doors and/or install some more baby gates. For more blind cat safety tips, click here. I should state that these tips seem to be geared toward sighted cats that are now blind.