Lucy here is shedding her thick winter coat, so she's not looking her best. Her ruff is full of dreadlocks and her back is full of fuzz. (And she's discovered that she really doesn't like to be brushed, so cleaning her up is an epic battle.)
But even though she might not be ready for the camera, she wanted to participate in the hop this week, because she has a little message to share.
That message: Blind cats are cats first, blind second.
What do I mean by that, you ask? I mean that many people define these little creatures by their inability to see. They think the sensory loss these guys experience is what defines them as a being.
In reality, what defines these guys is their essential catitude.
I've had letters from readers asking me why their blind cats do things like:
- Run around in the middle of the night.
- Cry when they're confined to small rooms.
- Bite during play.
- Fight with other cats.
Many people think that their blind cats behave this way because they're blind. It's my suspicion that these cats behave this way because they are cats.
Few of the behaviors Lucy exhibits are due to her essential blindness. She can get spooky around new things, like my walkers and crutches, and she is very sensitive to loud noises. She also hates to be carried. But many of her other quirks seem well within the range of normal for a cat. Most of them are totally normal for a tortie.
I try to reassure readers when they write about their blind cats, and I try to help them learn how to treat these cats like any other cats they might have. They should get the same love, the same play, the same exercise and the same boundaries. They can make new friends, and they need friends. All of that shouldn't change.
And why shouldn't it change? Because people who believe that their blind cats behave badly because they are blind might be more likely to give these cats up. Blind cats are always blind. That can't change.
But behavior? You can totally work on behavior through training (including clicker training!) and love and persistence. Those undesirable behaviors can totally change.
So that's Lucy's message for the day, and she'll cap that message off with a smile for her friends at The Cat On My Head.
It's Sunday, and that means it's time for the selfie blog hop. Have you joined in yet? You should. But before you go, leave me a note so I'll know you were here, okay?