Sherri Smith found herself a cat – and a calling – on August 23, 2013 at the Jacksonville Humane Society. Weeks earlier, the shelter had taken two three-week old kittens. Both had suffered neglect at the hands of humans and a serious eye infection had set in. The little girl cat was able to heal from the eye trauma and was adopted quickly, but the boy, being much smaller and weaker than his sister, wasn’t able to recover. Both his eyes were so infected that at four weeks of age he had to undergo a risky operation to have them removed. Thanks to the skill of Dr. Jennifer Broadhurst, the surgery was performed successfully and the little cat, now minus sight but not spirit, stayed at the shelter awaiting a second chance – until that fateful day in August when Sherri Smith went to the shelter and fell in love.
Soon after Sherri adopted the kitten, whom she named Aerostotle or Aero for short, she realized what a character he was.
“He seemed like a normal happy boy,” Sherri says. “I decided that maybe if I made a Facebook page for Aero, I could share his story with others and educate people that a blind cat is just like any other can and can live a happy life.”
She began posting photos and updates on his day-to-day challenges and achievements. Slowly, people found his page and began to share similar stories with Sherri; it wasn’t long before Sherri found herself an advocate for adopting “specially-abled” cats.
“They deserve the same chance as any cat that needs a home,” Sherri asserts. “People shouldn’t look at the differences or the disabilities but should adopt based on any cat they feel a bond with. Blind cats, diabetic cats are wonderful cats and caring for any of these cats is not difficult. Everyone deserves a chance at having the best life possible.”
“It’s as if he knows he has a mission in life,” she continues. “People write to me all the time and tell me that seeing Aero’s photos and videos makes them smile. If Aero can overcome his tragedies in life then so can they. This is a huge accomplishment for a little cat who can’t see.”
As we hear time and time again in rescue stories, the benefits are not just one-sided.
“I have learned to have more patience for myself and for others,” Sherri says. “I have learned that while we are all different, we are all equal and we are all lovable.”
Of course, Aero is a part of a larger community and Sherri wanted to thank some of Aero’s many friends and supporters. For more tales of feline triumph, check out Aero’s friends on Facebook.
This story is from Modern Cat Magazine.
Another Facebook page to check out is:
I foster kitties for military members deployed overseas. DoD (Dogs on
Deployment. For the kitties, it’s #CatsonCruise) Perhaps you could chat
with your Lucy Kitty to see if she would like to mention DoD on her site. I
know they are always looking for animal-loving foster homes. Lucy is proud to help any way she can, so when you are on your Facebook, be sure to check out this site also.