Embracing The Challenges Of A Blind & Special Needs Cat

Meet Honey Bee, an extraordinary cat with a story that unfolds like an adventure novel. Born in the beautiful Fiji islands, enduring a life-altering condition, journeying to Seattle, and proving that adversity can breed courage - this cat has truly lived a life less ordinary. Our article today talks about Honey Bee the blind & special needs cat.

Through her story, we explore what it means to be a special needs cat, from dealing with unique health conditions to adapting to everyday life. Finally, we will see the irreplaceable joy such a pet can bring into your life. We take you through Honey Bee's life, all from the perspective of her loving owner, Sabrina.

This narrative is about more than just one cat's story. It also uncovers the potential within blind & special needs cats and the unforgettable experiences that come with being their caregiver. Are you ready to step into Honey Bee's world?

A Tale of Love Across Continents

While Honey Bee's home is now comfortably nestled in the bustling city of Seattle, her roots stretch back to the distant tropical shores of Fiji. This resilient kitty's story began at a non-profit clinic and shelter called Animals Fiji, where she and her two siblings were first discovered.

During a visit to this humble sanctuary, Sabrina, our Seattle-based animal lover, encountered Honey Bee. The immediate bond between them was as profound as it was unexpected.

Overwhelmed by Honey Bee's affectionate nature and unique charm, Sabrina felt an irresistible pull to bring this exceptional cat to a new life across the world, in the United States.

And so, Honey Bee traded her tropical island beginnings for a bustling metropolitan adventure, accumulating her fair share of 'frequent flyer miles' along the journey. A symbol of shared compassion across continents, Honey Bee's tale was only just beginning.


Health Concerns Turn Into Special Needs: Honey Bee's Health Journey

When we first met Honey Bee in Fiji, she and her siblings were grappling with a serious health concern. All three kittens had deformed eyes. While the exact cause remained elusive, the shelter workers speculated that banned pesticides in the United States could be behind the higher-than-usual rate of such deformities amongst the island's cat population.

Honey Bee's eyes weren't just visually affected; they were non-functional. More than a mere lack of sight, her eyes likely caused discomfort, possibly even pain. The best course of action for her well-being was a surgical procedure to remove her eyes, making her a blind & special needs cat.

Such an operation might seem daunting, even overwhelming. Yet, the removal of her eyes has not hindered her in the slightest. Despite the obstacles, Honey Bee continued to enjoy life to the fullest, reminding us that our limitations do not define us.

Honey Bee's Grand Adventures: From Fiji to Seattle and Beyond

Imagine living a life filled with travels across the globe. Honey Bee has done just that. Barely a few months old, she found a loving home with Sabrina, leaving her birthplace of Fiji for an adventure-filled life in Seattle. But the travel didn't stop there.

The pair then packed their bags for a Caribbean island, only to eventually return to their Seattle home. Despite being a blind & special needs cat, Honey Bee has led a life that's as large as her spirit.

According to Sabrina, Honey Bee's zest for life doesn't necessarily translate to a love for travel. Rather, it's the outdoors that truly captivates her.

Regardless of where they've lived, her most memorable adventures have always been within an hour's drive from home. She cherishes the fresh air, the intriguing scents, and the freedom to explore, more than the confines of a cat carrier.

Given her blindness, safety is a priority when Honey Bee ventures outdoors. A leash is her constant companion, ensuring her free-spirited explorations don't lead to harm. Sabrina recounts an instance when Honey Bee's fearless nature almost got the better of her.

She chased a squirrel right up a tree, and had it not been for the leash, she would have climbed higher, oblivious to the danger.

Honey Bee's travels remind us that a blind & special needs cat is not limited in enjoying life.

Master Navigator: Honey Bee's Incredible Home Explorations

Moving around at home for a blind & special needs cat might sound daunting. But for Honey Bee, it's a challenge she conquers with grace and determination. Her secret weapon is her sharp memory which helps her create a detailed mental map of her surroundings.

Sabrina has shared her living space with Honey Bee in four different homes over four years. Each time they moved, Honey Bee would patiently survey every inch of their new home. She'd sniff her way around, feeling the layout with her paws and whiskers, familiarizing herself with every nook and cranny.

Within a week, she'd start to race around the house with the confidence and agility of any sighted cat. One could easily forget her blindness, watching her navigate so effortlessly. The only reminder of her special needs would be the gentle realization that she does all this without the aid of her eyes.

The Joy of Companionship: Honey Bee's Furry Friends

Companionship is the magic ingredient that lights up any life, and this couldn't be truer for Honey Bee. It's often said that a friend in need is a friend indeed, and Sabrina knew the importance of this for Honey Bee.

When Honey Bee first arrived, Tavo, an older, wiser cat was already part of Sabrina's family. The bond between Tavo and Honey Bee was instant and deep. They spent their days in the rituals of mutual grooming, playful chases, and peaceful naps side by side.

Tavo lived a long and fulfilling life but crossed the rainbow bridge just before his twentieth birthday, leaving a noticeable void in Honey Bee's world.

Enter Mouse, Honey Bee's next companion. Their friendship was different. Mouse was a little more independent and took time to adapt to Honey Bee's affectionate nature.

Over time, he grew fond of her, indulging in playful tail batting games and fun chases around the house. Mouse may not have been as snuggly as Tavo, but he was a friend when Honey Bee needed one.

Tragically, Mouse passed away unexpectedly on November 17th. His loss was a hard hit for Honey Bee, but Sabrina knows the resilience of her beloved pet. Honey Bee's ability to love and bond will forever be part of her charm, and Sabrina is certain that she will always find comfort in the presence of another companion.

Blind cat Honey Bee and her buddy Mouse

Coping with Loss: Farewell, Mouse

Loss is never easy, especially when it comes unexpectedly. Mouse, Honey Bee's companion, experienced a sudden downturn in health during dinner. He began to vomit, collapsed, and was promptly rushed to the emergency vet. The diagnosis was grim – a ruptured tumor, likely stemming from pancreatic cancer, had filled Mouse's abdomen with fluid.

The veterinary team fought valiantly to stabilize Mouse, but anesthesia for surgery was risky given his frail state. Faced with this heartbreaking reality,

Sabrina had a critical decision to make. "Mouse's last day was far from the joyful celebration I'd envisioned for him. No grand feast of treats, yet I was determined to make his final hour the most peaceful and comforting," Sabrina shares.

Fearful of Mouse spending his last moments in the anxiety-inducing environment of the clinic, Sabrina chose a gentle form of euthanasia.

The veterinarians injected the euthanasia drugs subcutaneously, a method that prolonged absorption and allowed Sabrina to bring Mouse home to Honey Bee. "Mouse was tired and bewildered but not in pain. This isn’t a method to use for a pet in pain," Sabrina carefully emphasizes.

She put Mouse on her bed, beside his favorite cat bed, the one he'd had since he was a kitten. Honey Bee curled up next to him. An hour after the injection, he went to sleep. Half an hour later, his heart stopped. “I know Honey Bee will miss him,” she says. “She doesn’t jump up on tall things she can’t fully investigate.

So, while she's physically capable of it, she won’t jump on the kitchen counters or the entryway table. They're just tall enough that she can't stretch up and decide if they are safe, but it's not much of a limitation. She always seemed impressed when Mouse jumped. It was an adorable thing to see, the way she admired her big brother and his seemingly magical skills.”

Back home, Mouse rested on Sabrina's bed, right next to his cherished bed that he'd loved since he was a kitten. Honey Bee kept him company, offering her warm presence during his last moments. An hour after the injection, Mouse drifted off to sleep, his heart ceasing its beats half an hour later.

Honey Bee's response to Mouse's departure was subtle but palpable. She tended to avoid high leaps onto surfaces like kitchen counters or the entryway table, despite being physically capable.

These surfaces were just tall enough that she couldn't determine their safety. "She always seemed fascinated when Mouse made these jumps. It was such a charming sight, watching her admire her big brother's seemingly magical abilities," Sabrina reminisces.

In the initial days following Mouse's departure, Honey Bee was notably subdued. However, as time passed, signs of her inherent spirit began to shine through. She started to play with her favorite crinkle ball again, regaining her usual activity levels by December 1st.

Embracing Honey Bee's resilience and her ability to form connections, Sabrina plans to welcome another companion into their lives soon. She's considering adopting another sight-impaired cat or perhaps one with a different form of disability.

The Reward of Adopting A Blind & Special Needs Cat

Adopting a blind & special needs cat can seem daunting, but Sabrina attests that it can also be a deeply rewarding experience. "It's surprising how Honey Bee's demeanor often takes people aback. She's friendly and composed, navigating life with unwavering optimism. It's an attitude we all could learn from," Sabrina reflects.

Contrary to initial assumptions, Honey Bee didn't demand an excessive amount of special care. Rather, her condition urged Sabrina to be more thoughtful and organized in her daily life. "For example, leaving a box unexpectedly in Honey Bee's path could lead her to bump into it, as it's not on her mental map. It's her influence that motivates me to keep our surroundings tidy," she admits.

Blind & special needs cats may appear more challenging, but they often do not require excessively specialized care. Sabrina firmly believes that such pets should never be overlooked in an animal shelter.

"A pet, like Honey Bee, can lead a fulfilling life even without the sense of sight. Her disability hasn't slowed her down," Sabrina explains. She enthusiastically encourages others to consider adopting special needs animals, hoping that Honey Bee's story will inspire them to look beyond the perceived limitations.

The youngest of her companions, Honey Bee will soon have a new role to assume. A blind & special needs cat, an orange kitten on Petfinder, has captured Sabrina's heart. The soon-to-be "Big Bee" will welcome her new family member, a four-year-old "Baby Bee," next week from North Carolina.

Have you opened your heart and home to a pet with special needs? We'd love to hear about your experiences. Or simply let us know what you think of Honey Bee's extraordinary journey. If you found it inspiring, don't hesitate to share her story with your friends!


All photos in this article were graciously provided by Sabrina, Honey Bee's owner. You can see more wonderful photos and read about Honey Bee and her friends by visiting their Facebook page.

Additional articles:

Blind Cats: Embracing Life Beyond Sight

Eye Problems In Cats: What Every Owner Needs To Know

The story of Honey Bee - the blind cat that travels the world - will truly inspire you

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15 comments on “Embracing The Challenges Of A Blind & Special Needs Cat

tarasgirl06 March 20, 2019
lavishsqualor said:
Such a wonderful story! People like Sabrina restore my faith in humanity.
That's what it's all about here at TCS! It's where you meet the nicest people -- and their CATS <3
lavishsqualor March 20, 2019
Such a wonderful story! People like Sabrina restore my faith in humanity.
VioletB&HoneyBee February 20, 2019
I was drawn to this article, because my little boy’s name is also HoneyBee! I stayed because the story is so inspiring and beautiful.
calico man July 30, 2018
Great story--keep us posted with Babybee!
Candybee May 13, 2018
I loved reading Honeybee's story. What an amazing and well travelled cat! I hope Honeybee and Babybee hit it off!
Warlock Huntress March 27, 2018
Absolutely lovely and an amazing creature!
35 year catdad January 2, 2018
This is such a wonderful story!! Someday when I get all set up for my cat rescue-re home spot on some land, I want a blind cat too. Thanks for planting the idea. I am blessed to have 2 cats one 11 and one 16 with zero health issues since I adopted them from kill shelters. Climbing a tree blind is so amazing. love to see a video of her chasing a toy that makes noises? she looks a lot like a honey bee for sure perfect name choice!
foxxycat January 1, 2018
I've been following Honey Bees story on Facebook for a few years now. I am always inspired by this sweet kitty. I am sad to see that Mouse has left for the Bridge. But am glad that another fuzzball will join Honey Bee in more adventures. Ive always adopted complex case kitties or senior cats. Right now we have Honeybee (another one :yess:) who has asthma and Pumpkin Face who developed arthtitis in her older years. In the past I have had other kitties with other issues but it never interfer with their lives that much. Most people wouldn't notice anything differently.
krisrath11 December 30, 2017
I have 2 special needs kitties with Manx syndrome. Special needs kitties are the best!!
zed xyzed December 28, 2017
wonderful story, thanks for sharing
heatherandmoon December 23, 2017
This was an amazing story; Honey Bee is a true blessing, and she will be with you, always, along with Tavo and Mouse. Thank you so much for sharing!
tarasgirl06 December 23, 2017
Honey Bee is a beautiful cat and her story is very inspiring. <3 ((((((((^^ ^^)))))))) <3 Tavo and Mouse, who watch over her and her family. I join Sabrina in hoping that Honey Bee's story will inspire others to adopt special needs and blind cats.
mazie December 21, 2017
An inspirational tail to be sure!! Thank you for sharing! :D
lavishsqualor December 21, 2017
What a fantastic article! All of Sabrina's cats have to be some of the luckiest around. This article was just what I needed to give an otherwise gloomy day some warmth. Thank you, Sabrina!!!
Merlin77 December 21, 2017
Aww, what a heartwarming story. Honey Bee sounds adorable. :hearthrob::heartshape:

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