Once upon a time, a litter of five kittens suffering from severe viral eye infections was dropped off at Open Door Animal Sanctuary. Since viral infections can’t be cured, all but one of the kittens lost at least one eye. Iris, though, lost both of her eyes ; her brother Sammy was the only one to retain full sight.
Open Door Animal Sanctuary had a post on its Facebook page about the kittens, and they caught the attention of Gina Evans, who regularly peruses the facility’s adoptable animals.
“I’ve always known about [Open Door],” she says. “They do great work, and when we were looking to adopt our puppy last summer, that’s where we went.”
When Evans saw Iris on the page, she knew she wanted to bring the blind kitty home. She found out Iris was in a foster home with Sammy, who was “her seeing-eye buddy,” and knew her family needed to adopt them both.
Gina’s husband, Frank, says they were initially a bit worried about Iris navigating the stairs in their two-story home.
“Their main spot where they stay is upstairs, but Sammy manages to wiggle his way downstairs for most of the day,” Frank says.
The stairs haven’t stopped Iris, though. Gina says the kitten will sit at the top of the stairs and listen to her surroundings. She navigates with ease, climbs couches and gets on top of the sink.
“It’s really pretty incredible,” Gina says. “She sees beautifully without her sight.”
The brother and sister are a tightknit pair and often get into trouble together. Gina says Iris is prone to toe-biting – her way of getting attention. The kitten has to be shut in another room while the litter box is being cleaned because she loves to play and will grab at the scooper.
“Sometimes you can hear her up there flailing around [in the litter box],” Frank says.
Sammy, on the other hand, loves hugs and “will ask for them,” Gina says with a laugh. “If you don’t pet him, he’ll paw at you until you do.”
The Evans family has only had the kittens for a few months and said they were only 2 months old when they adopted them from Open Door. The Evans’ two daughters, Gwen and Grace, love playing with the kittens, and Frank calls the girls “a big help” in taking care of the boisterous kittens.
“I just love having animals in the house,” Gina says. “They make it feel like home.”
This story was originally published at laduenews.com. Read it on LN’s website here.