[Nfbc-info] Definitely the Cat's Meow

Peacefulwoman89 at cox.net Peacefulwoman89 at cox.net
Sat Mar 3 00:59:11 UTC 2018

Very true and oh so cute!

-----Original Message-----
From: NFBC-Info [mailto:nfbc-info-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Frida
Aizenman via NFBC-Info
Sent: Friday, March 2, 2018 10:50 AM
To: nfbc-info at nfbnet.org
Cc: Frida Aizenman <nfbfrida at gmail.com>
Subject: [Nfbc-info] Definitely the Cat's Meow


Vol. 61, No. 3March 2018

Gary Wunder, Editor

[PHOTO CAPTION: Lauren Merryfield]


Definitely the Cat's Meow

by Lauren Merryfield

>From the Editor: It is frustrating to realize that the sighted public

has real reservations about the ability of blind people to parent, but it

is also interesting to see that they have questions about how we take care

of our pets. Lauren Merryfield has no reservations about getting down and

dirty when it comes to talking about the care of her pets. It is obvious

that she is a cat lover, and it is also obvious that there is truth in the

saying that "Dogs treat you like royalty; cats treat you like staff."

Here's what Lauren has to say:

I received my first kitten, a yellow-and-white kitty I named Fuzzy,

when I was around seven years of age. Back then, our cats were mostly

outdoor, so they came and went through the years, some of them not lasting

all that long. Eventually, a select few would find their way into our home

and be allowed there.

After my first husband and I moved to our home, we received a kitty

as a housewarming gift. We had her for fourteen years. She eventually went

blind and needed insulin due to diabetes. No one commented all that much

back then about how I managed with cats, because there was almost always

someone around. But now that I am widowed and living alone, the questions


"How do you know where your cats are?" Most of the time, if they're

quiet and/or sleeping, I might not know where they are, but this does not

bother me. Cats do not always want their humans to know where they are.

When they want attention or food, they'll show up.

"How do you get them in their carriers when you take them to the

vet?" I know my cats so I can often guess where they are. I pick them up,

and as they squiggle, I put them into the carrier. No, you do not have to

see to get your cat into its carrier. They may protest, but how does a

sighted person put their cat into the carrier when it is protesting?

"How do you know when your cat is sick?" If the urine has a pungent

odor, I know one has a urinary tract infection. If they leave evidence of

an upset tummy, I know. If they are too warm, I know. When my Maryah was

panting due to difficulty breathing with fluid in her lungs, I knew. If

Toby isn't pestering me and is not sleeping, but hiding, then I know. Cats

hide when they are ill so that is the number one means I have of knowing

when they are ill and need help.

I discover when they do not need help also. When I took Laynie in to

be spayed, resulting in an overnight stay, I put a soft kitty bed on the

floor where she could get to it easily. I even put a few treats there so

she could find them easily. After showing obvious happiness in being back

home after her overnight stay, I suddenly observed her climbing the patio

screen. As she was hanging there playfully, I realized that she would be

dictating how much pampering she would or would not receive from me.

"What do you do if your cat has a fur ball?" Almost always, my cats

through the years have made it a practice to let their fur balls fly in my

pathway so that I will find them. I just clean them up. I usually go

barefoot at home so that I have a better chance of finding something on the

floor that needs attention.

"How do you keep from tripping and falling on your cats' toys?" I

walk gingerly. I probably shuffle some of the time. Going barefoot once

again comes to my benefit in locating cat toys on the floor. When they are

playing with them, I can hear where the cat and the toy are.

"What if another cat comes in from the outside?" Yes, that has

happened. One day my kitty at the time started growling and hissing. I

couldn't figure out what was going on at first until I heard similar sounds

coming from under the dining room table. A neighbor's cat had climbed up to

our balcony and when I opened the door, he/she sneaked in. Sneaking did not

last long.

"How do you clean the cat box?" This may seem gross, but not only do

I use a pooper scooper, but also, I often use my hands covered with a glove

or a sandwich-sized bag to make sure the cat box is clean. This is not any

worse than changing a baby's diaper.

The question I am asked most often is: "How can you tell your cats

apart?" This is an easy one for me. I am sometimes surprised that someone

would even ask. I know them by their tails, by their body shape, by their

meows, by the bell on their collar if they are wearing one, which toy(s)

they are playing with, because they have favorites, and by what they are

doing. If I hear one slamming the kitchen cupboard doors under the sink, I

know it's Toby. When something was knocked down, it was Maryah. When a cat

sneaked out and was gone for two or three days, it was Maryah.

I remember the times when I would leave a Braille note on the table

and later find it on the floor, with "kitty Braille" added to it, and I

knew it was Kitten Kabootle, our Himalayan.

When one meowed in such a way that it went up at the end like a

question, I knew it was Laynie. When I could hear a cat meowing frantically

from the window when I'd come home, I knew it was Jaspur. I similarly knew

it was him when he got out one Halloween night and he was a totally black

cat-not a good combination, Halloween and black cats. One meowing in a high-

pitched tone, getting louder if I do not respond immediately is Toby. He is

so gifted with his meows that I sometimes find myself responding to

scolding or whining. He is the only cat I've ever had who does this. If I

hear unwanted chewing, it is Toby. If I hear excessive scratching in the

wrong place, it is Laynie. One who often spoke in two meows, "meow meow,"

was Melissa. When I hear a crash from the trash can being tipped over it is


Some people, including some blind people, would say that a blind

person cannot be owned by a cat, however, I totally disagree. Cats always

figure out that I cannot see, however, they do not go into fear-mongering

as some humans do; they just work around it. Two of my cats would stand

with a small object I dropped, holding it between their front paws until I

located the cat, and then the item. They know that I touch the seat of my

chair before I sit down to prevent having a flat cat. They trust me to take

care of them, and how much I can or cannot see is not part of the equation.

They show the same unconditional love toward me whether I can see or not.

At times, when I am asked questions that are born of doubt, I feel

like it is definitely not the cat's meow. However I also realize that these

are opportunities to stop and educate someone. For them to go uneducated

about what a blind person can do would definitely not be the cat's meow.

But when they discover how I live the life I want with my cats, then it is-

yes-the cat's meow!

NFBC-Info mailing list
NFBC-Info at nfbnet.org
To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for

More information about the NFBC-Info mailing list