WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Ever heard the one about the three blind cats befriending two pit bulls?
We hadn’t either, until we met Faithful Friends foster mom Sherry Stewart.
Stewart, who works in corporate marketing, has fostered more than 60 dogs and 22 cats over her three years volunteering with the Newport animal rescue organization.
But this year, she took on two kittens, Bruce and Willis, and one seven-year-old cat, Helen, with special needs. All three had both their eyes removed.
“Most people would see them as not adoptable,” Stewart of Hockessin said. “And they are.”
Helen, a gray cat with white paws, arrived at Faithful Friends last month after a man called about a stray hanging around his yard.
“Come get this cat. I’m going to kill her,” he threatened.
Helen was in rough shape. Emaciated and flea-ridden, she also suffered from severe glaucoma, causing one eye to bulge out of her head as if she were an alien. Faithful Friends paid for her spay and eye surgeries.
Today, she shares Stewart’s home with Stewart’s 14-year-old daughter, Annie Hake, the family’s two pit bulls, Alfie and Frankie, two family cats, four foster kittens, a foster puppy, a guinea pig and two dwarf rats.
Both of Stewart’s pit bulls are mild-mannered and nurturing. The gray one, Alfie, serves as a therapy dog at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, while the white one, Frankie, enjoys licking and snuggling with all three blind cats.
“I think he sensed that they needed a little TLC,” Stewart says.
What’s more incredible is that nine-year-old Alfie is a former victim of animal cruelty, while four-year-old Frankie was rescued with a serious case of mange and pus-filled sores covering his head.
Helen normally stays in Stewart’s kitchen with her familiar cat bed and tweeting bird toy. Occasionally, she will jump on the window ledge, but not any higher. When you talk to her, she appears as if she is looking right at you, head cocked and ears back, even though her eyelids are sewn together. She will also open her mouth like a baby bird.
“All she wanted was to be held like a baby,” Faithful Friends’ cat manager, Debbie MacDowell, recalled upon meeting Helen. “I think, more than anything, she wanted to know that she was safe.”
A potential adopter is interested in Helen, after the woman already adopted a one-eyed cat from Faithful Friends who had Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).
Meanwhile, the gray-striped Bruce and Willis remain on the third floor of Stewart’s home, scaling chairs and running around in circles. A bonded pair, both will be up for adoption soon on Faithful Friends’ website, www.faithfulfriends.us.
Through the end of the month, the nonprofit is running a “Misfit Special,” where adoption fees are waived on 17 featured dogs and cats.
Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., https://www.delawareonline.com
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