GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA – A big thank you to Jo Hall, associate professor of theater at Greensboro College, is surely in order! She “found” 5 blind kittens on the campus. And not only were they saved, they all have new homes and so does their mom.
Hall’s next goal is to raise the money needed to pay for eye surgery the kittens will need. The surgery will cost approximately $1,200 per kitten.
“I’ve had comments that because they are blind, we should ‘be cruel to be kind’ ” Hall said. “Some think she should have just had them euthanized.”
An animal lover and volunteer for the SPCA, this professor was not about to let that happen.
“They’re such a delight and full of energy that it’s easy to forget they’re blind because they are so sharp, until they bump into a bed or dresser,” she said. “They climb and play just like any kitten.”
Hall and some co-workers found the kittens back on October 1 under some pallets in a maintenance shed.
“I couldn’t just leave them to fend for themselves because I knew they might not survive,” she said.
To Hall’s shock and surprise, the kittens did not have eyeballs or eyelids. Only one of the kitten has one eye.
Hall chased them down and took them to the vet immediately to be examined. Though she had spotted the mother cat around campus at times, the mom was absent the day they took the kittens. Hall said she believes the kittens’ blindness is either congenital or was possibly caused by a virus. The vet cleaned up their eye sockets and started them on antibiotics and anti-viral medications. Hall took them all home with her to care for them. Thankfully and luckily, the kittens were old enough that they didn’t need to be bottle fed. However every day, she had to clean and flush their eye area and apply an ointment.
To keep them away from her dog, Max, and her cat, Sierra, Hall kept them in one of her bathrooms until they outgrew that space and she then moved them to her guest bedroom.
While under her care, the kittens have thrived, and all five of them are in the process of being relocated to new owners and homes. Also, the SPCA helped with the cost of spaying and neutering, as well as their shots and microchip. Hall raised money herself to help pay for their vet bills so far.
Now, she has begun to raise the $1,200 per kitten for surgery needed to remove eye tissue. She has set up a GoFundMe account to help her achieve this goal. Hall said she is very grateful for Dr. Catherine Markijohn at University Animal Hospital for helping with the kittens at a reduced cost and is thankful for Dr. Kelly Sigle at Carolina Veterinary Associates for advice regarding the kittens’ eyes.
Hall caught the mother cat with the help of a trap. The mom turned out to be loving, friendly and not blind. Within three days, Hall found her a home also. She also had her spayed and got her the shots she needed.
“The feral cat population is such a problem,” Hall said. “I wanted to make sure they all were spayed and neutered.”
As Hall has gotten to know each of the kittens and their personalities, she did give them names. The black one is Ebony, the gray-and-white one is Possum, the tabby with one eye is Phoebe, the tabby with white feet is Socks, and the gray tabby kitty is Blaze.
Hall’s cat, Sierra, is 8 years old and wasn’t too thrilled about her owner taking in new cats.
“My dog, Max, initially thought they were snacks, but now he’s gotten used to them,” Hall said laughing.
Hall said she will miss these little balls of energy terribly.
“They’re a lot of work but a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s all turning into a happy ending.”