A photographer has set out to showcase the “beauty of blind cats” in a stunning photo series.
Los Angeles-based photographer Casey Christopher has taken photos of blind and partially sighted cats to show that “special needs cats are perfectly happy the way they are and are able to lead happy, healthy lives”.
“Many shelters in the United States don’t have the resources or the space to properly care for special needs cats, including blind cats, and, therefore, the animals are often euthanised,” Christopher told The Huffington Post UK.
“There are very few special needs cats rescue centres. I think Milo’s is one of two blind cat rescues in the country, so I think it’s important to celebrate blind cats and their beauty in order to show that they are definitely adoptable and certainly worthy of life and love.”
The project came about after Christopher noticed an increase in the number of blind cats and kittens at the rescue centres where she volunteers. “It felt like a sign, so I decided I would do a series on blind cats,” she told Bored Panda.
Christopher got in touch with Milo’s Sanctuary, a “special needs” cat rescue centre, who were more than happy to let their cats model for the project.
“The cats in the photos are not actually looking for forever homes. They are in the Lifetime Care Program at Milo’s Sanctuary,” Christopher told HuffPost UK.
“Milo’s has other special needs cats that are available for adoption, but the 12 that I photographed are safe and sound. The series was made to show that special needs cats are perfectly happy the way they are and are able to lead happy, healthy lives.”
Christopher said she fell in love with a ginger moggy from the sanctuary called Sir Thomas Trueheart (pictured below), who she is now trying to raise money for.
She said Thomas was “living the life of an outside, unwanted cat in the high desert of California”.
“Some kind people were feeding him but he had no home to call his own,” she explained. “Tommy is a friendly boy and that friendliness almost cost him his life. A cruel human (or humans) deliberately poured a caustic substance on Tommy’s face literally burning half of it almost off, including his right eye.
“He wandered for days in agony and found his way back to the people’s house who were feeding him. They immediately took him to a vet who had NO idea what they were doing and wanted to send Tommy home with just some antibiotics and then when they tested him and found out he was FIV+ they wanted to kill him.”
According to Casey, the people who had been feeding Thomas reached out to Milo’s Sanctuary on social media. The sanctuary then advised them to take the cat to a different veterinary practice.
“Thomas was at the vet for over a month on antibiotics, pain medications, and sugar bandages to help the wound heal and granulate,” explained Christopher. “Then he went to a surgical specialist who did an amazing job with a skin graft.
“Through it all, Tommy was so brave and purred and kissed the people taking care of him. After his skin graft there was more hospital time and FINALLY Tommy got to go to his Lifetime Care Foster home where he continues to heal and get lots of love and attention.
“Tommy has ongoing issues with his one eye and has not yet fully healed from his skin graft, but every day he is making progress.”
Christopher has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Thomas’ veterinary bills.
“Thomas had something horrible to him, but it didn’t stop him from being a happy, affectionate cat,” she wrote. “He sees the good in people. Let’s show him that the world is overwhelmingly good and that he is so very loved.”
Here are some of the other beautiful cats featured in the project.