Tuesday, February 2, 2010


It seemed at first that it was an unlikely name or even unkind but the cat with one good eye was the one I named "Moonbeam".

She was the smallest of the three I brought to my barn that day at the end of August. Black and white like her sister, but instead of wildly fuzzy she was sleek and shiny. The other memorable thing about her was that as small as she was from the beginning she was built like a linebacker.

As she began to get used to her new location I noticed she was the one who first ventured out from under the table in the packed storage room of the barn. Moonbeam seemed to function just fine with her one good eye.There was no indication that she was in pain or the eye was troubling her. Although it troubled me.

I started asking questions at the Cat Rescue. I would describe it and ask if it they thought it might be infected and could cause infection in her other eye or even migrate to her brain. (Oh my!) They understood my concern and gave educated guesses based on their experience with other feral cats but they did encourage me to do some research. The computer was still a inconsistent ally but after a few attempts I discovered it could be a corneal ulcer. It could be treated but in order to do that I would have needed to be able to catch her. I hadn't been able to even touch her and it would not be till January, 4 months later that I would just be able to pet her.

After the first few days turned into 4 or 5 weeks the one-eyed cat named Moonbeam began to live into her name. She was not so timid as she was careful. She began to play with the toys I dangled in front of her. She was as quick as her sister, jumped and twisted just as high. She displayed a calm confidence and like the moon her light was strong but not insistent. Still she was feral enough to hold back from my gloved fingers till the treats I tempted her with could not be ignored.

But I continued to worry about her eye even though it didn't seem to bother her. By January she had become comfortable enough with people, horses, and dogs traipsing through the barn so she didn't run and hide. I felt she could at least be observed. A vet from the cat rescue graciously offered to stop by to get a glimpse of her. At the same time I had been able to get pictures that showed her eye clearly. The news was good. She probably had had a herpes virus which is common in cats that had lived in unhealthy conditions and in close quarters with other cats. The eye looked like it had healed.

By now the spunky cat with the chunky little body that flew through the air chasing bird toys and that shuddered with apprehension at the first light touch of a human hand had accepted her home. She found the ecstacy of a rub behind the ears and a caress along her back, the food and warm place to sleep and all the hay in the world to play in with an occasional mouse or two to chase was good. She really didn't know one eye was all she had. It was all she needed. Life was good.

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