Jen is an avid rescuer/fosterer of cats in Virginia, and fortunately for two siblings, she was there to rescue them. At just a few weeks of age, the two brothers were brought into the local shelter with congenital eye abnormalities.
The ginger kitten had a condition called microphthalmia, where the eyes are very small and do not form correctly. He probably had never been able to see, but when his eyes could not be saved, they were removed, rendering him permanently blind.
It was touch-and-go with little Bop after surgery to remove his eyes, but against all odds, he survived. After Jen had "Bop" transferred to the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation in Fairfax, she couldn't get her mind off of his brother. "I knew he had a brother (Boop), but they were not in a cage together. Boop was being made immediately available for adoption, while Bop still needed to recover from his eye surgery and post-op ordeal. Over the next week, I couldn't get Boop out of my mind." When Jen went back to the shelter, they allowed her to take Boop, too.
"I reunited the brothers and they have been inseparable ever since," Jen said. Boop also had an eye abnormality. "He has a condition called eyelid agenesis, where part of the eyelids do not form, leading to discomfort and chronic eye infections." His condition would require a series of expensive surgeries to repair his eyes.
"These surgeries are expensive and delicate, and if not adopted by a person who could afford these surgeries, he would have had a life of discomfort and possibly chronic infections," Jen said soberly. But Lost Dog and Cat REscue Foundation was able to raise the money to repair Boop's problem.
The ginger kitten, Bop, is totally blind, but he's still able to do just about everything a sighted cat can do. "Early on, we had to teach him how to use the stairs and get up on certain furniture, but now he zips up and down the stairs, climbs the cat tree, races around the house, and can find his favorite toys even when they get lost under furniture," Jen explained.
"He compensates for his lost vision by paying closer attention to sounds and smells. He also relies on his whiskers a lot," according to Jen. He is so capable all on his own that his brother really doesn't have to act as a guide, but he does like to lead Bop into new spaces and adventures.
"If Boop jumps onto a dresser, Bop can hear how far away Boop is and can follow his lead," Jen expounds. Bop is just as adventurous as his brother, and together with resident cat Pokey, the three race around the house together as though nothing is wrong. And to Bop, it isn't!
"Aside from being brave, he is also a total love bug. He excels at making biscuits, loves to lick noses, and gets so excited about being pet that sometimes he can't settle down long enough to get pet!" Jen enthused.
"Bop also makes the most adorable little sounds. I think that because he doesn't always know where we are in the house, he likes to announce his movements. He'll come running down the stairs, meowing the whole time, so we just chat back at him - that way he knows where we are and can find us easily," Jen said. The two brothers do not consider themselves disabled, just differently abled!
The brothers are always together. "They are two of the most endearing fosters we've ever had. They are both very sweet and outgoing, but I have never met a kitten as curious, brave, or friendly as Bop," Jen insisted. "He greets everyone who walks in the door, is the first to explore new spaces or toys, and is just a really happy guy."
You can follow Bop and Boop on Instagram @pokeypotpie. Share the video below with your friends and tell us in the comments: Do you think a totally blind kitten has a bright future? We sure do!