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Cat who needed his eyes surgically removed after owner's death seeks new home

Johnathan is a friendly orange tabby who loves having his cheeks stroked.
Courtesy of Animal Rescue League of Boston
/ Source: TODAY

A 9-year-old cat named Johnathan needs someone special to guide him into a happy new life.

In late April, the orange tabby landed at the nonprofit Animal Rescue League of Boston in Massachusetts after his owner died. Once there, veterinarians diagnosed Johnathan with a severe form of entropion, a condition in which the eyelid curls inward toward the eye.

“Think of it as if your eyelashes were on the other side of your eyelid. Whenever you blink, it’s going to irritate your eye. So John was pretty uncomfortable,” said Mike DeFina, communications and media relations officer for Animal Rescue League of Boston. “He was nervous any time anyone tried to touch his head, and he was yowling quite a bit. He was in pain.”

Johnathan’s condition was so serious that it was causing ulcerations to his eyes and impairing his vision. The team decided the best way to improve his quality of life was to surgically remove his eyes. The cat is recovering nicely and his personality has started to bloom now that he’s no longer in pain, according to DeFina.

“This has allowed John to really show us who he is,” he said. “He was a friendly cat to begin with, but since the surgery, he’s not yowling and he’s more accepting of pets from both our staff and volunteers. He loves having his cheeks stroked and giving headbutts. He’s certainly much more comfortable, and he’s a happier cat.”

The “sweet” cat is still adjusting to life without vision, so ideally, Johnathan will find a quiet home where he can be the only pet, and where there’s minimal foot traffic, DeFina said.

If an adopter patiently allows Johnathan to explore his new surroundings on his own — resisting the urge to pick him up and carry him into another room, which can be disorienting — he should thrive.

“Once he figures out where everything is — where his food will be, where his litter box will be, where the couch is — he’s going to be great. Cats are so resilient. They’re amazing,” he said. “The lack of sight certainly won’t inhibit him in any way. He has a long, healthy life ahead of him.”

Johnathan at the shelter
Johnathan will need to spend a little time learning the layout of his new home. Then, the friendly cat should thrive.Courtesy of Animal Rescue League of Boston

DeFina said he and the rest of the shelter team are glad they’ve been able to care for Johnathan and other special pets, and they look forward to meeting his new family.

“I think he’s going to make a wonderful addition to whoever is lucky enough to bring him home,” he said. “He’s very lovable.”

To schedule an appointment to meet and potentially adopt Johnathan, visit: