A visually impaired and diabetic senior cat, Petunia finally found her dream home at 16 years old.
Petunia arrived at DCSPCA at the age of 16, both visually impaired and suffering from diabetes. Though very much loved by the shelter staff, who adored the calico senior with the squeaky meows, we wondered if she would be able to find a dream home where she could be cozy for the rest of her days. The DCSPCA team was so grateful when Christine arrived at the shelter and took this spirited elder beauty home to join her furry family. Now Petunia has her comfy place to curl up and the human love that she craved. She has found her dream home.
DCSPCA: Is Petunia still Petunia or does she have a new name?
CHRISTINE: We kept Petunia’s name. She’s had it for 16 years, and we figured she should keep it—although she doesn’t seem to recognize it! Several people commented that it was a sweet name and seemed to fit her. And when we took her for her initial vet visit after we got her, between her unusual name and the bluish film over her eyes, people there recognized that she had been a patient there with her former owner!
DCSPCA: What inspired you to adopt her?
CHRISTINE: Several years ago, my husband and I decided that we would only adopt older cats and special needs cats, hard to adopt cats. Petunia was one of the oldest and neediest cats at the shelter when we decided to get another cat, being 16, partially blind, and having diabetes.
DCSPCA: What did you learn about Petunia as she settled into her dream home?
CHRISTINE: We learned almost immediately that despite being visually impaired, she is able to jump up onto beds and chairs with a definite idea of how high they are, and she can walk from my lap to my end table to Jim’s lap on the other side. We also learned that she is a lovey. When we first brought her home, we shut her in our bedroom until we figured out how well she could see. I sat with her, and she walked around on our bed, with lots of detours to head-butt me. She slept on our bed at night and sometimes pawed at me in the middle of the night: “Wake up! I need petting!” She also has a strange cry: not “meow,” but “me-YAH.”
DCSPCA: What are some of her favorite things?
CHRISTINE: Eating, sleeping, head-butting, cheek rubbing, and me!
DCSPCA: What’s Petunia’s idea of the perfect day?
CHRISTINE: Sit on Mommy’s lap, later move to Mommy’s chest, help Mommy with the puzzles in the paper, sit on Mommy’s footstool against one of Mommy’s feet. If Mommy goes out, sleep on the bed next to Mommy’s pillow, or on her chair (areas that have Mommy’s scent). Three meals throughout the day.
DCSPCA: What would you say to someone considering adopting a senior pet with special needs?
CHRISTINE: Adopting a senior pet means you won’t have a whole lifetime with them, but you will be helping an animal who might otherwise have had to live out their life in the shelter, and with luck, you will get much love and many happy memories. The previous senior pet we adopted lived less than a year with us, but he also was a lovey, and we would do it again.
When Petunia had her annual checkup in June, we were dismayed to learn that she has a tumor. She is home with us, not yet displaying symptoms. We plan to enjoy her company as long as she seems to be comfortable and happy.