Life on the streets is obviously difficult. But for one senior calico cat, she was dealing with some additional obstacles. It was when she wandered up to a colony caretaker that they noticed something different about her. She was being overly intimidating towards the other cats for no visible reason. Thankfully, she was sweet to the caretaker and was able to be trapped and brought to a nearby rescue. What they discovered told of a sad life, missing out on years of much needed medical attention. That lack of human attention had now lead to her living life on the streets as a deaf cat.
Seeing her sweet disposition, they knew she just needed love and care.
The staff and volunteers at the Santé D’Or Foundation welcomed her warmly, naming her Gallaudet. This was the absolute perfect namesake for her, for a very special reason.
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (1787–1851), is best known as a US educator. In 1817, he founded the first free American school for deaf students in Hartford, Connecticut. Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, is named for him.- Oxford Dictonary
Now that Gallaudet was able to see a veterinarian, she could begin her new life. They had found her ears covered in mites and both were infected. Their vet believes that she must have been scratching away at her ears because of the mites. But after years of scratching, her ears were permanently damaged, causing her deafness.
Not only was she deaf, she was also diagnosed with IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which can affect humans too. It is treated with a special protein diet and daily steroids, both of which she had none of on the streets. She was likely just happy to find food at all!
Like many senior cats, Gallaudet was also in desperate need of a dental cleaning. She would have to wait until her ear infections were cleared up though. It can be dangerous to put cats with infections and/or unknown health issues under anesthesia.
Once Gallaudet’s medical issues were addressed, she settled into life and adjusted to being deaf indoors.
Life at Santé D’Or isn’t quite like other rescues either. Located in Los Angeles, California they have a unique take on their goals.
The mission of Santé D’Or Foundation is to rescue and provide shelter and holistically-based medical care to animals, while attempting to secure them permanent homes. We act as an educational resource in our community through our rescue and adoption services and community outreach efforts.
Santé D’Or Foundation is an animal adoption center and rescue which is focused on the whole care of our animals, as well as the bigger picture of our neighborhoods and the planet at large.
We use eco-friendly products, practice conservation, provide quality food free of by-products and use biodegradable litter.
The volunteers and visitors at Santé D’Or report that Gallaudet, although weary of quick movements, wanted to be a lap cat very bad. As with anyone dealing with hearing loss, it can be easy to be startled when someone approaches you. The same applies to animals. If they don’t hear you approach, they can act out in fear when they realize they’re not alone.
Working patiently with Gallaudet, they eventually earned her trust and allowed her to flourish.
But even with her IBS under control and her fear subsiding, Gallaudet remained at the center. A year went by and she was overlooked for adoption again and again. Due to her spooked nature however, they felt she’d be best as an only cat. This didn’t help in her hunt for a forever home much. Luckily, she received lots of attention from the workers and volunteers.
She even participated in a local feline based podcast, The Purrcast. Although she didn’t perform on command for her adoring audience, she won them over none-the-less.
Gallaudet didn’t sing for us, but apparently she does. You must go visit her, and maybe you will be lucky enough to hear it!
One volunteer in particular, Daniel, had just started with the group and had instantly bonded with the sweet deaf cat.
You see, they had one special thing in common–Daniel was also deaf.
During his volunteer shifts, Daniel would always visit with Gallaudet. He had another cat at home, Maya, that he had been thinking of getting a friend for. With Gallaudet’s history and other cats however, he didn’t immediately consider her an option.
But as the days and months went by, Daniel knew in his heart that Gallaudet belonged with his family.
When I volunteered, I fell in love with Gally’s affectionate nature. I had been looking for a second cat, and I especially loved that she was a deaf cat because I could sign to her (I’m deaf too).
Everyone at Santé D’Or was thrilled when they heard the news from Daniel.
Gallaudet was with us for a little more than a year. When Daniel told us that he would love to adopt her, we were so happy and eager to schedule the home check. We were glad that Gallaudet found a good home that is the right fit for her.
Now Gallaudet is loving life in her new home. Daniel even told us she’s enjoying having Maya as a sister too!
Life is full of warm sunbeams, cozy beds, lots of naps, cuddles, and yummy food.
Congrats to Daniel, Maya and Gallaudet!
Thank you to everyone involved in saving her, caring for her and all the other cats at Santé D’Or. Be sure to follow them on Facebook for more amazing adoption stories. And if you happen to be in L.A., be sure to stop by!
REMEMBER: SPAY/NEUTER, FOSTER, VOLUNTEER, TNR and as always, ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!
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