Brothers George and Hamilton (or Hammy) were rescued outdoors at 4 weeks old with horrible eye infections. Unfortunately, the infection was so severe that the kittens became permanently blind.
Despite such a setback, they grew up to be amazing, happy, playful kitties with awe-inspiring adaptations. Their mom Nicole says, “It’s insane how resilient they are!” They “see with their hearts,” and are inseparable. While Nicole wonders what their eye color would have been like sometimes, she says, “They’re still absolutely perfect to me without eyes.”
Below, George and Hammy were about 7-8 weeks old. George is the fluffier buff kitten, while Hamilton is ginger.
Are George and Hammy Echolocating?
Whenever they are briefly separated, George and Hammy chirp for one another in a manner their mom Nicole likened to echolocation! Others with blind cats have suggested their cats are echolocating too. They have proven incredibly adaptable, climbing cat trees, running on wheels, and jumping in empty boxes and bags like any cat.
It took no time for clever George to find his way to the top of a newly-installed cat shelf.
“George found his way up onto the wall tree without any help at all! Keep in mind- HE IS COMPLETELY BLIND and has been since he was a little kitten. He is just incredibly brave, super smart and loves a new adventure! 😻,” Nicole shared.
Meanwhile, Hammy seems uncomfortable entering empty “echo-y” rooms like the basement. But if there is furniture in the room, he has an easier time, Nicole says.
While they are certainly using their powerful feline hearing to pinpoint sounds, it would be something new to say cats can echolocate. They do have the sharpest hearing of domesticated animals, but echolocation?
Interestingly, blind humans have developed the ability to echolocate. And there are mammals like bats and shrews that do it. So, it wouldn’t surprise us. Cats are amazing, but we’ll leave that question to the scientists.
Overcoming Multiple Eye Surgeries
George and Hamilton had their first enucleation surgery at four months old, followed by two more. After that, Nicole says there was “a month of stress” as they slowly recovered. But once again, they proved incredibly resilient.
George became a majestic mini lion and “the smartest cat” Nicole has met, while Hammy is a Ham, constantly seeking Mom’s affection. They celebrated their 2nd birthday on March 4, 2023, and Hammy enjoys helping the foster babies in the home (George the lion “tolerates” them too).
“Look how far these boys have come. George and Hammy never knew how popular they would be.”
Video via TikTok/nicolemeowfosters
Looking back at all they went through, Nicole says she’d do it all again.
“I am so thankful I have them to help me share their experience and to show that blind animals are just as amazing and smart (if not smarter) than those that can see!” she says.
Video about George and Hammy by The Dodo: