He Once Was Blind, But Now He Sees!

Stray cat gets his vision back

A stray cat named Harvey has a little extra spring in his step after a life-changing surgery.

He arrived at the Washington Humane Society almost completely blind. Now, he can see again.

"He did not seem to be visual. He seemed to be blind,” said veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Goldsmith.  “He could probably distinguish shapes but really didn't have any vision that was substantial.”

Harvey was found at a D.C. apartment complex in late April and shelter staff quickly discovered his vision problem.

Goldsmith conducted Harvey's 10-minute surgery. As a stray kitten with no vet care, he probably developed a respiratory infection that lead to corneal scarring in both eyes, she said.

"He had a substantial amount of scarring," Goldsmith said. "He had a membrane covering one of his corneas, and that's what we were able to snip away and remove, and over the last 10 days or so, the residual scarring has really diminished."

But if you look into his eyes now, and you can see Harvey is recovering pretty well.

"He walks up to other cats to meet them," said Alyson Burgess, a program manager at the Washington Humane Society. "He's very friendly. We'd love for him to go to a home with other cats."

Harvey is just one of 30,000 animals that go through the Humane Society every year, and the work that they do wouldn't be possible without a little help. The society provides low-cost spaying and neutering and sees tons of animals like Harvey -- strays that need medical attention.

Harvey's surgery cost about $300, money donated to the Society's Sophie's Fund specifically for animals like Harvey.

"We're always looking for help with our medical funding to be able to do these type of things that do come up in our shelter animals," Burgess said.

In the meantime, Harvey is in the market for a new home. If you're interested in Harvey or in learning how to volunteer or donate to the Washington Humane Society, visit their website.

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