Almost blind kitten finds new home thanks to Blue Cross in Ipswich

Bear nearly lost his eyesight after suffering from cat flu and eye ulcers. Picture: MARTIN PHELPS

Bear nearly lost his eyesight after suffering from cat flu and eye ulcers. Picture: MARTIN PHELPS - Credit: Archant

A white and black kitten, who nearly lost his sight, has found a new loving home, despite his unique appearance.

He has since found a new loving home despite his unique appearance. Picture: MARTIN PHELPS

He has since found a new loving home despite his unique appearance. Picture: MARTIN PHELPS - Credit: Archant

The then three-month-old kitten was in an appalling state when he arrived at the Blue Cross re-homing centre in Wherstead near Ipswich in December 2016 after suffering with cat flu.

Now named Bear, the little feline could barely see due to ulcers on his eyes and his inner eyelids fusing together, which meant he needed two operations within a matter of weeks to save his vision.

The operation left him with deformed eyelids as a result, but his different looks didn’t put off Tara Newton and Luke Thomas from re-homing him.

Tara said: ““We wanted to give a home to a cat with a disability, as a lot of people overlook them. I saw Bear on the website and I just knew we had to have him.”

New owners, Tara Newton and Luke Thomas, describe Bear as "playful, affectionate and loving". Pictur

New owners, Tara Newton and Luke Thomas, describe Bear as "playful, affectionate and loving". Picture: MARTIN PHELPS - Credit: Archant

The couple, from Somerset, made a seven hour round trip to Suffolk to take Bear, now 10 months old, back home with them to Yeovil.

Tara’s partner, Luke, said: “When we first got him home he was running around everywhere, we thought he was scared. Then we realised that it was because he hadn’t had the chance to run around before.”

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Bear’s unique appearance may still reflect his traumatic start to life, but for the playful kitten it’s a distant memory.

Tara said: “We were told he wasn’t that playful, because he couldn’t see very well, he would just be on his own while the other kittens played - but now he’s the most playful cat I’ve known.

“He was just so excited to have all this space to himself as he had been in quarantine at the centre to stop him passing the virus onto other cats.”

Despite having partially obstructed eyesight, Bear is now thriving.

Tara explains: “As his tear ducts are deformed due to all the operations he has eye drops make sure his eyes stay lubricated, but he doesn’t mind.”

As well as developing an unwavering zest for life, Bear has developed a strong bond with the couple and he doesn’t like to be far away from them.

Tara said: “To us he doesn’t look any different, he’s perfect. We love him so much, he’s such a good boy. He’s our best buddy. He is so loving and affectionate. To go through so much at such a young age and still be so friendly is amazing.”

Luke continued: “He’s brought lots of mischief and fun with him and makes our home a happier one. We couldn’t imagine life without him now.”

Animal Welfare Supervisor Clare Williamson from the Suffolk re-homing centre said: “We’re so happy that Bear is now a loving home.

“Poor Bear couldn’t see at all when he first arrived and was shy and withdrawn. So to hear that he’s so energetic, playful and affectionate in his new home is really heartwarming for us.”

If you would like to give an animal a new loving home, visit the Blue Cross website.