Ever since I acquired my “little guy” (well, not so little anymore), I noticed that there was something different about his eyes. I’ve had many cats, and their eyes were lovely, round, and bright. Not Milo. In this case, they were little and squinty. I wondered if he were blind. It didn’t take me long to realize that he could see just fine. As a kitten, he watched big sister Jinx’s every move. He never bumped into things, and he was as agile and quick as any other cat. He loved to swat at any string or ribbon I might dangle before him. But… those eyes. They worried me. Sometimes they’d get “gunky,” but he hated it when I tried to wipe them with a damp rag or a cotton ball. I couldn’t find anything on the internet that was exactly like what he had. I was pretty sure his eyes weren’t itchy, as I’ve never seen him scratching or rubbing them with his paws.
Finally, to set my mind at ease, I made an appointment with the local animal hospital. The shocking diagnosis: Milo had been born without eyelids! What a stroke of luck, that I got the vet I did. This particular vet– I will call her Dr. K.– had just recently read an article about this condition, but she’d never actually met a cat without eyelids before. And who should magically appear in her office a short time later but Milo?! Talk about serendipity!
Dr. K. applied a water-soluble dye in Milo’s eyes (he was such a good boy during this procedure!) and, in the dark, shone a special light in them to look for any damage. The light caused the dye around his eyes to glow like neon yellow mascara. He looked like a punk rock kitty! Fortunately, there was nothing too bad to be found. Dr. K. pointed out a “black spot” in his right eye where an ulcer had been, but it had healed itself. What’s causing the problem, is there are certain hairs close to Milo’s eyes that poke him and scratch the corneas. The black “gunk” I was worried about, was Milo’s eyes trying to rid themselves of irritants. I asked her if he was in any pain, and she said yes, it’s like you or I getting a grain of sand in our eye. It hurts! But then, he’s never known anything different since the day he was born, so he is used to it. It certainly hasn’t held him back any. He is intelligent, curious, brave, and very loving. But surgery is definitely in Milo’s future. I’m still waiting on a breakdown of the different options and costs.
In the meantime, Dr. K. gave me a tube of lubricant to apply twice a day to Milo’s eyes, so they won’t be so dry and scratchy. After that, she said I can use any brand of “Artificial Tears” (made for humans) that are available in the drugstore.
What a brave little trooper Milo was today! The only time he cried or made a fuss was during the car ride. He wasn’t fazed by the dogs in the waiting room or by the needle when he got his rabies shot. He is really a great cat, and I am so proud of him! I will keep everyone updated on his progress.