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Getting to Know a Deaf Cat

You will discover the journey of a deaf cat called Beethoven and his owner Sofia through a fascinating interview!

 


What made you adopt a stray cat?

Since I can remember, I always asked my parents to get a kitty. I grew up with many stray cats around my neighbourhood and had this special bond with them. I liked to bring food to them, play with them, and, of course, spend a lot of time petting them. It was only natural for me to want one in my house, but I never really got approval. So when I was 25, I brought my, soon to be, own kitten home. At first, he was supposed to be a foster kitten for a few weeks since he had some virus that did not allow him to be around other cats or kittens. However, since you can imagine, I decided to make him a part of the family a few days after his arrival. As a kid, it never crossed my mind to buy a pet. It is not because someone taught me about the importance of adopting stray animals; it just never felt right. Growing up, I started to understand by myself that adopting can actually save a life, and I think that is beautiful and admirable.

Did you have to learn any special skills to take care of a deaf cat?

When this kitty came to me, I already knew he was deaf. It wasn’t very noticeable because he acted like any other cat would. He ate normally, played a lot, and slept all day long. I tried to see for myself if he could hear anything by calling him in a normal tone. Even when I raised my voice or made loud noises, I never got a reaction. What I noticed is that he reacts to the vibrations of the floor and, of course, visible signs. So, I started using body language to call him. He understands the term "come here" when I softly tap my hand on the floor continuously or move my hand in the air as we do when we want to call a person. When I want to show him that what he is doing is wrong, I simply point a finger at his face and he gets it. After all, he is a cat, and we all know that, in the end, they do whatever they want.

Was there any extra preparation around the house/apartment to accommodate such a special cat?

Any loving home is suitable for a cat. It is the same for deaf cats. I used to live in an apartment and now in a house, and both places are perfectly suited for my little furry friend. The only thing I have to be careful about is letting him go outside alone. In my opinion, it is very dangerous, mostly because of the cars. He may not be able to notice them on time or get scared and act in ways that can put him or the driver in danger, and I cannot risk that happening. For that reason I secured my balconies with a safety net and be aware all the time for open doorways that lead outside. However, do not worry. We take walks in the forest with a harness, so he enjoys his time in nature very much!

Is there a lot of difference between taking care of a listening cat and a deaf cat? If so, what are the differences?

The main difference is that I barely use his name in comparison to our other cat. From time to time, I do call him, but it is quite pointless, so I go back to my other ways. When he is not around, I have to go look for him instead of just calling, and sometimes I have to be careful around him so that I do not do something that will surprise or scare him.


How does your cat get along and communicate with other cats or animals?

He is a very gentle soul and likes being mostly with humans. Recently, I introduced him to our other cat, and they are still figuring out their relationship, which is normal. His meowing and purring is loud and frequent, especially when he is looking for someone. In general, I think he likes having a friend that he can play with and keep him company when nobody else is at home. However, in the end, he will always prefer my company above all the others.


How was your experience with the cat so far?

It has its good moments and it is difficult moments, as every relationship does. I really enjoy his company, and I am very glad that I adopted him. He made me realise that there are cats with special needs out there that deserve the same love and affection as all the rest. Life with Beethoven may not always be easy, but I never regret my decision and hope to be able to give him the best as he deserves.


 

We hope you learned something new through this touching interview with Sofia!



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