A six-month-old tabby named Olaf will have the gift of sight thanks to the mighty fundraising efforts of an Ohio animal shelter. After the tiny kitten was found lying on a Toledo sidewalk at the height of a brutal winter, severely hypothermic and starving, he was taken to Paws & Whiskers Cat Shelter, where kennel workers tried to clear up a dangerous infection Olaf had developed.
But even after the kitten recovered from his infection, the state of his eyes still worried his caretakers. Paws & Whiskers arranged a visit with a specialist, who discovered that Olaf suffered from a rare condition that had left two-thirds of his upper-eyelids undeveloped. Dr. Gwen Sila of Blue Pearl Veterinary Hospital in Ann Arbor discovered that the poor kitten was completely unable to blink; his corneas had already begun scarring due to excessive irritation.
"He would have had lifelong issues with exposure and ongoing scarring," Sila told the Norwalk Reflector. "He'd be more prone to infections and ulcers. He would have had a lot of problems and could have gone blind eventually."
Quickly rallying the local community, Paws & Whiskers was able to raise $3,200 in a matter of days to pay for surgery. "He's got a good prognosis of being able to blink once he heals up," Dr. Sila said. "The hope is that he shouldn't need any ongoing treatment."
For the time being, Olaf is staying with a foster family, who say he's "got one of the best dispositions" they've ever encountered. Ferguson, a Paws & Whiskers employee who arranged Olaf's surgery, said "we've had a lot of people interested in adopting him. He's really gotten into everyone's hearts."