The Farsighted Cat

A few years ago we took my extraordinarily-fluffy cat M to the vet, and they told us that in spite of her age (she’s 16 now) she was in excellent condition, aside from her eyesight. She has cataracts, they said. After making a great many puns about this, we tried to think of ways to test her to see how bad it was. She had no problems getting around, if you called her from across the room she would look directly at faces, and if you dragged a bit of string around she had no problem catching it.

We assumed that they’d either been mistaken, or that it just wasn’t bad enough to matter. So we got on with our lives. M continued to love string, and everything seemed normal.

Yesterday, however, I saw the first real sign of an issue. We had some cat treats, little squares of poultry-flavored goodness. I tossed her one or two and she devoured them. But then I held one out to her.

She sniffed my hand, and then bit my thumb, totally ignoring the treat in my palm. When I tried again, I got a similarly painful result. 

Well now this was curious. I got another and held it up to show her. She looked at my face for a moment, and then looked all around as if she thought I’d thrown it already. But I hadn’t moved. So I held it out for her again. This time she bit my middle finger. But when I tossed it to the side she zeroed right in on it.

So she can see from a distance (as I type she just walked into my office and looked straight at me through the small gap between my monitor and desk), and she can see things in motion, but it seems like close up things that are sitting still give her difficulty. I wonder how long this has really been an issue. I guess we need to get her more motion-based kitty toys.

Poor cat.