Special Needs Cat Of The Week: Melon

Melon is a cat who looks like he should be starring in a Tim Burton animated movie. Why’s that? Well, because this orange and white chap has large stitches where his two eyes should be, giving him an endearingly eccentric look. But even without sight, Melon’s personality shines bright.

Melon lost his eyes after he developed what his current foster parent, Dena Obaza, calls “a severe eye infection which left both of his eyes sealed shut.” He was treated with medication, but the infection kept getting progressively worse. “That’s when they decided to do the surgery as a last resort,” she says.

Dena, who volunteers at the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, came across Melon’s story via the organization’s online foster group. “He had gotten a URI — a kitty cold — while recovering from his eye surgery and needed a place to recuperate,” she says. “I sent them a message and picked him up the next day.”

To begin with, adapting to his foster home was a test for the newly-blind Melon. “Going up the stairs was a challenge at first,” says Dena. “He would do these weird little bunny hops. Occasionally he misjudges distances and bonks his head on something, but it’s not very often. He’s a resilient little dude.”

It also turns out that Melon is a playful and affectionate feline. He’s always up for hugs, likes to nuzzle in the bed during the night, and even licks the face of his humans on occasion. He’s also apparently an “amazing hunter” when it comes to chasing down his favorite toy feather.

When Melon’s eye surgery heals properly, he’ll end up looking like a cat who’s constantly squinting. While that process takes place, he’s starting his search for a forever home — ideally with a family who can appreciate all of his “little quirks.” If you suspect you might fit the bill, contact Philly PAWS and ask about Melon.