Adopted Cat Shows Mom That Love Can Be Blind in the Best Way
Danielle’s vision is all about helping others. Now Echo is there to help return the love.
Danielle + Echo
Danielle was a dog mom—until she met a blind cat named Echo. Now Echo’s compassion, love and snuggles help Danielle overcome hard times.
"Echo is a puppy cat. She comes when called, walks on a leash, uses a dog door and sings you the song of her people to inform you she’s ready for a treat."
I am a lot of things: a therapist, a chronic pain person and a dog fanatic, the kind that wears all those dog shirts in public…yep, that’s me. That is, until Echo came into my life and forever changed my view on these agile, purring, aloof little creatures known as kittens.
Echo was rescued off “the list” at a local shelter for being blind, having a URI, and having a feral mom. I got the call with an hour to spare and thank goodness I have rescue friends in high places. After many procedures and surgeries and five months at my home, I realized she was my soul mate. (Technically I may have realized months before as I was already leash training and designing a catio.) Truth be told, I have a soft spot for special needs animals — but nothing ever made me a pile of mush until this little girl. Echo is a puppy cat. She comes when called, walks on a leash, uses a dog door and sings you the song of her people to inform you she’s ready for a treat.
I have chronic migraines, a nerve condition called occipital neuralgia, and a few more illnesses. My pain levels are extreme most days and I no longer lead a physically active lifestyle, so rescuing kittens has become my biggest passion. When fostering cats was thrown upon me, I said cats were forever teens, overly independent unless they needed something. Dogs, my perfect angels, were more loving and attached. I am a person who can admit they were wrong. Working with people in crisis often means suicidal thoughts and can be emotionally exhausting although always rewarding. Echo has an internal radar that when mama doesn’t feel well (physically or mentally), she shall save the day. She comes dashing in, meows until I speak to her or snap my fingers for tracking purposes, and then does pressure therapy. By pressure therapy I mean she lays her giant leopard body on me, smothering my whole torso while purring and snoring. She also grooms me. It’s okay to be jealous, it is heaven on Earth.
She’s most snuggly from 9 to 10 a.m., so of course, we changed the work schedule. Echo is unbelievably social for only seeing shadows. She is brave and lets me wear her in a sling to HomeGoods, because she’s my girl and kindred spirit. She has claimed the remote basket on the coffee table so as she grows, so do they… until we can no longer see the TV. But TV is overrated! My tiger kitty bravely met her five doggie siblings and allows them to bathe her, even the spazzy one, Lily. Her joys in life are crinkle tunnels, chasing imaginary bugs, stealing your straw and tortillas. My purpose is her. She gives me value and makes me forget about the pain.
I was warned that once I fostered kitties I would not foster dogs anymore. Well, welcome to the dark side… which just happened to be my light.
Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Danielle won Operation Pets Alive! in The Woodlands, Texas a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.