Josephine is a 5-month-old kitten who no longer has eyes. She was rescued at 4 weeks of age by her loving family. She had a devastating form of Feline Herpes Virus that attacked her corneas and caused both of her eyes to rupture. During her first visit to the veterinary ophthalmologist (when I first met Josephine), her right eye was severely enlarged with a large scab adhered to the surface. The eye was blind and could she could no longer close her eyelids over the swollen globe. To decrease the risk of infection spreading and to make her comfortable again, the decision was made to remove the eye under anesthesia, a procedure called an enucleation. Since the left eye was still able to detect light, an aggressive medical regimen was started to attempt to save the left eye. Unfortunately within weeks, the inflammation became so great in the left eye despite treatment that she developed secondary glaucoma, an increase in intraocular pressure that leads to complete vision loss and pain. The left eye was removed so that she would not suffer and within minutes of waking up from general anesthesia, she began to play again!
Josephine goes to work with her family every day and is a constant source of joy and amazement to all who meet her. The video of her playing gives a sense of how having Josephine around might brighten a day (but make it very difficult to get anything done at work!)
Within weeks of her surgery, photos and videos of Josephine saved the life of another kitten whose family was faced with the surgical decision but couldn’t imagine quality of life until they saw Josephine in action.