Benny and Friends
by Robert Hudson, Benny & Friends
Benny was born with no eyelids. Eyelid agenisis is a congenital condition. It’s believed that it happens because the momma cat is malnourished while pregnant. It’s basically means that kittens are born without fully formed eyelids and it has various stages of severity. Benny’s condition was severe.
This cute little guy was a foster failure for Tina who fostered cats from Best Friends Animal Society before starting her own rescue for cats with disabilities. “Benny was lucky. He was rescued at a very young age before he could have permanent eye damage. He was put on eye drops early on and that prevented him losing his vision.”
No Pain but Plenty of Gain
Benny is not in any pain and lives a normal cat life. “Since his condition was severe we opted for eyelid reconstruction surgery. So he no longer needs multiple eye drops daily and there’s no chance he’ll have eye damage in the future. Cats with mild eyelid agenisis will usually require daily drops, but they can live very happily without surgery as long as they are given eye drops and monitored for signs of irritation and pain. Usually they can have cryotherapy to freeze the hair around their eyes so they don’t get irritated.”
Tina has been fostering for nearly nine years. In 2019 she opened her own rescue for special needs cats Benny’s Friends
“We’ve fostered a little over 200 cats & kittens throughout the years. Some devastating & heartbreaking, but the majority are heart warming.
Joy of Fostering
What I’m most proud of are Banana, Italia and Xeus. All three came to us with FIP, which is usually 100% fatal. We were able to get them experimental medicine that was proven to be highly effective in curing FIP due to a UC DAVIS study. All three have been treated and cured and now living out their lives like they deserved to.
We lost a handful of kittens over the years to FIP – not being able to do anything to help them was devastating and the feeling of helplessness was overwhelming, so to be able to treat these these three and cure them in the memory of the sweet souls we lost has been the most wonderful thing.”
This FIP cure has not yet been approved for vets to prescribe and is called GS-441524. Read about it HERE.
Benny will be six years old in February. He loves being friends with all the cats that go in and out of the rescue. He is their welcome ambassador! “Benny loves other cats and generally gets along very well with them. We have a lot of cats that come in and out of our house due to fostering” That does not mean he is not an instigator! “You can find him starting wrestling matches throughout the day,” Tina told me.
The eyes may make Benny look sad, but he could not be any happier, living the good life with lots of love, thousands of fans, and adoration from his kitty friends.