Ever think about how lucky you are to blink your eyes? You might now, thanks to a little guy named Scraffie.
You see, he was born without eyelids. It was like he was in a permanent staring contest with everyone he met—and he always won. But his dry, uncomfortable and unprotected eyes left him feeling totally defeated.
When Scraffie arrived at the Connecticut Humane Society as a tiny kitten after being found outside as a stray, his squinting eyes were a goopy, infected mess. The tuxedo-colored kitty ached for relief. CHS veterinarians could give that to him with a special eye ointment multiple times a day, but a permanent solution couldn’t come until he was nearly full grown—many months down the road. And so he checked in for a long-term stay with CHS.
He was a sweet little guy and a great eater—thank goodness, because he was underweight. And he was in good spirits, as if the rough life he lived before had been erased, now that he felt safe and had a full belly.
CHS veterinarians consulted a feline eye specialist, who confirmed Scraffie’s eyelid condition. The good news? His vision was intact. The even-better news? He could receive a very delicate, special surgery around 8 months old that would create eyelids...from itty bitty pieces of skin taken from his lips! It was only available to him thanks to generous donors, who believe a birth defect or illness shouldn’t get in the way of a pet finding a new, loving home.
Since he would be in CHS’ care until it was time for surgery, Scraffie spent time in foster homes. He met dogs and loved them, and even occasionally played fetch. He was feeling much better and could finally be a playful, energetic, rambunctious kitten. Meanwhile, he visited CHS and his eye specialist for check-ups, with chauffeuring courtesy of his foster families and CHS volunteers.
Finally, the time for surgery had come with the eye specialist. Scraffie then stayed in CHS’ medical ward for the next two weeks recovering. While he remained his sweet self, he looked, shall we say, a bit of a mess—patches of fur around his eyes had been shaved, his whiskers had been trimmed, and scabs formed at the incision sites. But he was able to fully blink for the first time in his life.
When sutures were removed, and as whiskers and fur began growing back, Scraffie had healed up and was ready to find a family. He even starred on Fox CT’s Pet of the Week segment to share his amazing story before heading to the adoption floor.
These days, he’s in his new home and enjoying life's simple pleasures—his loved ones, more playtime, a feeling of belonging, and seeing and blinking pain-free.