Joey – Part 2: Capable Achievements!

Joey to Share (13)

Joey found his way into Beth’s heart after a chance meeting on a Fall day and when Beth held him she knew that he was coming home with her. Beth was the best thing that could have happened to Joey as her background and education in the field of intellectual disabilities would serve them both well as they embarked on this new life journey.

Beth’s work was so vital and she shared that part of that time was spent supporting individuals who were blind. Beth related that “It was during that time period that I learned first-hand the principles and practices for maximizing the independence of individuals with disabilities and balancing that independence with their safety, and I was able to apply some of those same principles in my endeavors with Joey. For example, if you focus on and encourage individuals for their capabilities, not their disabilities, you may find that they will often amaze you with their achievements. I tried to support Joey to live as normal a life as possible, keeping in mind that some things may need to be done differently due to his blindness, and it was amazing to see how much and how fast he could learn.”

Beth soon would learn that her intuition along with her proven experience with others would be so valuable to the “little guy” as he’s fondly referred to in our conversations from time to time!

Joey has a most amazing capacity to learn and grow through his explorations. He’s curious, he’s bold, he’s cautious, he’s loving and he also has a strong sense of self-preservation and knows how to get Beth’s attention very well! Their bond is strong and its given him confidence to feel safe. Beth has been very careful to teach him too. She shares the importance of balancing safety and yet also having independence. That is not easy to do when the kitten is reaching with outstretched paws to be rescued from a high place, but as Beth will tell us in the video, it is important for Joey to learn to help himself too.

Joey to Share (16)

Joey’s impressive instincts come out in ways that are astounding!

Joey to Share (14)

No Cat Tree too high for him! A little guy- hmm more like King of the Hill!

Joey to Share (15)

Beth also helped the process by altering the environment. Adding steps, barriers to protect steep edges and a wedge pillow ramp to get down from the bed all served a good purpose to help Joey with safety and independence.

Joey on Ramp

There is just so much to learn and do in this young cat’s life. Getting along with others is a crucial part of daily life. Joey is curious about his surroundings, visitors and their belongings and of course his other cat siblings. He loves to play and tease them and sometimes it’s just plain fun to hang out either at the dinner table or anywhere that feels right.

Joey has also relied on his other senses which have helped him tremendously. He communicates well through his “voice” and behaviors. His voice can trigger contentment but also distress. His sense of touch helps keep him surefooted and his sense of smell will show the way to a tasty treat! And his hearing enables him to enjoy the sound of chirping birds with his siblings on a beautiful morning.

Joey to Share (17)

And even a blind cat loves a nice cardboard box!!!

Joey to Share (22)

Cats and their fascination with boxes has no limitations!!!

And a box with toys that make noise – well that’s living!

Though some things are dealt with a little differently, Joey continues to show Beth that he is very capable in his own curious way. Beth teaches him the things that he needs to know so that he can have fun and be a cat in a safe way.

Beth shares her insight in these videos and some engaging personal stories about Joey as they learn together.

Video 1:

Video 2:

Video 3:

Joey has his very own Facebook page and if you’d like to follow the adventures of Joey the Curious Blind Cat just click on the link below to LIKE his page!

Joey – A Curious Blind Cat – Facebook Page

I feel it’s important to remember these most profound words:

“If you focus on and encourage individuals for their capabilities, not their disabilities, you may find that they will often amaze you with their achievements.”

Beth Hovenstine


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