When it comes to cat adoption, able-bodied cats have an unfair advantage: people assume they are better because they are not broken. I know people think handicats (i.e. handicap cats) are expensive or high maintenance because I used to be one of those people; however, thanks to Partner and Blind Murphy, I learned that there are benefits to sharing your home with a handicat. For example:
1. Handicats do not jump on your counters.
To me, cats pressing their filthy, puckered poop hole against a surface on which food is prepared is in the top ten of my “Most Nasty Things” list (right up there with sneeze splatter, eating from a buffet, and tonguing a butthole). Even if the heathen cat doesn’t sit, chances are pretty high that the paws upon which they walk were recently swirled in a cat litter stew of tiny bowel balls and shattered pee-clumps small enough to escape when sifted through a scooper.
Handicats, on the other hand, are incapable of jumping onto kitchen counters (unless there is something nearby to aid them in their climb). This means you are free to swipe your tongue over your kitchen counter-tops without consequence.
2. Handicats are cuter when they play.
Since cats typically serve no functional purpose, you want to adopt one that elicits the most “A”PM (“Awww”s Per Minute). Able-bodied cats are capable of producing high “A”PMs at first; however, you will eventually become desensitized to their redundant antics. You can jump at the red dot on the wall? Yawn. You burrow in a cardboard box? Pandiculation.
Let me show you what adorable can look like. Below is a video of a completely, 100% blind cat playing with his favorite toy. You will be amazed.
Okay. Maybe not AMAZED. But it was still pretty cool, right?
Or how about a deaf cat with cerebellar hypoplasia flopping around in a plastic container (I call it “playing popcorn”) as the nearby, able-bodied cats speculate on her sanity.
See? Handicats are not broken and are capable of being just as (or even more) precious. With a handicat, it’s not the playing that makes your heart squee. It’s their dedication to playing despite their impairment. That alone is worthy of a thousand “A”PM.
3. Owners of handicats are superior to owners of able-bodied cats.
By owning a handicat, you can tell your friends how hard you work and how much money you spend to provide your special needs cat with a pleasant quality of life. Your friends, in turn, will laud you. It helps to make a big deal out of the sacrifices and adjustments you made to accommodate your handicat. Just be sure to never tell them that it’s really no big deal as caring for a handicat is very easy and becomes routine after a while.
4. Handicats are more loyal companions than able-bodied cats.
Let’s be honest. We both know able-bodied cats are inherent snobs that pretend to desire attention only when they want to be fed. It’s a stereotype for a reason (because it’s true). The remainder of their day is allocated between only two other activities: sleeping and condescension.
I only speak on behalf of my personal experience with two handicats, but their companionship is a considerably stronger bond because they seem genuinely grateful to you for their rescue and care. It’s as if they can imagine what life would be like roaming free in the real world: lost, confused, and scared. At least, that’s what I imagine.
To support this theory, I present to you exhibit A:
And exhibit B:
Once upon a time, I loathed the thought of sharing the indoors with a filthy animal. Nowadays, I’m more tolerant, and I owe it to the love Blind Murphy and Zoe provide that changed me from a despicable cat hater to a reluctant cat owner.