By: Jenn Hanlon, The Family Pet Hospital
Manny was surrendered to The Family Pet Hospital about five years ago now. He had some health issues that his prior owner was not capable of managing and, after we declined to euthanize Manny as originally requested, he agreed to relinquish ownership to us. Quickly, we got his issues under control and in no time he was the happy, frisky young cat he started out as.
A few years ago, during a routine exam, Manny's ears were cleaned with a product that was new on the market. Unfortunately, the product granulated in his ears and, to make a long story short, it cost Manny his hearing.
In the two years that Manny has been deaf, we've learned something very simple and very comforting: he is the same attention-loving, trouble-making, furry old guy he was before he lost his hearing. He took only a short time to get used to his new way of life; frankly, we are at times suspect that he's 'selectively deaf' because he seems to hear us when he wants to (namely, when he's being called for dinner!). He does sleep quite a bit, though, whether that's because his world is so quiet or just because he can, we can't decide.
He still loves to cause a bit of trouble - tearing open bags of food, tearing tail around the office to get attention, whatever. The only adjustment we've had to make for his deafness is to wake him gently (scratching on the seat right in front of him), and we now have to physically stop him when he's into things he shouldn't be.
Every now and again he looks at you a little cross-eyed and you remember that he can't hear you when you're talking to him. Make no mistake, however, Manny knows exactly what you're saying to him and what's going on at all times. He just chooses his involvement at will. Like we tell our clients, "It's Manny's world, we're just living in it."