How Tim Lost His Eye

You asked questions! I am thrilled. Thank you. I love answering questions.

Sharon and Msuem both asked…

How Tim Lost His Eye

look what came in the mail

That’s my mischief maker! He is our Canadian cat, as he is the first pet we have obtained since moving here.

This little guy and his mom were found outside a garage in a snowbank by Frances, the mother of Denise, one of Melody’s grad students. I think there may have been other sibs who found homes before we came into the story, but when Denise contacted Melody and asked if she wanted a kitten, it was just Tim and Daisy, his mom, living in a warm guest room upstairs in Frances’ house.

Except at that time, Tim was living under his Witness Protection Program name: Boots.

tim in a box

Once we got him home, all four pounds of him (he was about seven weeks old), we realized that he didn’t so much have boots as he had long white leggings.

puzzled tim

And calling a perfectly sweet kitten “Leggings” just did not seem fair at all. (Someone once said he had grey “spats”. I looked her in the eye and said, so, you want us to call our adorable new kitten “SPATS”?)

(It was kind of one of those laughing with your hands on your knees moments.)

We cast about for a name. We tried everything we could think of, from the sublime “Prince Hairy” to the redonkulous “Swashbuckle”.  We’d stand in front of him, look him in the Eye, and say, “Swashbuckle! Hello-ooooo, Swashbuckle! Are you a Swashbuckle? Swashbuckle!” all in that sugary-sweet Shirley Temple high-pitched voice that one reserves for baby kittens and baby kittens alone. And wee Not-Swashbuckle would blink, look at us quizzically for a moment, and then yawn and start studiously cleaning his nether regions.

Ooooooh-kayyyy, then. Not a Swashbuckle. Gotcha.

One day we were watching the folks filing into choir practice, several of them with their evening cup o’ Tims, which has a store about two blocks from us. Melody and I looked at each other with that dorky ohHO look that is our patented dorky couple look. When we got home, we presented Not-Swashbuckle with “Tim”–and he didn’t lick his butt! That was good enough for us, so Tim of Horton’s he is, a truly Canadian Cat.

OK. So. Back to the Not-Eye.

He actually does have an eye in there, so saying he lost his eye is a wee bit dramatic. When we met him, we noticed that he kept his left eye almost closed all the time, and it seemed to run a bit. Frances told us that she had found him that way, and the vet had given her some ointment in case it was an infection.

We took him to our vet, who gave us the 411: You know how cats have that inner eyelid?(Warning: slight gross-out ahead for those with eye squidges, sorry) Well, somewhere along the line, probably in the womb or during birth, his inner eyelid got stuck to the surface of his cornea, so that when it came time to open his eyes as a baby, the inner eyelid tore (we think), leaving parts stuck to the cornea and parts attached to his outer eyelid.

When he was older, the vet suggested an operation to try and separate the inner eyelid bits stuck to the cornea, to lessen the risk of bad juju. We took him in for the surgery, and for a while after, it looked as though he would recover almost completely.

Except that he didn’t. The membranes got stuck together again, and after a couple more rounds of medication and poor-baby kisses, the vet said it was better not to mess with his eye too much, and that was that.

So he still has that eye, but it is partially covered by bits of his inner eyelid, and he can’t fully open the eye because of the bits stuck to the outer lid.

No, we have never put an eye patch on him and growled, “Avast, ye Cap’n Tim!” His claws grow super-fast, and they are Sharp.



Can he see out of that eye?

We think so. We think he can see light and dark, like shadows, maybe shapes, that sort of thing. Not a lot of detail, probably.

But TimCat can jump six feet from floor to banister post without a waiver. (The top of the post is four inches square.) He jumps all over, up and down, down and up, as if to prove that he is still a Most Worthy Cat. Never falls. Never hesitates. We don’t know if he is using the veiled eye to help triangulate, or if he is turning his head in lots of mini-moves to get the coordinates right.

I will say that the two times a feline has caught a live mouse in this house, that feline has been Tim. Great Hunter Tim clearly doesn’t need no stinkin’ second eye.

Question: Why don't kitties ever get napper's block?

Question: Why don’t kitties ever get napper’s block?


Here’s Oskar, a truly blind kitty, learning to play with his very first toys.

Posting this video is my way of arm-waving so you don’t notice that I have not yet been able to locate one of Tim’s own baby pictures. I owe you a Tim Baby Pic. Remind me if I forget.

Thank you, all of you, for the wonderful, kind, and yes, loving comments. You are giving me the strength to climb out of the pit, one chispa at a time 🙂

About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Two toddler-age kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
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4 Responses to How Tim Lost His Eye

  1. Hi Sandi, Big grin to see your posts. I know how hard it is to crawl out of the ‘”hole”. I watch the love of my life struggle with it all the time. It is a cyclical problem so life can get somewhat unpredictible and frustrating. But the good times are really good. Your good times will come and be spectacular. Are you still making tiaras? I can’t remember the name of your dog but my question is how did he lose his leg?
    Pat aka westies


  2. Bonnie says:

    I love the musical “Sunday in the Park with George.” Toward the end, George is talking to Dot. He said, “I have nothing to say.” She replies, “You have many things to say.” “Well, nothing that’s not been said.” “Said by YOU, though, George.” I think about that a lot. I’m glad you’re posting!


  3. Holly says:

    Yay, it was so nice to hear from you again 🙂


  4. leslieileen says:

    Tim o’ the Hortons, eh? I love it! One of our late, great furbabies was named Hollidae Wilson as we found him on the highway on our way to Wilson’s Department Store to begin our Holiday Shopping on the day after (American) Thanksgiving. Yet another was Sibeau Phillippe who was a very handsome (sibeau) young man we found wandering the roads in Phillipston MA. His “mama’s boy name” was “Sibeau Phillippe, the little creep”

    It’s good to see you writing 🙂


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