Blind kitten brothers rescued, reunited, and rehomed in 'Christmas miracle'

This time last year, kittens Arthur and Gabriel had a real-life Christmas miracle.

The brothers – both blind, both scared and alone – were rescued by the RSPCA weeks apart.

By chance, RSPCA staff were discussing the separate rescue stories of blind kittens when they realised that the pair, who had been found in the same area, could be brothers.

This meant that just in time for Christmas, the siblings were able to be reunited – and later, the blind cats were even rehomed together.

Ginger kitten Gabriel – named after the Christmas angel – was 14 weeks old when he was found in Peterlee, County Durham, and rescued by the RSPCA just days before Christmas.

Inspector Krissy Raine, who rescued him, said: ‘We believe poor Gabriel lost both of his eyes after having cat flu as a tiny kitten and that left him with empty eye sockets.’

Arthur, meanwhile, had been rescued six weeks earlier from the same site, and needed surgery to remove one of his eyes due to entropion (a painful condition where the eyelid turns inwards and the eyelashes rub on the eye).

Sadly, during surgery, vets found that Arthur’s second eye was also damaged, and made the decision to remove both.

Krissy was telling a colleague about Gabriel after his surgery when she realised that Arthur could be his brother.

‘It was so wonderful to reunite them; it was a Christmas miracle,’ she said. ‘They instantly recognised each other and it was really heartwarming to know that they had each other again.’

The reunion was wonderful in itself, but what’s even better is that the kittens were then rehomed together – something staff at the RSPCA Cat Hub didn’t expect, as they worried it would be difficult to find a home for one blind kitten, let alone a pair.

But when experienced cat owner Helen Marritt, 44, from County Durham, came forward, it was a perfect match.

Helen, Andy, and their 16-year-old daughter Willow were more than ready to take care of the kittens, having previously taken in another special needs cat, Greebo, who had one eye and a broken leg.

‘Ever since we adopted him we’d been discussing adopting another cat with special needs as we have the love, time and space to really care for a special cat,’ said Helen. ‘We decided over the summer that the time was right for us to adopt another cat and we looked on the RSPCA cat hub website and came across Arthur and Gabriel.

‘As soon as we saw Arthur and Gabriel we just knew that they were the right cats for us.’

The rehoming process has gone smoothly and the cat brothers are now fully settled in.

Helen said: ‘After a little bit of confusion to start, all of the cats are bumbling along really well with each other now.

‘Greebo is especially loving having some new cats to play with and they all spend hours chasing balls around the room.

‘It’s hard to believe sometimes that Arthur and Gabriel can’t see, it’s truly amazing watching them play, they’re so clever.

‘Arthur enjoys “helping” Andy work from home by climbing up on his shoulders and keeping him company.

‘Gabriel is less keen on human company, but loves all our other cats and follows them around, which is really sweet.’

The couple are looking forward to their first Christmas with eight cats and will be showering their new additions with lots of affection and fuss.

‘Christmas with all eight cats will be hilariously chaotic; we’re already making bets on how long the Christmas tree will stay up, especially as Arthur and Gabriel are so curious and love to climb,’ added Helen. ‘They both love playing in boxes and chasing scrunched up balls of paper so Christmas Day will be heaven for them!

‘All of the cats will get their own special stocking so the mantelpiece will be a bit full this year but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

‘Arthur and Gabriel are our little Christmas miracles and we love them so much.’

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