Although Mississippi's Wild at Heart Rescue primarily deals with wildlife, the rescue receives the occasional call to help out with domestic animals as well. Such was the case with Stevie, the "wonder cat."
Last year, Missy Dubuisson, founder and director of Wild at Heart, received a call concerning a kitten who had shown up on a local's doorstep and was thought to have a strange eye infection.
Dubuisson contacted Stephanie Roberts, a wildlife rehabilitator with Wild at Heart who specializes in squirrel care but regularly fosters kittens as well. Dubuisson asked if Roberts wanted to care for the 3-month-old kitten.
"I said 'Sure,'" Roberts told The Dodo. "And then Missy said, 'I can't find his eyes though. Please just find his eyes.'"
Roberts said that Stevie was very unhealthy when he first came to her. He was skinny and did indeed have an eye infection that left his eye sockets oozing. However, it was difficult to tell without a vet examination whether Stevie was blind or not "because he doesn't run into anything, he has no problem. He's been that way since day one."
As it turns out, not only was Stevie confirmed to be blind, he was also missing his eyeballs entirely, much to everyone's surprise.
Roberts said that Stevie has a condition where he was born without eyes, although he has eye sockets.
"Nobody did anything to him," Roberts said. "He actually has a genetic condition. He either wandered off from somewhere or was dumped … It looks like he's just squinting at you basically, like all the time. If you didn't know him, you wouldn't realize that he can't see at all."
Stevie is now 1 year old and Roberts says that, out of her four cats, he's by far the smartest.
After sleeping with Roberts in her bed after crying for comfort as a kitten, he quickly became a permanent fixture in her home.
When he's not out and about in his special stroller, Stevie plays fetch with Roberts' daughter by listening for the ball.
Although he's a gentle, trusting guy, Stevie is also known to have his mischievous side — he even one time broke into the cages of Roberts' pet bird and hamsters, sending the animals on the loose, a testament to just how wrong you'd be to underestimate Stevie, despite his disability.
"He knows the space very well," Roberts said. "He has no idea he can't see. He can do anything any other cat can do."