When Mick Szydlowski and his wife, Bethany, an animal-loving couple, hopped in the car to pick up an old autoharp they’d seen on Craigslist, they had no idea they’d be coming home with a blind kitten who was the last of the litter belonging to the folks selling the autoharp.
The Szydlowskis already had one cat at home — Klaus, whom they’d adopted as an adult several years earlier — and they were interested in adding a second pet to their family. “Klaus was kind of our baby; I think a lot of people are like that with their pets,” Mick told TODAY.com. “We had tried to introduce him to other cats, including a kitten, in the past, and he was not very receptive to that. So, we really thought that, if we were going to get another pet, it was going to be a dog.”
Fate had other plans, though, and Oskar — who was born without fully-formed eyeballs — quite literally landed in their arms.
Klaus, meet Oskar
After showing the Szydlowskis the instrument they’d come for, the seller asked if they were interested in a blind kitten. The animal’s prospects weren’t great: If nobody adopted him, he would have either stayed on the farm for a bit longer — among a number of migratory birds of prey, not to mention foxes and coyotes — or been taken to an animal shelter. Neither of those options sat well with the Szydlowskis, and once Bethany scooped the kitten up in her arms, the adoption was a done deal.
“My wife was holding him, kind of like a baby, and rocking him back and forth. He was completely relaxed; his little arms were just flopping by his side, and honestly, he looked like he was smiling,” Mick told TODAY.com. “He was born into this world absolutely trusting of everybody and thinking that this was a beautiful and innocent place, and he was just happy to be here.
“At that point, we decided to do everything in our power to create a good environment for him, and take all steps necessary to introduce Klaus to Oskar, even if it had required dividing our house into two sections to allow them to live independently for a long period of time.”
Fortunately, it didn’t take long at all — within five days, Klaus had accepted and begun taking care of his new buddy.