"He’s 12 years old, but the vet says there’s no reason to think he won’t live another 10 years," his owner said

By Benjamin VanHoose
September 22, 2020
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Courtesy @jazzy.purrs

This eye-catching, eyeless feline has attracted a loving fan base on social media.

According to Today, Jasper the cat has been through it: The 12-year-old hairless Sphynx has suffered several health battles in his life, including when he began developing corneal ulcers seven years ago. The condition led to the removal of his eyeballs after two emergency vet visits, one in November 2013 and the other in September 2018.

"He does pretty good," his owner Kelli told the outlet of Jasper living without his eyes. "The first day home from the vet, he was climbing on the couch and on my shoulder and all over the place trying to explore. It was amazing to watch him."

Kelli, a Maine resident, said she was given Jasper as a Christmas gift 11 years ago. "Some friends of mine always knew I wanted a hairless cat and got him as a rescue for cheap. At the time, we thought he was healthy," she said.

Prior to having his eyes medically removed, Jasper was diagnosed with the feline herpes virus, and suffered a stroke in April 2019.

Courtesy @jazzy.purrs

"With him being blind, it was harder to recover from that. He didn't have his eyes to reorient himself to the world," Kelli said of Jasper bouncing back from this most recent health scare. "He gets around really well, but sometimes he gets confused."

Kelli told Today that Jasper has a happy quality of life now — he even has new pals: two rescue cats. One of the new pets named Tessa is also blind and has taken a liking to Jasper.

Courtesy @jazzy.purrs

"A lot of people seem to have concerns I'm stretching this out and think he has no quality of life," said Kelli. "Through every step of the way, I made sure I was keeping in touch with my vets and asking, 'Are we at a point where a quality of life discussion needs to happen?'"

Courtesy @jazzy.purrs

The owner added: "As strange as it sounds, he has a good quality of life. He's a happy cat."

On Instagram, where his appearance has caught the attention of more than 80,000 followers, Jasper is the star of countless relatable social media movements and trends, and he is constantly seen living it up with his fellow feline friends at home.

In a Sept. 13 post, Kelli wrote in a caption that the stroke last year was a "terrifying experience," but he has since "recovered almost 100%."

"... He walks a bit more cautiously and occasionally is unsure of where he is and will meow for help, but otherwise he’s perfect. He’s a very happy kitty, who is otherwise extremely healthy," reads the post. "He’s 12 years old, but the vet says there’s no reason to think he won’t live another 10 years."

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