By Stephani Hemness

Meet Uno. Named for his singular eye, he has enchanted everyone with his permanent wink and charming personality.

The first time Kristin, a nurse at Cats Exclusive Veterinary Center, met Uno, the cat could barely see out of his right eye, which was swollen shut from glaucoma. Just a kitten, he had been brought to Cats Exclusive for surgery to remove the eye. “I immediately fell in love with this little fighter,” Kristen says.

Joan, Uno’s foster parent, had been caring for Uno—then known as Cody—for several weeks prior to surgery. He had been found, along with two of his brothers, as a feral kitten at just 5 or 6 weeks old; the three were brought to the Seattle Animal Shelter and placed in foster homes. “I didn’t know how bad his eye was, but I knew there were resources available to him, for whatever he needed,” says Joan. “I took him to be seen by a vet the next day.”

UNO 4Uno was diagnosed with glaucoma and prescribed eye drops. His eye didn’t improve, so he was taken to another clinic where they confirmed his glaucoma and recommended removing the eye. “The best result was how much Cody perked up after the removal of the deteriorated eye,” says Joan. “There was no doubt that relieving the pressure in his eye was a great improvement for him.”

Joan took him back home, where he became more active and interested not only in his environment, but in his brother and another foster cat under Joan’s care. The one-eyed kitten was seemingly ready to find his forever home.

However, Uno developed pneumonia during his recovery. He remained under the care of the Cats Exclusive team, even getting rides around the clinic in Dr. Richard Lester’s coat pocket. With his one blue eye, his short z-shaped tail and a meow that sounds more like a sheep’s baaa, Uno charmed clinic staff.

It was at the clinic that Uno found his forever home. After knowing and caring for Uno for several months, Nurse Kristin knew he would be a great fit for her family. She adopted him in October 2012.

Now at home with Kristin, Uno is happy and healthy. His favorite game is fetch, and he loves to wrestle and nap with his feline brother Pancho Villa, with whom he bonded instantly. “They became inseparable and you wouldn’t find one without the other,” says Kristen.

At first, he had poor depth perception, and was afraid to jump down from ledges and other high places. He still prefers to climb rather than jump down—he likes to “climb down the cat trees like a Koala bear,” Kristin says. His vision, however, is improving. “Playing chasing games really helped Uno adjust to depth perception with one eye,” she adds, “and he soon started to get much better at catching toys and jumping up and down off cat trees and furniture.”

Thanks to the Seattle Animal Shelter and the donations that paid for his surgery, as well as his adopter Kristen, charming little Uno will be wrestling, climbing and fetching for years to come.

Want to help animals like Uno? Please consider donating to the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation.