Beth Stern, an author, actress, model, animal rights activist, kitten rescuer, and the wife of radio celebrity Howard Stern, told the story of Sparrow, a blind and deaf white cat that came into her care this summer.
Sparrow has one golden eye and one blue eye, and he’s won the hearts of tens of thousands of fans on the internet.
Unfortunately, the cat arrived with a bunch of other purebreds that were in desperate need of help. They were starved and confined in tiny cages with blaring heat lamps for days without food or drink.
Sparrow and Alfalfa were fortunate enough to arrive to “The Stern Kitty Buffet,” where Stern would feed them all they wanted. As she rehabilitated them in preparation for their permanent homes, they would never go hungry again.
“Little Sparrow is the one of the Persians who was rescued from a small cage stuffed with six other cats, covered in a blanket with heat lamps blaring on them. The person who was abusing them in these horrific conditions was hospitalized for eight days before these cats were saved,” Stern wrote.
All the cats needed immediate veterinary care after being kept without food or water under the lamps. Sadly, Sparrow lost her vision due to the burning lamps. A picture that showed when she was once for sale on a website. As you can see, it showed her eyes used to look altogether different and she could probably see and hear.
“Because of the poor nutrition, starvation, and blaring heat lamps on her small cage, she is permanently blind and deaf. Must be very scary navigating her world like that when she was most likely born perfect. Animal abuse is horrific,” wrote Stern.
Sparrow now required numerous medicines and was making sluggish but steady improvement. Both ears were infected with a serious ear infection, but one was extremely bothersome. As a result, she required drops in her ears every day for several months.
At first, the cat hissed and refused to be handled. She did, however, come to love the soft human touch enough to purr after a few days. Even better, she had a strong appetite and was gaining weight.
“Do I detect a grin?” I’d like to believe so… What love can accomplish is incredible.
Sparrow soon began to explore her limited, intimate surroundings. Despite her inability to see or hear, she loved traversing her new surroundings in search of the toys and items that had been put for her enjoyment.
“Sparrow had discovered her scratcher bed.”
She soon grew to enjoy her regular cuddling with Stern.
“Sparrow (she likes to be held!)”
Then, she began offering her belly to be rubbed, a sure sign of a trusting happy cat. Before long, Sparrow would come running when her foster momma came in the room. Somehow, Sparrow always knew when Stern was around.
“‘Ive been cleaning Sparrow’s ears and administering meds for her severe ear infections…and…it just may be a coincidence…BUT… she came running to me when I opened her door this morning!! Can she hear me?!? OMG OMG OMG!
By the end of July, Sparrow looked much improved and was playful, using her sense of smell and touch to find toys. And, she was becoming talkative, meowing for her foster momma. Now, she was finally confident, healthy, and happy, getting a little belly. Then, she began exploring a larger room and got a special blanket with birds on it.
It would soon be time to let this kitten soar to a permanent home after all of the daily love and TLC. We discover after a vet check that she is still deaf and blind, but that she is doing “great” work. She still needed ear drops for her “poor ear,” which was caused by a perforated eardrum. Meanwhile, she’d be showered with affection, including from tens of thousands of devoted internet admirers.
Stern showed off a limited edition T-shirt with a lovely Sparrow design called “Sparrow’s Bliss” one day. All of the profits went to help other cats like her. As a result, Sparrow became a celebrity, and his image could be found on people’s clothing all over the place.
After all the love and bonding, Sparrow was ready to spread her wings, a bittersweet moment.
“Fostering is a bridge, not a forever. There will always be another who needs me,” Stern wrote.
At the end of August, the rescuer savored her last moments with Sparrow.
“May my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living.” -e.e. Cummings.
Finally, on the 27th, we learn that Sparrow has found a loving home. Her new mommy, as you can see, adores white cats!
“Fly, Sparrow, fly!!!!” says the narrator. (Take a closer look at Sparrow’s new mom’s leggings and headband!) My tears are as huge as my grin…. To continue with this small enigma: @mysweetiesparrow
Now, you can follow Sparrow on her own Instagram at “mysweetiesparrow.”
As you can see, Sparrow’s forever home is where her biggest fan resides.
“Another day means another opportunity to choose kindness! I♥️U Sparrow!