Adopted Blind “Miracle Cat” Provides Hope Through COVID-19 Diagnosis and Beyond

Bruno overcame the odds and brought Kelsey love, reassurance, and healing.

Kelsey + Bruno

Bruno survived an illness that took his sight, but his capacity for love is limitless. When pet mom Kelsey contracted COVID-19, Bruno made it his mission to comfort her and give her hope.

"COVID-19 did a number on my body. Some days I could hardly breathe, and I feared for my life. I had to stay calm, and it was like Bruno knew exactly what to do. Every step I took, Bruno was with me. Every time I began to get scared, he would curl up beside my ear and purr until I calmed down."

I didn’t plan on bringing home a cat. For seven years, it’s been me and my dog Ed against the world. Even if I wanted a cat, I knew that Ed didn’t like them — it would simply never happen. But earlier this year, a small black-and-white kitten caught my eye at work. I was told the kitten, Bruno, had been diagnosed with FIP, a fatal disease for cats. For 10 months, the veterinary staff had cared for Bruno. He nearly died several times but each time, he pulled through. Because of that, he was nicknamed “the miracle cat.” I thought Bruno might enjoy less time in the hospital and more time roaming around my office. His illness took his eyesight, so I quickly learned that Bruno’s favorite place to be was on my shoulders while I worked. After weeks of having Bruno hang out with me, I was completely in love with him.

When COVID-19 hit, we needed to get the animals into homes. I knew there was only one place for Bruno: with me. Terrified of how Ed would react to a cat brother, I brought him home. It took less than a week for Ed to see that this was no ordinary cat; Bruno has never hissed, swatted, or bitten anyone — he only radiates love to every creature he meets. Ed was in love almost as quickly as I was. Soon after, my worst nightmare came true: I had contracted COVID-19. It was a terrifying experience, made even more scary by living alone with no one to help me. COVID-19 did a number on my body. Some days I could hardly breathe, and I feared for my life. I had to stay calm, and it was like Bruno knew exactly what to do. Every step I took, Bruno was with me. Every time I began to get scared, he would curl up beside my ear and purr until I calmed down.

Bruno, who had been through so many scares of his own, made it his mission to comfort me and give me hope. Some days, I don’t know how I would have survived without him. I’d like to say that recovery has been easy, but the daily anxiety and depression around the unknown of this pandemic has remained. Just as he helped me conquer COVID-19, Bruno continues to help me conquer my post-traumatic stress. And I’m not the only one he’s helping: Ed has seizures, and Bruno has taken it upon himself to gently lick Ed’s face whenever he is coming out of a seizure to calm him.

Bruno is a small cat, but he has the biggest heart of any creature I have ever met. I will never know why or how he survived his own disease, but he doesn’t take a single day for granted. Helen Keller said, “True vision does not require the eyes.” Bruno the blind kitten is a testament to that. He may not be able to see, but he knows where he is needed.

Each year, the Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes campaign invites adopters to share stories of how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Kelsey won Operation Kindness in Carrollton, Texas a 2020 Holiday Wishes award.