Moet the blind cat has become a social media sensation in its efforts to promote animal welfare in Oman. Since appearing online in 2015, Moet has been a star attraction with thousands of followers not just in the sultanate but across the world, thanks to its host. Moet went blind as a result of neglect.
She was rescued by Dr Emily Shotter, a public relations and communications professional based in Muscat, who was happy to host her. “I had been looking for a companion for my first rescue – Luna - and the veterinarian mentioned a year old blind Persian. I was hesitant at first, but they persuaded me to ‘just come and meet her.’”
Emily had never seen a blind cat before and didn’t know what to expect. “I stroked her cheek and she instantly rolled over for a belly rub. She purred and purred and was so sweet natured and seemed so happy. I knew she had to be mine,” she recalled. Emily suspects Moet was born in an unregulated cat breeder’s farm and taken to one of the local pet shops. “Somehow Moet caught cat flu, so she was unwell and nobody really wanted her. She was left untreated to die – often without food and water, a dirty cage, no bed to lie on, no toys. Over time, she just got sicker and sicker. Eventually the bright colours and things she saw started to go blurry and one day she could see only shadows and light,” Emily narrated Moet’s past ordeal. It wasn't long before Moet only saw darkness. Emily shudders to think how sad and forlorn the cat must have been. But suddenly and abruptly, the cat’s cage opened and a lady reached in for it. “Moet was taken out of there by a kind lady who often visited the pet shops to try her best for the animals in most desperate need. Shortly after her endeavours, she left the country – which was just as well as I suspect many shop owners were after her by then,” Emily said.
Moet was taken to Al Qurum Veterinary Clinic which treats strays, abandoned, abused and neglected animals. The vets nursed Moet back to health and removed her decaying eyes and saved her life. On the feline’s strong social media presence, Emily said, “I started Moet on social media mainly so the world could see just how amazing blind cats are, and although biased, I think she is very cute. Soon after I signed her up to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and more recently TikTok, I realised that I could do more and felt a sense of responsibility over the awareness she could create.”
Emily noted that many blind cats in shelters all over the world are unnecessarily euthanised every year because people think they are 'unadoptable'. “This is simply not the case - which is what we try to show, so that more are adopted into loving, caring homes. Most people think blind cats will be really tentative and not able to get around at all. In fact, they are amazing, capable, loving and most of the time, like normal cats! She started out on Twitter and I got an instant positive response, so from there I started her Instagram and then Facebook accounts and just a couple of months ago, TikTok,” she said.
The pampered Persian has a website too - www.moetblindcat.com - where her fans can access her online store that sells Moet branded merchandise, all proceeds of which are donated to Omani Paws. This Muscat-based group of volunteers helps rescue, rehome and relocate animals.“Omani Paws relies solely on donations and so, of course, Moet had to help as much as possible. We also sell calendars and all profits from those are donated too,” Emily said.
The merchandise and calendars come directly from the supplier and shipped worldwide, Emily informed. “Most of our sales are to overseas customers, but we hope that will change too, since Moet is Oman's famous cat!”
According to Emily, Moet has raised close to RO400 for Omani Paws over a period of about three years. “It's not a lot, but I do also donate new items to sell very regularly, which helps them to raise additional funds. Of course, we hope that one day Moet will hit the 'big time' and sell significantly more, so that more needy animals can be helped. Animal welfare is of prime importance to us,” the cat lady added.