Pinocchio was rescued from an airport, and his eyes were in such bad condition that they had to be removed. Blind and in a foster home, he met Jiminy Cricket, the kitten that would be end up being the teacher for his big brother. The two quickly became the best of friends, and now Pinocchio can play and romp so well with Jiminy Cricket that you’d have a difficult time telling he’s blind. Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket were thankfully adopted together, so these inseparable buddies will be spending a long, happy life together!
If you’re wondering why Pinocchio can so accurately pounce on a target, it has to do with the strength of some of his other senses. His hearing is, of course, crucial to be able to locate objects and how they are moving, but his whiskers also play an integral role in understanding his surroundings. Whiskers, otherwise known as vibrissae, are tactile hairs. This means that they are highly sensitive touch receptors! Whiskers are much thicker than the rest of a cat’s fur, and they are loaded with nerve endings. They are so incredibly sensitive that they can help a cat determine changes in air currents, which not only helps blind cats find their way around but also helps cats find their way around in extreme darkness. Because cats can use their whiskers for such a variety of sensing, it makes sense that blind cats like Pinocchio are still able to romp, play, and stalk like cats who can see.
What do you think of Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket? Did you know the specialized function of cats’ whiskers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!