Cat Born Without Normal Eyes, Met a Couple He Loves - They Couldn't Stop Thinking About Him.

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Melvin the cat was found as a stray wandering around the streets. When he was taken to the shelter, staff quickly noticed that he was quite special.

Best Friends Animal Society

A few months ago, Melvin was rescued from a city shelter in Los Angeles and transferred to the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center for a second chance at life. The sweet 3-year-old cat was born with a condition called microphthalmia, in which the eyeball is smaller than normal.

The medical team at Best Friends determined that his vision was either limited or non-existent. Melvin had likely been living with pain all his life, so a surgery to remove his eyes would make him feel a lot better.

Jackie Gudgel first learned about Melvin through a Facebook post. "I saw it and just completely fell in love with him. I was completely enamored with his sweet little face," Jackie told Love Meow.

Best Friends Animal Society

At the time Melvin was at the shelter in Mission Hills, waiting for surgery. Jackie decided to visit him. (Scroll down for video)

"I petted his little face for about 15 or 20 minutes, and he was an angel - a little timid at first (Maybe he was wondering 'who is this lady and why is she so excited to pet me?') but he was very affectionate and purring and sweet as can be," Jackie told Love Meow.

Best Friends Animal Society

After his eye surgery, Samantha Bell DiGenova, cat behavior and enrichment lead of Best Friends, took Melvin home to foster. She helped him learn to adjust to living indoors.

As Melvin recovered, he began feeling more confident each day. Despite having no vision, he was able to explore every nook and cranny, using his whiskers and his senses of hearing, smell and touch to navigate around the house.

"He'd hear and smell the other cats outside his door and walk toward them. I could see his ears and whiskers working overtime to compensate for the lack of sight," Samantha said.

Jackie Gudgel

When Melvin was ready for adoption, someone out there couldn't wait to see him. Jackie reached out to Samantha and set up a time to reunite with her old pal.

"When I saw him again there was the same expressiveness in his face," she said. "The surgery didn't change that much about him, and it didn't change anything for me either. He was as cute as ever."

Jackie Gudgel

That day, little Melvin left with Jackie and headed to his new home.

Jackie and her boyfriend Ellison were overjoyed to welcome their little addition into their family. The couple slowly and gradually introduced different parts of their apartment to Melvin.

Jackie Gudgel

"For the first week he was staying in our living room, and after that we opened up the kitchen area and our hallway that leads to our downstairs bathroom.

"Finally we let him explore the upstairs - which even after a month with us, he is still a bit timid about. He finally got up on our bed the other day, which was very exciting!"

Jackie Gudgel

The couple purchased pet stairs to make it easier for Melvin to get on the couch and the bed.

"He doesn't need the couch ones any more as he pops on and off the couch like a pro now! He gets up the courage to try new things (like jumping on the couch or using the stairs)," Jackie told Love Meow.

Jackie Gudgel

Melvin never ceases to amaze his humans with his ability to adapt to his surroundings.

"He has a fascinating way of sensing things around him - he'll move his head back and forth (we call it 'scanning') to pick up sounds and smells, and he'll also move his head around so his whiskers can get a sense of where things are."

Jackie Gudgel

Melvin is a snugglebug who loves to play with his humans and has a collection of boxes to scratch, chew on and hide in.

"At any given time we'll have a few toys strewn on the floor. He loves crawling into tiny weird spaces that we'd never imagine he could get into," Jackie told Love Meow. "When he's not chewing on his toys or cardboard he's extremely affectionate, he's a big fan of chilling with me on the couch and making biscuits on my lap and purring the whole time."

"He's just a great cat who's brought so much love into our lives."

Jackie Gudgel

Follow Melvin's adventures on Instagram. Follow Best Friends Animal Society on Facebook. If you would like to support their rescue efforts, click here to see how you can help.

Watch video: Melvin's journey to his forever home!

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Related story: Woman Saves Blind Cat From Shelter and Comes Back to Find His Brother

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