Bumpus, the Blind and Declawed Cat Who Rescued Himself

Bumpus, The Blind and Declawed Cat Who Rescued Himself

Bumpus rides in his family’s Jaguar and travels the U.S. with them, sharing live music and raising money for animals in need.

He excitedly explores every new place, prancing with the grace of a Lipizzaner stallion, hiking mountain trails, all while being completely defenseless. He is blind and without claws.

Bumpy, the blind cat who rescued himself, riding in his family’s Jaguar.

Bumpy’s Rescue Story

Bumpy came to our house, which is in an area prowled by coyotes, foxes, hawks, bobcats, and badgers.

To get here, he had to cross a county highway and hilly roads where traffic moves fast, often too fast for deer to survive.

He had to wander lost through fields, thick woods, and wild tangled vegetation.

Imagine how hard it must have been for him, tripping on every uneven surface and obstacle, even something as small as a leaf, and falling into every hole.

Imagine surviving predators in this wilderness night after night, hungry and not knowing where he was, without sight to provide any clues and without claws to protect himself.

Most cats would hide and stay hidden. Instead, Bumpy struggled all the way down an acre of land to our home.

It was late at night in January 2020 when he huddled against our door.

He meowed very weakly while gazing in my husband Vail’s direction when he opened the door.

We had no idea he was blind. He was cold and hungry.

Bumpy sighed and collapsed in my arms from exhaustion and relief.

Clearly, Bumpus belonged to someone once.

Someone had his claws removed.

But we could not find anyone looking for him.

We didn’t believe we could keep Bumpy, as our rescue cat Cornelius struggled with the presence of another cat in his home.

The country and the world began locking down; people were confined to their homes.

No one wanted Bumpy. The music industry was hit hard for the next two years.

It was a very discouraging time in our home.

Bumpy brought joy into this mix. It took an amazing spirit to continue searching for help with all the hardships and obstacles in his way.

He continues to trip over socks and bump into furniture but is never discouraged. Bumpy cheerfully keeps going.

It was unclear for quite a while if we could make it work between Bumpus and Cornelius, but we did!

They do so well now we’re able to travel across America with them together in our motorhome, sharing live music and raising money for shelter animals.

Bumpus and Cornelius travel across America with their family in their motorhome to share live music and raise money for shelter animals.

Both, Bumpy and Corny (left) are featured in LoveCATS’ 2022 Photo Book “Beautiful Cats and Rescue Stories.”

My husband Vail also recorded a CD called “Inspired,” and we began raising money through music for other challenged animals all because of a very sweet and optimistic cat.

The CD cover is based on a photo of Bumpus and Cornelius.

(Link to digital download can be found at the end of this article.)

Bumpus managed to survive the predators in our area, but not all cats are so lucky.

Cornelius (our first cat) has his own rescue story.

His owner returned him to an animal shelter that was a kill shelter. No one adopted him.

The shelter in our area, Williamson County Animal Shelter (WCAS), was notified that Corny and other cats were about to be euthanized. They were transported here instead.

My neighbor’s cat Zoe went missing one night. We suspected the worst, but I offered to look for Zoe at WCAS. Sadly, she was not there, but Corny saw Vail, put his paws around his neck, and looked directly into his eyes.

That is how we came to have our first cat Cornelius.

That is why a portion of proceeds from the Inspired CD downloads goes to the WCAS, the people who literally saved Corny’s life.

Vail, who has been a jazz and R&B musician all his life, named our rescue cat Cornelius after the sax player Cornelius Bumpus.

Perhaps it was meant to be that we would end up with both a Cornelius and a Bumpus cat.

(Credit: Rescue story and photos by Denise Johnson)

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