Meet Helen Yeller, a Mostly Blind Kitten Rescued in a New York Snowstorm


When a vicious snowstorm hit New York City on Jan. 2, it left a trail of icy devastation in its wake. One of its victims was a tiny black-and-white kitten who was abandoned in a snowdrift in the neighborhood of Long Island City. Rumors suggest she had been heartlessly thrown out of the window of a car or nearby building.

Thankfully, a kindly passerby noticed the stranded kitty and scooped her up and dropped her off at a neighborhood vet’s office.

Enter Legs Malone, a burlesque artist with a sideline in cat-lady antics who was alerted to the kitten’s cause and offered her a forever home.

“She had been close to death from hypothermia but was clearly a fighter and saved in the nick of time,” says Legs, referring to the three-week-old kitten’s rescue from the snowdrift.

Despite the kitten’s unquestionably adorable looks, bringing her into a new home was going to be a challenge. The vet told Legs that “she had neurological damage from the extreme cold which resulted in her being 90 to 95 percent blind, and that she would probably never recover her full sight.”

Legs says that her personality came through right away, despite the kitten’s apparent ailments. She describes that from the start she was “spunky and very loud.” With that, she was furnished with the excellent name of Helen Yeller.

Now nestled up inside a warm home, little Helen Yeller might have been “incredibly weak” at first, but Legs says she soon noticed that she was gaining strength, growing fast and even beginning to run.

Miraculously, it seemed that Helen Yeller was also starting to see things better, despite the vet’s initial prognosis about her eyesight.

“Before long, she was chasing laser pointers and jumping over objects on the floor,” says Legs of the now seven-and-a-half-month-old kitten.

“She still has a very small bit of residual eye damage,” she continues, “and she can’t see particularly well in low light conditions, but her sight is otherwise excellent.”

Despite Helen Yeller’s tumultuous start to life, Legs is pleased to report that she is now enjoying her days as a healthy and happy cat. She even has a rescue sister, Jane, to keep her company — along with the safe sanctuary of a warm tumble dryer whenever she needs a little peaceful alone time.

Feel like you need a little more Ms. Yeller in your daily online feed? Head over to her Instagram outpost to keep up to date with her adventures, plus grab some sneak peeks of her rescue sister Jane!

Read stories of rescue and love on Catster:

About Phillip Mlynar: The self-appointed world’s foremost expert on rappers’ cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it’s not quite what you think it is.

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