Now, most people who know me, know I love cats. I was intrigued when I came across this photo on the web, which I didn’t really believe was true. Until my audiologist told me that apparently it IS true! This is how scientist have been studying the effects of cochlear implants on deafness!

How cool is this! Implanted cat 5 months after surgery. The cat wears the device 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.   These cats are born deaf and offer an excellent model for studying congenital deafness. With the implant, cats will come when called and demonstrate behaviorally that they can hear.

Cat: "One more photo of me in this state, and you die, man." Just kidding! How cool is this! I have to admit, it's my new dream pet! Implanted cat 5 months after surgery. The cat wears the device 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. These cats are born deaf and offer an excellent model for studying congenital deafness. With the implant, cats will come when called and demonstrate behaviorally that they can hear.

After 3 months of using the cochlear implant, the synapses of auditory nerve fibers in these implanted cats were compared to those of normal hearing cats and congenitally deaf cats of the same age.   They discovered that cochlear implants “rescued” the synapses of the deaf cats.

Check out the website for more details on this:  Endbulbs, Activity, and Cochlear Implants

I am sure many people would call this cruel; but hey, I’ve got an implant, and I love it! So, I find it fascinating – but geez, that poor cat doesn’t look too happy in the photo, huh?

But it has inspired me!

I am not alone!

There are cats out there that are like me too! haha!

I almost feel like getting a deaf kitten from the RSPCA, taking it to Professor Da Cruz, and pleading: “Work your magic, Melville!! My cat wants to hear again!”

And then, post surgery,  the kitten and I will prance off into the sunset, happily talking to each other in robotic meows, and comparing battery shelf-life.

Yep, that’s what it’s come to now – I am day dreaming about having a ‘matching’ pet  (like people who get haircuts to match their pets!). Instead of B1 and B2, it will be Cochlear Kate, and Cochlear Cat. I’ll get it a leash too, so I can walk it! Awesome. We can share processors. So many possibilities!

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