Working in the trenches
Noona earlier this week observing the kittens play.
Thank you ALL so much for your immense kindness. Your words have warmed so much and encouraged me hugely. They have helped carry me through a very painful week.
As mentioned in the last post Noona went in for her second treatment for mammary hyperplasia. During the afternoon though, after having come back from the vet, she developed a bit of a peculiar behavior. She started eating bits of gravel from her toilet tray, stopped drinking, ate very little and seemed generally very tired. I spoke with different vets to try to collect some intelligence about this peculiar behavior and were told to give it a bit of time. The next day she developed a cold (again) - she just finished a course of antibiotics for a cold. This made it somewhat difficult to discern her symptoms because it is a well known fact that a cat (just like humans) doesn't really eat or drink if it is unwell. I was adviced to replace the gravel in her toilet tray with sand - which I did - and then she started licking the sand! Still not drinking any water. Yesterday morning I brought her back to the vet to be monitored and to have some intravenous fluid. Well I just came back from visiting her. She seems to be doing well - they haven't observed her eating from the toilet tray and she is eating a little. I had a lovely nuzzle with her - nose to nose as we do - and I felt moved when she wanted to show me her 'good-will' by eating as eagerly as she could. She will be taken off the intraveenous fluid this afternoon and if she remains as stable as she is now, she will come home tomorrow morning. Her treatment for the hyperplasia has otherwise worked really well - they swelling has gone down so much. Unfortunaly the treatment is so new that no written documentation exists about possible side effects in cats (only in dogs). I need this little girl to recover and come home (I told her I would collect her tomorrow!) - because it has been an otherwise very sad week.
The mammary glands having shrunk so much that Noona can finally sit with her front paws together.
Last weekend two new feral cats appeared in the garden. An adult and a 6-7 month old kitten. Both extremely emaciated. The mature cat ate well - the little one tentatively. As with feral cats you can't actually get too close - but I could see the little one wasn't too well and I've frankly never seen a cat with such sad eyes. You know, where you can see the expression in the eyebrows. It was very painful. I instantly tried to establish a connection because I knew this one too had to go to the vet. I simply sit down on the floor at what for them will feel like a safe distance. And I start to talk. I let the cat know that it is safe and that I will look after it - if it will allow me to. She - I named her Kimmie - listened and within the next couple of days she was within an arms reach. I could see her breathing was strenuous. Monday night I told her to be there in the morning if she would allow me to get her help (I was going to vet with Noona and thought to bring this one along). She wasn't there in the morning (guess I forgot to be specific!) but suddenly in the evening she appeared before me - clearly not with an ounce of energy left. It was just before closing time at the vet so I leapt for a transport box and my mobile phone and asked if I could bring her in. They instantly brought him! into intensive care. Upon examination the following morning it turned out he had a very bad double-sided pheumonia and they put him on intravenous antibiotics. I prayed and I prayed... I so badly wanted this little beauty - a long haired brown tabby - to live. But sadly this morning, as I received the news that Noona was stable, Kimmie had just given up the battle. The pain stung so badly. The inevitable I should have gotten him there earlier kicked in. And then there's the mental predicament. Why do I get so carried away by these little furry lives?
I just can't stand their pain. I can't stand the thought that they don't actually stand a fighting chance. This week I also pulled aside a 10-12 week old kitten that had just gotten run over by a car. They matter so little that no one can be bothered to check on the life they've just left behind to die. And another kitten - even younger - that sat at the dumpster for a few days looking for food. I fed it for a few days but it has now disappeared. Gone no doubt.
Many years ago I was taught a valuable lesson - that just because you care or do a kind act - you shouldn't expect from others to do the same. You do it because that is how you have decided to be as a human. Sometimes it feels as if I'm working in the trenches on my own - but at the end of the day... I feel so honored.
P.S. Mariette, my dear friend, thank you so much for the Sunshine award. I will return to that in my next post.