Sometimes I need to give myself a little pep-talk. Doing what I do I daily see cats and kittens in need of help. Some needs rescuing if they are to stand a chance at surviving. This was clearly the case with the young tabby in the second image from my last post. I was concerned when I first saw her some weeks back. She was awfully skinny (emaciated really) and she was so timid that it was difficult getting her to eat the food I left behind. She did eventually begin to eat a little but just as I was beginning to hope that she might gain some weight and strength, disaster struck - she caught a flu (just like Felix - re. last post). She began to sit passively when the other cats would eat. I knew this was bad knews. No way could an emaciated feral cat like this withstand a bad flu. A few days later more doom set in. She was nowhere to be seen. I felt extremely concerned she had laid down in a weakened state to die. Well... this is where I needed my own pep-talk. To do with belief. Not giving up hope. I kept an internal image of her appearing on the wall - just like she'd before.
I hadn't seen her Friday, Saturday or Sunday. But...! This morning a miracle occured. She sat on the wall!! In a worse state - but she was there. I knew I had to act fast so I pulled out a cage that I had already prepared last week. No room for second thoughts - just a firm grab by the scruff of the neck and then off to the vet to give her an antibiotic shot, deworming and an examination of her eye. At the vet she went ballistic. The nurse held her firm with huge protective gloves whilst the vet examined her. Turned out she had a really bad case of conjunctivitis. I knew what that meant... several eyedrops during the day for an entire week. I knew I could feed her and keep her in a safe enclosure but I have to admit that I felt a little outside my wits as how to go about a ballistic cat needing eyedrops several times a day (and preferably eye-washes too). Mmm - believe...
When my turn came I sat down and talked to her. Reminded of a few words from Albert Schweitzer's "Prayers for Animals"... a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words. Then I put my hand in the cage (wrapped in gardening gloves and a towell not knowing what would come my way!). When she accepted my hand in there I gently let it rub her. When she accepted that I removed the towell and gently rubbed her side with my hand. After this I removed the gloves. Again gentle rubbing her on the side. Then gently stroking her head. Then gently pulling her out, washing her eye and popping in the eyedrop. I was AMAZED! Why would this girl let me do this?? Sometimes I sincerely feel so humbled in their presence. What makes them trust like this when all they've ever known is fight and flight??
Whatever it is I humbly proceed. I hope this girl will gain back her appetite soon at least that way I will be able to keep her in my care.
PS about Felix
Felix from my last post was eventually put into veterinary care last week. He didn't eat or drink at all (for many days) and had to be force fed. And just today he showed signs of an eye ulcer due to the flu. He will stay there for another few days until he gets the ok from the vet.
PPS The heading is a quote from Charles F. Kettering