Thursday, June 30, 2011

News Update from the Doyle Household

I finished my last scheduled IVIg cycle this morning so am, at least temporarily, released from the hospital horrors.  Five months ago when I began I was distressed beyond belief to be submitting myself to the local health system.  Not being a democracy, the Supreme Health guys control all the decisions and it was only through their hospital that I could get the life-saving treatment I needed.  No options unless I went abroad.  Now I've grown used to the chaos and lack of privacy (okay, maybe not that) and general alien-ness of the whole thing, and I've learnt a few more words of Arabic.  The nurses got used to me too, and were even apologetic yesterday when it took 7 goes to find a viable vein.  When I left this morning they said: drop by when you are here next time and say hello.  Sweet of them but highly unlikely that I will be anywhere near the place unless I have to be.

I say scheduled because although my doctor here thinks I'm finished, (I use the word 'thinks' with care) my Professor in London, who is the only one I trust, wants me to continue to have monthly 5-day cycles.  At this point I don't know if I will be able to have further cycles here, which would be much easier, or if I will have to travel to London for the treatment in future. 

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On an entirely different and happier note, even happier that is, I want to tell you about an incident last night with Seams and her kittens.

Seams is a protective and fierce mother.  She keeps her kittens under an iron paw.  They are still confined to the golf course side of the fence, away from stray people and dogs, but at the mercy of the peacocks.  Most evenings we go for a little walk with the intention of helping out in the nutrition of the babies and especially their mum.   Sometimes Seams is with the kittens, sometimes she is off hunting and when the kittens hear our voices they come charging through the trees and stop under the fence (a drop of about 2 metres from the road where we are) and look up at us and meow.  Pretty fast on the uptake they are.  But some evenings we don't see them, even though we patrol the length of the fence looking for them.

Last night after we got back from yet another farewell dinner, we saw Seams on our side of the fence and we gave her some dinner, but we couldn't spot the kittens.   Marius walked down to the end of the road away from where I was standing and Seams was eating.   When he was out of earshot, she came back to the fence and whistled (it was a cat call, but was just like a whistle) and I heard little voices reply, and then they all tumbled out of their hiding places and lined up under the fence waiting for food.  Seams went back to her eating and when Marius returned he threw handfuls of cat-crunchies over the fence for the kittens who performed a perfect scrum to get at them.

I thought the discipline of the kittens was extraordinary.  They would have heard our voices but didn't come out until Seams said it was clear, and then they responded immediately.

Later Seams followed us home for a further snack on our front porch.  I think the main reason she comes is for the bowl of water I leave out.  I do worry about her and the kittens getting enough to drink in this hot weather.   I haven't figured out how to lower water down to the kittens but presume Seams has the fluid balance worked out.



Jenny Woolf said...

What an extraordinary cat. I don't think I've known of one that does that. perhaps they have softer lives over here.

Glad you're finished with the hospital there for now. I think if it was me I'd trust the English doctor, too. Good luck!

jabblog said...

I'm glad to hear that you're out of the hospital's clutches for the time being at least.
Seams' kittens are growing so fast. How fascinating to learn of Seams' control of her litter. Clever cat - she and her kind need to be to survive - they haven't all got compassionate humans to look for them and feed them.