Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Doyle Cat Hospital and Foundlings Home

Ratty is home.  I do not know whether I am merely postponing the inevitable, creating a rod for my own back, or, as I hope, giving him the best chance for recovery.  I am reminded of the episode in David Lean's film Lawrence of Arabia, where TEL goes back across the anvil desert to rescue the fellow who'd fallen asleep and off his camel during the crossing.  His comrades protested that 'It is written' and that Lawrence was going against the Almighty's will.  He brings the man back to the camp, but has to execute him (?I think, it is years since I saw it) later. 

Well, I hope I won't have to execute Ratty myself. 

We brought him home last night in the same box I'd taken him to the Vet's in on Monday morning.  All the resident cats had a sniff or two at the box, but no one growled or snarled or hissed.  Even Mr Territorial Army Macc didn't, although he came up to check on Ratty in the bedroom.

The people at the Vet's were terrific, especially the veterinarian nurse who'd cared for Ratty.  She was so pleased we were prepared to bring him home and give him some more time.  She gave us pads to put under him (he has no bladder control, poor boy), syringes to feed him with, and tins of 'recovery food' which we can pump into him.  They also gave me a discount on his hospital stay, because he is a stray, he gets 'strays rates'.  (They give discounted neutering and spaying rates for strays too.)

Ratty is not well.  He can move his head and can make little maows, he can purr and paddle his paws.  This morning he was licking my fingers, which I think is an improvement.  Unfortunately, he seems to have no vision beyond reacting to light.  His hearing is excellent and so is his sense of smell.  He is not in pain as far as we can judge and seems to be content.

I cannot predict the future.  Last night I said to Marius, I have no plan.  For once in my life I am really just taking things one step at a time.

I am amazed at how good the cats are to him.  When I came back from my morning walk I discovered that Wolfe had given him a little wash:  at least I assume that is where he got the tidy licks on his shoulders from.   He face and ears were a tiny bit damp when I stroked him too.  Sister Wolfe. 

For now, Ratty is safe and comfortable.  He is lying on a chair cushion and a couple of towels beside my feet.



Jenny Woolf said...

Do they have any idea atthe vet's what the damage or prognosis is?

Anonymous said...

Your story here reminds me that animals do have a sense of illness or disability which we humans have forgotten or lost.

Awaiting your next instalment

The Paradoxical Cat said...

We have our paws crossed that he rallies, and we're glad Ratty is getting such care and love. We also hope you have the strength to let him go in peace if that's best for him xo

jabblog said...

Maybe he has had a stroke. Whatever, it is good that he is not in pain and that the other cats are respecting his situation. Poor little boy, he really is in the best place, with you. I hope he recovers sufficiently to live independently again.

chiccoreal said...

Dear Isabel: It is so commendable of you to perform this hospice care for dear "Ratty". Sometimes it looks like they may not make it; then miracles happen. The very least, Ratty is in the best of hands and is not in pain. Much love to the patient and to the caregiver(s). :)

Suz said...

Oh dear, I love cats...and i just followed you here from commenting on my elephant with wings magpie...Oh Isabel....if only this elephant had wings..truly I fell your pain..but you are such a good soul to take care of Ratty (love the name)
you will know if it is time...we always do....and they let us know
I must follow you now dear blogger...kindred heart