“It’s up to you to decide whether you want to rescue an animal or not, but if you do so, then you don’t decide later that it’s too much trouble.” Charles (Chucky) M. Sloan
On the 31st August, 2018, my wife and I decided to go out for some badly needed groceries. Being August, it was still very hot so we decided to treat ourselves to a taxi. We called and booked and then went down to the driveway of the village to wait. It was there that we found Stevie.
From under a parked car crawled this bedraggled kitten. It was so weak, it was crawling on its belly.
Without thinking, I scooped it up and rushed back up to the house where I put it in the shower stall with a bowl of water and some dried food. At that point in time I didn’t even know if it had been weaned, but I didn’t have the luxury of time. I washed my hands and rushed back down to the driveway to join my wife.
I returned home, half expecting to find a dead kitten in my shower stall. Happily it was still alive and very noisy. I had bought a kitten sized baby bottle and some suitable milk powder from a pet shop, but when I tried to feed it, the kitten rejected the milk. I then offered it some soft food which was gobbled up in seconds flat. One problem solved.
My wife came up with the name Stevie (after Stevie Wonder, the famous musician) Not knowing whether it was a little girl or boy, we thought it was the safest name. My son very kindly offered to help with the vet bills so I called one of the local vets and took it in.
The vet announced that Stevie was a girl and, was indeed, a very sick kitty with cat flu. However, she was hopeful with a lot of medicine and TLC she would soon recover. The injections made Stevie quite ill, but it wasn’t long before the benefits were seen.
Stevie wasn’t completely house trained but at least knew that she had to do her business in the shower stall (next to a perfectly good litter tray). And this reminds me of something I read many years ago: “If I didn’t have cats my house would be clean, my pockets full, and my heart, empty.”
She quickly found the warmest places to sleep. And then she discovered Mama Biscuit, and she was even cosier!
Stevie responded well to the medication and soon realised that a cute kitty could get away with almost murder. She went from strength to strength and after a series of visits to the vet appeared to have recovered. She regained her sight in one eye but is partly blind in the other.
All too soon it was time for Stevie to have the ‘Terrible Cat Operation’ and it was around this time that she developed a swelling on the right side of her face at the jaw line. The vet diagnosed a ruptured salivary gland (Salivary Mucoceles) and suggested that while she was under from the spaying, they would also remove the damaged gland.
The next day I was able to bring Stevie home. Released from her carrier she made a quick tour of the house to make sure she was, in fact, home and then made a beeline for her favourite spot on the sofa.
We had to give her pain killers via a syringe every few hours and she slept away most of the next few days. The vet had told me that she wouldn’t be able to eat normally and to feed her soft food through a larger syringe, but she rejected all my efforts. I became seriously concerned that she was slowly starving herself. I began to question the wisdom of letting the vet do the operation.
But still we couldn’t get her to eat anything and I thought we were going to have to take her back to the vet. For the next two days I rushed home after work to sit with her. I think I managed to get a bit of soft food inside her and it was just enough to keep her going. Then on the second day I arrived home to be greeted but a very different scene. She was waiting for me and was more attentive.
Thankfully she started eating and as she regained her strength it became harder and harder to get her to accept her medications.
Then it was time to take her back to the vet to have the stitches removed.
Life slowly returned to normal, as did her whiskers and fur and before we knew it she was two years old. The vet had estimated her date of birth as being around the 1st of August.
But Stevie’s troubles weren’t over. A few months ago she developed eating problems and would cry and paw at her mouth. She isn’t the type of cat that was going to let us examine her without putting up a fight, so, it was back to the vet.
Sadly, the vet discovered that most of her teeth were infected and many had fallen out and that this was an indication of feline immunodeficiency virus. A subsequent blood test revealed Stevie to be FIV positive.
However, rotten teeth removed, things once again returned to normal.
We don’t know how long Stevie will be with us. Estimates vary on the lifespan of FIV positive cats but she’ll have all the love and care we can give her.
Through all the rough times she’s seen, Stevie has taught us to never give up and continue to enjoy life everyday. Once in our lives, there will be one good samaritan to help us get through the difficulties, even if sometimes you think that there is little purpose in living. She is a blessing for us and she will always be loved every minute of her life.
I hope that you have found your own Stevie in your life, or a good samaritan to help you get through tough times. Whichever is your story, I know that it will have a great impact and change your life forever.
By the way: The gentleman who made the quote at the beginning of this post was my father, Charles (Chucky) M. Sloan. Growing up in Hong Kong, at one time or another we had cats, dogs, turtles and four sparrows that had fallen out of a tree along with a black bird that used to sit on my mother’s shoulder and drink tea out of a saucer, and even on one occasion, a monkey that my father had rescued from an abusive owner. I will never forget him telling me this piece of wisdom.
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