My Greek kitty crew

Friday, June 29, 2012

Irrevocable decisions

Little Grey in the midle

Most pet owners will have had the experience of having to make desicions on behalf of their pets - sometimes knowing it's a desicsion that might put their life at risk - or even the very agonising desicion to have their pet put down. It's not an easy task... it's a bit like acting like God, knowing their life is fully in and at your hands.

Well, yesterday I had to make a desicion on behalf on one of "my" dumpster cats. I put my in quotation marks as they are not mine - but I'm invested in those precious little lives as I've been trying to keep them alive through winter time. Espcecially three of them - the remaining kittens from last autumn. If you've been with this blog for a while, you might remember a little grey cat that didn't make it through the winter time. He died after a few days of intensive care at the vet. He left behind his almost identical sister which I named Little Grey. I felt absolutely set on keeping her alive. 

About three months ago I brought her to the vet for spaying. Some misunderstanding happened and I was sent back with her - minus being spayed. It was believed she had just given birth and it was urgent to get her back to her kittens. Turned out she was still pregnant and some weeks later she gave birth. I made sure to feed her three times a day to keep her boosted knowing she now had kittens. Unfortunately she stopped eating at the beginning of the week. She just sat in front of the food obviously knowing she really had to eat but she just couldn't. Wednesday evening I decided I had to get her to the vet for an antibiotic shot and something fever reducing (to encourage her appetite). I managed to capture her yesterday morning - I was quite apprehensive as she was not an easy catch the first time around. But I managed and I felt relieved knowing I could now get her some help. I told her not to worry and that she would be back with her kittens soon.

Little Grey second to the right - she was very little for her age

Well, luck was not exactly on our side yesterday morning. It was unbeliably hot and we had a wait at the vet that lastet forever. And worst of all, there was cement drilling going on just outside the front door. The dogs being cared for at the vet were barking like mad - and it was just a state of mayhem. With Grey being a real feral, I felt nervous on her behalf of knowing she was scared senseles even though she did not utter a miaow throughout. Eventually she had her examination which went relatively smoothly. We had a second cat that needed a quick examination but then we were ready to pay and head back quickly to release Grey back with her kittens. I went to the car with the one cat and Grey stayed with my husband as he was settling the bill. I waited in the car for what seemed like forever and eventually decided to walk inside to see what was taking so long. I met the sight of an empty cage and I uttered to my husband; What happened?? I was in a state of utter disbelief at his answer; She just died! Apparently she has suddenly let out this peculiar miaow (one that the vet must have heard before, because he apparently said; What was that??). They'd tried instant resusitation but without luck. The vet had then brought her to another room and made some more attempts to revive her but sadly Little Grey was gone... Most probably due to the stress of the situation (the vet seemd to think this is what caused her to die so sudden). You can figure the swirl of thoughts going through my head. Why the bleep had I brought her there? I'd let her down. How was I going to find her feral kittens?? (cats are masters at disguising the hiding places of their kittens). Why why why... An absolute heart-ache began to set in. I'd wowed to keep her alive and give her the best possible life. No more calling out "Little Grey" who would always coming flying whenever I called her name. Just a sadness and grief descending. 

Then I knew there was no time to spare - I had to rush back to try and find her kittens. In spite of searching several times and listening in the most intent of ways - there were just simply no kittens to be found. Even after dark.

I have figured they must now be around 8 weeks and there's at least some chance they can go in search of food. There are houses around in their area and I'm obviously keeping my fingers crossed.

This morning when I went around to search again and I DID suddenly hear a tiny kitten cry from further down the road. I don't think it's one of hers - it's only about 4 weeks old, but my, the state this poor kitten was in. It'd definitely been on it's own for a while. But more about that resuce over the weekend. But it did leave me feeling of a certain cycle of life - one cat dies and another gets a chance to live. But I will miss Little Grey so much... and again try to recover from the ineviteable "What ifs."

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dear God...

Please make your big people - the humans - take notice of the plea of my fellow brothers and sisters. 

Dear God, let not your big people turn their blind eye on the suffering of my brothers and sisters but let them clearly see and feel their need for help.

Dear God, please clear their hearts of fear and let empathy fill their every fiber.

Dear God, please let the big peoples hearts be filled with compassion and please
bestow upon them the ability to ACT when they see a little cat in need of help. 

Humbly one of your little people,
- a grateful rescuee

Yesterday afternoon(due to a heat wave) we sought refuge by the seaside. Having just arrived I suddenly felt the instinctive urge to turn around and drive back home. Luckily DH have come to respect my instinct and sure enough - as we arrived back to the car - a dying cat staggered towards me. Emaciated, very very sick, with a huge tummy and severely dehydrated  - her legs kept colapsing under her. Unearthly noices of a plea to please help kept coming out of her. I had no doubt this cat was dying and whilst I tried to bring her into a shaded area I asked DH to try and reach the emergency vet. To our greatest frustration it was impossible to reach anyone related to the veterinary practise. 

Whilst I sat with the cat trying to protect her from a loud barking dog, a hooting motorbike (regrettably we were in their way!) and many non-comprehending and slightly disapproving passers-by, my husband tried to reach some help. I felt very reluctant to move her really, but about 45 minuttes later - having been unable to reach the vet - we decided to bring her home and to keep trying to reach the vet. Half way home I suggested that we stop at a cat-friends home (to avoid a long bumpy road we'd otherwise need to travel with her). Luckily our cat-friend was home and she instantly went into "rescue-mode" calling upon the assistance of an otherwise dog-volunteer. For another 1 1/2 hour we did all we could to force-feed her some water and a bit of liquid cat food and to simply keep her cool. Finally we got through to the vet, and what felt like many agonising hours later we eventually got her the help she needed. We had of course hoped for some miracle at the vet - for some comforting words that she might have a chance of surviving if she was put on intravenous liquid and antibiotics,  but alas... The vet confirmed what I already knew - this poor girl was dying. There was a great chance that she could have a number of incurable bad or chronic diseases. So we decided to give this girl what she initially had ask me for - the help to put her out of her painful suffering. With the help of the vet she went quietly - and grateful I believe - that some human at least at this point took notice and helped her.

We felt sad and yet with a clean and clear conscience. This cat simply needed peace.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Healing balm in a tiny fur coat

After having popped Snowy to safety by the side of the road my husband waited around for a while to see if kitty mom would appear. It appeared there was no kitty mom around  - only another hostile hissing cat. Dear husband having been trained well (lol!) knew there was only one thing to do - to bring Snowy home to safety and proper care. Apparently it was a little easier said than done as the vet was closed for two days and this - at first - very skinny and sickly kitten wasn't eating. Upon receiving this image I soon realized that he wasn't eating because of his horribly stuffed nose. A sick cat with a stuffed nose can't smell the food and therefore loses interest in eating. So with the help of a local cat friend my husband managed to clean the horrible grunge around his little nose and he slowly began to eat a little. A little became more and more became a healthy appetite. He soon began putting on some weight, was put on an antibiotic treatment and the top and bottom image is the remarkable "result" I found upon returning home - just 10 days after his rescue.

So this little cute button has kept me great company whilst I had to sit still for a while and now he's got me on my feet - you've got to run fast with him around!!

Anyhow... just a huge nod to my dear husband. As he said; "I know what you would have done and there's no way I could have left him there on the road."

Saturday, June 9, 2012

"Life" is a miracle!

Quietly sat, recovering from surgery myself, there maybe couldn't be a more appropriate time to tell this wonderful miracle-sunshine-rescue-story of a teensy little girl named Zoe - and her sister named Irini. I seriously think it should have made international headlines - just such an uplifting story...

One morning a few weeks back upon one of my weekly visits to the vet I met a tired but very happy looking vet. Upon inquiring about the slightly tired look he told me about this amazing and quite dramatic operation he'd performed just the day before. A lovely Greek/German couple had come to the clinic with a couple of kittens they'd spotted on their holiday. They had decided that in spite of suffering from cat allergies themselves, that there was no way they could leave these little kittens behind (bless their hearts!!! - my kind of people). They wanted to give the kittens a health-check and had decided to find them a lasting home back in Germany.  

They'd already figured that it didn't look very good with one of the kittens. She was a lot smaller and suffered breathing difficulties and was limping. Upon examination it was discovered that she had suffered a diaphragmatic hernia which was serious and required immediate surgery. It being a not altogether inexpensive kind of surgery the young couple was left in some contradiction upon hearing the cost of the surgery. It was obvious it had blown their holiday budget way out of proportions. But yet again our amazing vet came to the rescue and offered to do the surgery for half the price - I'm pleased to say that he responds very well to kind-hearted people being one himself. 

The lovely young couple and their precious "cargo" in the background

In spite of it being a procedure that was also not without risks it was decided to instantly go ahead with the surgery to try and save Zoe's life. But... the vet soon found himself in the regrettable situation of Zoe going into cardiac arrest during sugergy! He started giving her heart massage but no matter how much he massaged she didn't respond. He kept going and at some point swapped with his colleague who then kept massaging her teensy heart. At some point - after 5 minutes of massaging - they even discussed whether to give up on her as there was an increasing risk of brain damage. At this point she was given a shot of adrenaline and they kept going with the heart massage. Then - suddenly and dramatically - Zoe took a massive gulp of air and started breathing on her own again! Utterly remarkably she could then be stitched back together and made a very rapid recovery. 

The top two images are from the very same day and the bottom images are from the very next morning. 

Upon hearing the amazing story of Zoe, yours truly obviously had to go and say hello to the little miracle. She was completely oblivious to her dramatic surgery and rescue and only seemed to have one thing on her mind; "Will someone PLEASE come to their senses and rescue me out of this cage and wiring."!! I of course was ready for instant adoption in spite of a more than full-to-the-brim house. Is she not the cutest thing EVER!?!??

I hadn't even been told in advance, but she'd even suffered a broken hind leg (poor baby!). You can see her limb leg in the top image. But what utter zest for life... no wonder she was named Zoe - the Greek word for life. Her sister is named Irini - the Greek word for freedom. I believe these two kittens couldn't have more fitting names. What a rare chance at living these two Greek kittens have received. Just take a look at them 2 1/2 weeks later in their new home in Germany in this gorgeous little video - just hot off the press. 

P.s. Zoe is the little greyish-white one - just so you can orientate yourself. There's no way you'd believe she'd suffered a cardiac arrest!!

Video by Christoph Biskup
Images courtecy M. Vorisis