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Thursday, January 28, 2010

She Lives.


You saw The Cone of Shame. It didn't end there. By night, she was sicker'n a dog. But it wasn't funny. She only wore the cone for the first day- because after that, she was too weak to lift her head. Our ultra-active, sharp-as-a-tack, loving, mink-soft Bella was laid flat, fur matted down, in horrible pain, and dying.
The pain of the open wound and infection almost licked her.
This Mama grew up on a farm. She's seen a lot of dying animals. And she- wait, I'll start referring to myself in first person again- And I- I knew this was it. She would either make it through the night, or be gone. I hoped we had gotten the antibiotics we needed in time.
I got serious with Grace, talking alone with her about what was happening. I explained what had made Bella so sick, what was happening to her body- too weak to sit up, eat, swallow water, so weak her body was shutting down- and everything she needed to know to be prepared just in case, and to be prepared to help fix it.
And so on the floor of our bedroom she prayed over her kitty and we got very serious about doing all we could to make her get better. We poured water down her throat- have you done this to a cat? Pleasant. But 4 hours later, she lifted her head. And the next morning, she was able to eat small amounts of food again- softened pieces, one at a time. All three girls took charge of feeding her, and getting her strong again.
She spent 5 days like this, swaddled in her favorite green blanket, alone on the floor of our bedroom away from the busy house, sleeping and taking all the love and care she could stand. And some that she couldn't stand, but we had to do anyway. I had to take her to the litter box, because she couldn't stand up, and definitely couldn't walk. This loss of dignity is very tough on a cat. She hated and loved me for it. We brushed her fur gently because she couldn't groom herself and cats can't stand to be messy. Penny kept her face clean. We did it all. We saw a little more brightness in her eyes, a little more eagerness to eat every day. By Friday, she stood up for the first time since Tuesday night.
It was a victory.
And finally, on Tuesday, the course of antibiotics almost finished, she got up- to choose to lay in the sun and watch the birds with Penny. She still rested all day, but didn't sleep as much. And she took her own furry booty to the box. And she took the initiative to find her food and water. And she gave herself a bath.
And on Wednesday morning, she played. Grace was thrilled. "Mommy, now I know she's getting better for good, because she played with me." Cat + Ribbon From Egg Carton + Playful Banter= Thrilled Six Year Old.
And Relieved Mother.
And Happy Cat.
And Patie, Lily and Hudson were happy too- and so was Jim. But Grace is my deep thinker. My brooder, my feelings-deep-down girl. This stuff hits her hard. And gives her passion to do what it takes.

Bella Lives.

4 comments:

Danielle said...

Aw, so glad she's okay! What a sweet kitty she is.

Our cat Cuddles had a leg issue the week I gave birth to my boys. Not a life threatening illness, but we had to bring the litter box to her because she couldn't get up/down stairs and was in pain. Let me tell you, it wasn't fun. You know how much you love your animals when put to the test!

Tammy said...

Poor kitty! She went through a lot. Glad she is doing better. Sounds like she is part of pretty wonderful family:)

Farm Fresh Jessica said...

I'm so glad!

Katie said...

The first picture is beautiful!!