Monday, January 5, 2009
Daphne and Maggie
We have a new housemate! Maggie joined us the day before yesterday, and made herself right at home. Although she was rescued from the alley behind a hardware store, we think it's pretty obvious that at one time, she had a home and family. She loves being held, for example; it took me several years to convince Daphne, our other kitty, that letting herself be loved was a good thing. Speaking of Daph, she is not so happy about the new cat, but you know how that is, eh? Takes time.
As I had written before, Daph has been quite ill. We see that she is improving, but we also think she may have become permanently deaf, and also that her vision is very bad. We don't know how this happened. Since moving here, poor Daph has had one problem after the other.
First, she was attacked by fire ants (which are particularly bad in Raleigh these past several years, apparently), and may have been allergic to their bites. This caused her to avoid her litter box, and the smart girl decided the HVAC vent in the entryway was a better option (so I had to have the vent replaced).
We'd been using a flea collar, but read they're bad, so ordered some drops online. She developed what appeared to be acne on her chin, and got what we thought were earmites... At the same time, because she is a fearful feral kitty, going to the vet's is a seriously traumatic event, taking several days to recover from. That's why we'd ordered stuff online.
But finally, I took her in, only to find that despite the drops, she was crawling with fleas... and allergic to their bites, perhaps, and several other problems. Nearly $1,000 later, she still was not better.
Finding it unbearable to put her through the trauma of a vet visit in a car, we found a mobile vet, who used anesthesia to put her out, cleaning out her ears very well. Maybe too well.
Because from the time we brought her in, she never really did recover from the anesthetic. She had lost her balance, and was instantly this hyper-fearful, unbalanced kitty who refused to eat for more than a week. The doc kept her with her, hydrating her with subcutaneous fluid, and finally, brought her to us just 2 days before Christmas.
Before this had all happened, though, we had finally decided to find her a companion, so went to a wonderful shelter in the area. We had been waiting 'til Daph was well enough - feeling more sure of her home and her people - to bring home another cat, and so we finally did do that.
That's the saga, so far. Poor little Daphne - we hope so much that Maggie's presence will enliven (but not enrage) her, and that she will emerge from this horrible time all well, loved and with a long life ahead of her.