New Family Addition

This is kind of a sad post, so you may not want to read it.

For the whole of our adult lives, we have cared for our sister, Emily, who was severely mentally and physically disabled. As her health declined over the last few years, this house has operated like a mini hospital, with someone on staff 24-hours every single day. When she died this last December, I’m not ashamed to say that we all became a little bereft, rattling around this big house, without any kind of clue as to what to do with ourselves. We threw ourselves into our stitching and did novel things that we have never been able to do before–like all of us go shopping or to the movies or out to dinner at the same time, instead of in shifts.

Well, apparently, the Man Upstairs took note of this, and two days ago he threw us a challenge.

I mentioned in my post the other day, that my sisters and I had spent most of the last couple weeks unloading the storage unit. What I neglected to mention was the little drama that occurred when I went to take Celia (the only one of my sisters who I don’t live with) home. On one of the back roads behind our house someone had hit a cat with their car. My sister and I were making ‘Poor thing’ noises as we started to pass it, which is about when the poor thing raised its head.

Needless to say, we made excellent time all the way to the 24-hour emergency vet.

Three hours, two x-rays and some blood tests later, the cat was determined to have a broken hip, a serious whack on the head that has caused total (temporary?) blindness and a bulging, swollen eye, and either from the impact of the car or the impact with the cement, he bit right through his tongue. He was admitted for 24-hour observation, hooked up to fluids and a catheter, and Celia spent the night at our house, where we took turns washing the blood out of our clothes and Laura’s car.

Late last night, with a list of medical instructions as long as my arm and enough pain killers to give a small horse a major case of the munchies, we brought the poor thing home. For the next six weeks, he’ll be confined to a kennel to give his hip the best chance for recovery. Because of how badly it was broken, he’ll need to be kept on a diet of soft foods and stool softeners for the remainder of his life, but he will recover. We won’t know until the head swelling goes down if he’ll ever regain his sight or if there might be brain damage–both of which we can deal with. Until the blood clears from his nasal cavity and the swelling in his tongue and jaw go down, he can’t close his mouth and we’ll have to feed and water him via syringe every couple hours. It’ll be at least two weeks and maybe longer before he can move enough to use a litter box on his own.

It sounds terrible, but the majority of these are temporary hardships. A blind cat can cope just fine, so long as you don’t alter his environment or move the furniture around. A cat with a limp will develop arthritis, but don’t we all–that can be managed and so can a special diet. All preliminary signs indicate this cat does have a chance for a good quality of life once he recovers from his injuries; so, we’re giving him the opportunity and the time he needs to fight for that chance.

Last night, we all slipped seamlessly back into being a hospital. I know how horrible this sounds, but it’s like having Em back again. She just sprouted fur, four legs and a tail.

Here he is. The newest addition to our family. Pardon our obscure sense of humor, but we have named him Road Rash.



12 Responses to New Family Addition

  1. Jeannine says:

    Bless you. You’re so wonderful to take care of this poor kitty. Best wishes for his speedy and complete recovery.

  2. KarenV says:

    It’s not a sad post, it’s an uplifting one šŸ™‚ How wonderful of you to help that poor cat and give him a chance – I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he makes a full recovery.

  3. Erica says:

    There is a special place in heaven for people who take care of animals!

    As for her being blind, not to worry! It may be that her sight will come back later.
    That is what happenned to my Gracie. She was hit by a car, had one eye hanging out, broke several ribs, smashed her jaw (they had to reconstruct it).
    They would up pulling several teeth.
    One week later she came home blind, but knew where she was and was able to find her way to the litter box.
    Several weeks later we noticed her turning her head. We realized that she was seeing out of one eye.
    Now she is a better mouser than any of my other cats, and has a very good life!
    It will take a lot of patience, but it is a very good thing you have done!

  4. Judy says:

    Hi Maren,

    I am typing this comment with my cat Phoebe curled
    up in my arms, purring her little heart out. Thus
    I can say with full and complete honesty regarding
    your new little patient, God Bless You and your
    sisters. He’s certainly already blessed that wee
    cat by allowing you to find him.

    I am so very sorry to hear about the passing of
    your sister in December, and am so touched and
    awed by the fact that you and your sisters looked
    after her for so long, and so well, during her
    life time. I don’t have to tell you that such
    love and devotion and sacrifice is a rare and
    precious thing.

    I hope that Road Rash (Roadie???) does make as
    full a recovery as possible and will regain at
    least some of his eyesight. My SIL had a blind
    cat named George and he was an absolute sweet-
    heart! He managed around her apartment just
    fine and was adored by all who knew him.

    I’ve been catching up on your blog and enjoying
    your writing, your stitching and your life
    experiences. The emptying of the storage facility
    and the contents of the boxes therein had me
    laughing. Don’t we all hoard stuff for years on
    end, and not in storage facilities either, and
    then wonder what the heck we were thinking.

    You sound like you come from a large family.
    How many of you are there, if I may ask?? I’m
    an only child and so find it fascinating, and am
    a bit envious too. You know how it is….


  5. NOT a sad post. Both a tender and funny post! And how wonderful that you all would do such a thing for the little scrap. And with all that love, who knows what may happen and how dear RR may respond?

  6. Annemarie says:

    Goodness, what a story, Maren. And I agree with the commenters above: not sad at all. I’m keeping the critter and your family in my thoughts.

    Now the reason I came here today is to ask you to send me your snail mail address, for the Nobody Loves Me chart? My e-mail addy is amcdevries AT gmail DOT com. Thanks!

  7. Siobhan says:

    Oh my gosh, I have tears in my eyes. I am so glad that you took Road Rash in, and I will say some prayers that he makes a speedy recovery. You’re a wonderful person to help a cat like that!

  8. Patti says:

    What a lovely thing you have done! I do hope poor RR makes a speedy recovery and bless you for offering him a second life rather than ending his first one.

  9. Margaret says:

    What a tender and heartwarming post Maren. To have lovingly cared for your sister must have often been difficult but also a blessing.

    Hope RR is on the mend very quickly and gives you much joy.

    Love your stitching projects. Don’t you just adore working on a mandela?

  10. Vee says:

    You and your family are truly a blessing to this kitty…Thanks for sharing your story/his story. He will recover with your help and a void has been filled…It’s all good.

  11. You and your sistera are amazing persons. I hope poor kitty gets well soon.

  12. Kathy says:

    Bless you for stepping up and taking care of the cat. You are special.

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