Too often I see cats and kittens abandoned or left as strays because someone just didn't have time for them, or they became inconvenient. 

ScooterAt the present time, I have four cats, two that belonged to me and two strays that my neighbours left when they moved and left them behind.

One of the cats, Scooter, turned 18 on May 7, and I have had him since he was a kitten.  Scooter started out as one of a litter of kittens that they rescued from a blackberry thicket.  My vet gave him to me and within a week, he got very ill and had to return for treatment.  He spent the first month and a half of his life in the vet’s office fighting a bad virus that ended up killing all his litter mates.  Scooter is the only one that survived and he came back home with me at the age of two months.  He has had a happy 17 years of being spoiled rotten as an indoor kitty.

Last April, I noticed that he seemed to be acting strangely and would sometimes walk into things.  After blood tests, full body X-rays, etc., an astute vet asked me if his eyes were always dilated like they were when he was in the office.  I hadn't noticed, to tell you the truth, but the vet said he would like to check his blood pressure.

He got out a tiny little blood pressure cuff and checked it on Scooter's tail.  It came back extremely high, so we had our answer.  They put him on blood pressure medication, but because it had been high for a while, the blood vessels in his eyes had burst and he was 85% blind.

I now had a special needs cat, although he seemed to adjust well as long as I didn't move things in the house too much.

ScooterAbout a month ago, I noticed that he was struggling again, so I took him back in for another blood pressure check.  Even with the medication, it was again high and it took the rest of his eyesight.  We raised the amount of medication he is taking and he is doing well.  We will celebrate his 18th birthday this coming Saturday.

Having a special needs cat is more time consuming and a lot of people I know keep asking why I don't just put him down.  I will never do that until I see that he is suffering or in pain.  When I got him, I got him for life, and that will never change!

Cat owners out there -- please pay close attention to your cat’s eyes.  If they are consistently dilated, get the cat checked as soon as possible!

His eyesight may depend on your quick intervention.  And even if he loses it, love him and take care of him FOR LIFE!

Karen Koch 

This appeared in Petwarmers on 5th May 2011 and Karen gave me her kind permission  to put it on the website.


Dogs Come when Called

"Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you."

"Of course, every cat is really the most beautiful woman in the room."

Edward Verrall Luca (essayist)

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