Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cat-astrophe

Anyone who has had children or pets knows that the simple truth of travel, “If some illness will come upon you, you will be miles from your family doctor,” also may be expressed in its holiday form. After all, what completes a long-awaited celebration and houseful of breakfast guests more perfectly than a series of frantic phone calls to an emergency service and a visit to a 24-hour pharmacy?

I had stumbled downstairs in the darkness of an early winter morning, briefly stopping to lay out food for the cats, upstairs, before quietly emerging to start the holiday breakfast. The five furry bodies in our bedroom, nothing more than five dark blotches against a light rug, swarming around their kibble in the pre-dawn light.
I had touched each for a moment, tousled their hair, and left.

Only after breakfast, and in daylight, did I return to check them more properly before beginning the rest of my day. And found Lily, apart from the others, her face tilted down, and away.
As she tentatively turned to look up at me, I saw only one eye, golden and round, as it should be--the other, barely there, peeking from deep within its socket, while plump folds of pink filled most of the rounded space. She fussed and fussed at it with one paw, rubbing the soft pink, unable to see beyond the puffiness--
and hissed
and yowled.

“How quickly can you get her here,” came the welcome response from my third attempt to connect with something other than a recorded holiday message. And, minutes later, cat box in tow, we arrived on the doorstep of an animal hospital, the vet inside just finishing rounds before closing early for the afternoon.

She flushed it and peeked into the pink—to discover what appeared to be an uninjured eyeball, hiding behind an allergic response of Lily’s third eyelid, the angry membrane badly swollen from her repeated rubbing and fussing.
With orders for steroids and instructions for several days’ eyedrops, we headed home.

On this balmy December day, Lily sits in her favorite spot on the front porch, eyes already much brighter.
Focused on the world below.
She glances sideways at me as I sit watching her heal, two round golden eyes very thankful—
of the miracles of modern medicine
and those who practice it with passion.


Lily on front porch, looking down

Lily

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30 comments:

Lynne said...

Thank God for compassionate vets who care for our animals in ways that we cannot. Glad Lily's peeper will be OK.

Cicero Sings said...

So glad all is well! Poor Lily.

bobbie said...

I'm so glad it worked out. and what lovely pictures of her!

Cynthia said...

We had our own trouble with pets this holiday. The year old puppies chewed the fuel line under the car. Three of them were poisoned, and our dramatic black-faced Elizabeth died. I had never heard of this problem before. Why do they like gas?

dAwN said...

I am so happy your kitty is ok. I know how heartbreaking it is to have a sick fur baby.

Mary said...

Children and pets always keep us on our toes, especially on a holiday. I'm glad she'll be OK. Now I wonder, how did the Bacon enjoy the kitties?

Mary

Heather said...

Awwww, poor kitty. I'm glad you were able to get quick treatment for her. I hope she continues to heal.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

I know you are greatly relieved to know that she's going to be OK! What a scare! Sending warmest thoughts for a rapid healing of your kitty's eye.

Deborah Godin said...

Thank goodness for a such an accomodating vet and a happy ending! What a little darlin'!

KGMom said...

Awww--poor Lily.
Actually, I saw your blog title, and went--GULP--knowing you have had bad news in the past.
But, it sounds like this episode is turning out well. Certainly hope that Lily keeps healing, and that things will be looking up--Lily too!

TSannie said...

A good Christmas ending for Miss Lily - lovely!
She's a dear.

letspaintnature.com said...

I hope Lily makes a speedy recovery! It's so heartbreaking to see an animal in distress, especially when they give you so much love!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You are lucky indeed that you have a vet service that will see you on saturday. Around here you have to drive 1 hour to get to such a service. I am glad to hear Lily is ok now.

Jayne said...

Glad you were able to find someone to see poor Lily and glad to hear she's feeling better. :c)

Kallen305 said...

Glad to hear Lilly is ok. It breaks my heart when my fur babies are sick.

kks said...

i work in critical care/emergency animal medicine...love it! so glad Lilly is ok!

i beati said...

bless all of you sandy

babooshka said...

Greeting to poor miss Lily.

Wren said...

So glad we have a happy ending to this story.

NCmountainwoman said...

So glad Lily's problem will resolve. Hooray for veterinarians!

Old Lady Lincoln said...

Glad you were able to find help for Lily and she's on the mend.

Pam said...

Glad Lily is getting better. We had our own traumas on Christmas day. A wire broke on my daughter's tooth,at around the same time her cousin slipped and fell heavily on the floor (blaming turkey grease!). Today being Monday, my daughter should be able to get into a dentist. Waiting to hear from her. The cousin is O.K. Best wishes for Lily's full recovery and gold star for the vet.

Larry D said...

Glad it worked out for Miss Lilly.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Oh, a kiss to poor Lily girl. The Bacon had icky pinkeye and I cheated, using the same antibiotic drops I use on the kids. Worked, too.

I'll answer Mary's question: The Bacon never met the kittehs,because they live in a different part of the house than he was in, but he made the acquaintance of quite a few squirtles and chiptymunks!

I love how you wrote this up.

J.Z.

Larry Jordan said...

Hi Nina, glad to hear that Lily is OK. I don't know about far from home but I know pets always get sick on the weekends. It never fails!

Lily looks right at home and very comfortable now, recovering on her own porch. Have a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Carolyn H said...

Nina,

I had a time of perhaps 7-8 years, where, if it was a holiday, I could count on some kind of cat-astrophe. Perhaps one got an injury, perhaps a cold, perhaps some illness that suddenly made me feel I couldn't wait another day. All I know is that if it was Memorial Day or July 4 or Thanksgiving or Labor Day, I was at the emergency vet. Thank heaven, that cycle is broken now.

Carolyn H.

dguzman said...

So glad she's okay! And that your vet is so kind. I love it when you find a doctor who really cares, no matter what time or day it is.

KatDoc said...

On behalf of veterinarians everywhere, we accept your thanks and appreciation for what we do.

Glad Lily is doing better.

(You know you can always call me, right?)

~Kathi

Misty Dawn said...

Yes, thank God for compassionate vets!

I'm SO glad she is OK and doing better... As I was reading, I kept hoping and thinking "Oh please let her be ok."

Kathiesbirds said...

What a way to start the holiday! So glad Lily is recovering. I hope you are as well!