As you may have read, about two weeks or so we found a cat near our house that was barely moving. In a desperate move to help him, we took him to the hospital where he stayed for many days. This cat was around 10 years old, weighted around 5 lbs., his body was covered in mange, his body temperature was abnormal, he was anemic, FIV positive, and he was dehydrated. This poor kitty was hit on every level as you can see/read.
At the beginning the doctor gave him 3 days (from Friday to Sunday) to recuperate or see some progress, but unfortunately the kitty didn’t respond to the treatment during those three days. Every time I called the hospital another day was added. On the 5th day (Tuesday of the new week) we went to visit the kitty, he was alive but didn’t move or opened his eyes; he was covered with a thermal blanket to keep his temperature since he was unable to do it by himself. The only time he opened his eyes was when the doctor tapped his head and opened his mouth, but still he wasn’t strong enough to fight the doctor [not that I wanted him to scratch the doctor or anything]. He still wasn’t eating much on his own; he ate only when they warmed his food and fed him, nor he was responding as the doctor had hoped. I was told to call the next day (Wednesday) by then my sister and I started talking about what was best for the kitty, and that meant to put him to sleep/down; although there was a tiny ray of hope as long as the doctor didn’t give us that choice there was still a chance the kitty could get better. The doctor told me to call him on Friday, he didn’t want to give up on Sleepy; he wasn’t lying when he told us he was going to bust his butt to help Sleepy the day we brought him to the hospital. Then Saturday came and he was going to stay another day.
Sunday came, 10 days had passed and we didn’t know what else to do or to think, money was not a problem as we were told that he, the doctor, was going to take care of the extra days. But what about kitty, was he going to get better, was he going to have a second chance in life, was he going to know what is to be in a warm home with food, not to look over his shoulder every time he goes out looking for food? I called on Sunday and was told that on Friday Sleepy got a bath, and that it looked like he was ready to go home on Monday, as long as the doctor gives his consent. I called on Monday at 3:30 p.m. and by 6:30 p.m. we were in the hospital waiting for Sleepy. When they called for Sleepy’s owner my heart started to beat faster, we were excited to see he was well and most of all alive.
The first thing I asked the nurse was ‘Is he friendly?’ we hadn’t thought about it this whole time. She said ‘He is –‘she paused for a moment ‘ then she continued : “A little bit with me, but so you know he might hiss at you. ’ That meant that we were going to have to work hard on gaining his trust and to avoid being bitten or scratched by him. The second question was ‘Is it a boy or girl?’ now it is confirmed it is a boy.
The nurse was right, after we took him out of his carrier he hissed at us and he continued to do so every time we got near him. But on Wednesday I took my chances and tried to scratch his head and chin, cats love that, I convinced myself. To my surprise he didn’t bite me or scratched me instead he closed his eyes and little by little started to purr. By Thursday he started to reach for our hands, it seems like he likes to be petted after all. However, it is no lie that this cat has and attitude, he gets annoyed pretty quickly and hisses at us if we take too long with his food. There is still a long way before he gets used to the company of humans and to trust or care about us but for now being able to pet him and show him that we care is more than what I hoped.
At the moment he looks like the Cheshire cat from Alice: Madness Returns, due to the mange he lost some of his fur and some parts were shaved like his tail as well as his belly. I also refer to him as Crusty because he still has some scabs on his head. Although we didn’t find him sleeping on the street we decided to name him Sleepy which is partially what he does lately. But his name is also a painful and a bittersweet reminder of the condition he was on that Friday afternoon and during these past 11 days at the hospital.