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Arthur after surgeryIt’s April 19, and the waiting is awful. I rearrange my papers on my desk and then go wash the dishes. Anything to keep from worrying about Arthur, the 11-year-old blind Russian Blue I’m fostering, who is now undergoing eye surgery.

Yesterday, I took him to the vet, and he had bloodwork taken. I was told it was normal except his BUN (blood urea nitrogen) figures were high, suggesting that the kidneys may be compromised. He was put on IV liquids and fed a renal diet overnight. Some of my friends who do reiki, kindly sent him distant healing.

Today, I received the reassuring email that his bloodwork is normal! The IV fluids and reiki have helped.

An hour later, surgery is finished and is successful! I can finally relax.

The vet and techs are happy with how things are going.  Since the eye globes have been removed, and the eyelids closed, Arthur will no longer have to suffer the recurrent infections and discharge he typically gets with his non-functional and compromised eyeballs all his life.

They tell me that Arthur, now fully awake after surgery, is beginning to ask for cuddles and is purring, and checking out his bed. There is a normal amount of swelling which should reduce over the coming days, and almost no bruising. It went as well as could be expected.

April 20 afternoon. I return to the vet’s clinic. Before Arthur’s release, I’m ushered into one of the consulting rooms. Dave, one of the animal technicians, walks me through the medication regimen for Arthur: two antibiotics (one internal, the other a topical cream for his eyes), and a pain killer by mouth twice a day. I’m to put a warm cloth or compresses on his eyes a few times a day to help clean the area and comfort him.

Arthur in his soft bagDave brings in poor Arthur whose hair is shaved around his eyes and some of his whiskers are trimmed. We place him gingerly in the new soft carrier I brought, gently pushing the plastic Elizabethan collar cone he is wearing, inside it as well. Arthur is very quiet on the way back home, unlike his noisy trip to the vet a few days prior.

When I get him home to my bedroom, I release him. Arthur spends an hour smelling every nook and cranny to find what has changed in the two and a half days he has been away. His plastic collar scrapes against the floor and walls, and being somewhat drugged on the pain killer, it takes him longer to maneuver and decipher what he is sensing around him.

By bedtime I crush the antibiotic pill in his renal canned chicken stew and hold my breath. Will he eat it? Whew, he does! So, I put more stew in, with added probiotic and kidney support powder and he almost finishes his plate. I leave him again and this time he has figured out how to use his toilet (peeing) and I find him on the bed! This is an impressive feat, jumping with his bulky cone-collar!

Arthur on the bedIt is a rocky night. Arthur is restless, trying to get comfortable. He eventually settles down and snuggles under the covers (with his collar on) next to me, changing sides until it feels right.

April 21 morning. Arthur comes up from under the covers towards the pillows and rests his head against it for awhile.  I guess the warmth of someone nearby is especially comforting (for both foster person and cat!).

Later I try to wipe his bottom as he can't reach it, of course, being restricted with the cone. Despite his compromised situation, he is NOT impressed to be thus washed; after all, he still has his pride!

This night is a little better, and he settles in faster. I gradually let him into the rest of the main floor of the house. It seems to comfort him that it hasn't changed while he was away. Tired out from doing his rounds, he collapses into bed for much of the night, and we both sleep better.

Arthur receives the medications as instructed. He REALLY doesn't like the eye cream or the liquid pain medicine, so I have to scruff the gray cat to get these in. The compresses are more manageable, thankfully.

He is starting to shake his head and tries to dig at his eyes with his front feet (unsuccessfully due to the cone) so the area around the stitches must be healing and starting to get itchy. Arthur licks the inside of his cone diligently while he goes through the motions of his daily toilet routine, while putting his body in yoga positions. When he purrs, he drools onto the cone under his chin, so I must wipe it out regularly. He sometimes vigorously shakes his cone, and the drool goes flying. All part of the recovery process, I guess.

Arthur doesn’t have a bowel movement until the third day post-surgery. I continue to give a teaspoon of water in his food, since he doesn’t drink anything.  I also add pureed pumpkin in it, and he eats it reluctantly. Eventually he poops more regularly: every or other day, although it’s not always in his litter box. By choice, I wonder?

Arthur having a check up at the vets after surgeryDay 6, April 25, we’re back at the clinic for a checkup. Dave and another tech attend to Arthur. They are very pleased with the progress of Arthur’s healing and his stitches and said there was no inflammation. The eye cream has done its job, so now there is no need to administer it further. Same with the pain medication. What a relief not to have to give those anymore! They give him 100 ml of Sub-Q fluid and say it is typical that cats are constipated after surgery (due to the anaesthetic etc).  Sutures come out May 5, and his cone comes off May 6.

Arthur with his crinkle ball and coneArthur is demanding attention again. He regains his voice, chirping as he hunts and carries his crinkle ball to me, despite his cone.  The worst appears to be over!

Thank you to everyone for keeping him in your thoughts and prayers to help him get through the surgery and recovery. Now please pray that a permanent home will present for him once he has fully healed.

Stay tuned for the continuing saga of Arthur’s adventures!

Gloria Lauris

Ed: It is now June 2022 and Arthur is fully recovered, managing well and continues to wait for his furever home!

 

 

A Morning Kiss

A morning kiss, a discreet touch of his nose landing somewhere on the middle of my face.
Because his long white whiskers tickled, I began every day laughing.

Janet F Faure