The article ‘The Squirrel and a Soldier’ brought home some true feelings about abandoned animals. Smudge has just undergone his second operation! He is at home today as I write this with stitches across where his right eye should be.

The operation was scheduled for last week, but our Vet explained that he would prefer a Vet in a nearby village, who is a specialist in eye problems in animals, look at him. Although we hadn’t given Smudge any breakfast as we thought he was about to have an operation; R with our Vet (Vet A) and Smudge went off to see another Vet (Vet L). She is a Belgian lady, married to a French farmer, who grew up in Hong Kong! (She sounds a little confused like I am!) She asked if she could talk to R in English, as she doesn’t get a chance to practice :) ! This was fabulous as it meant that there were no translation challenges with understanding the problems and concerns. Vet L gave him a local anaesthetic and then looked around his missing eye. She gained an understanding of the problem. As we were still having problems with the infection in his mouth, she had quick look at his mouth too. It was organised for him to be operated on yesterday.

R took him down yesterday morning and left him at the Surgery. Unlike his previous visits and operation, R wasn’t able to be with him until he had his anaesthetic. Unbeknown to us, Vet L had been called out on an emergency to a farm, and although our own vet, Vet A was going to assist in the operation, he had also been called out to a farm emergency. The operation was then delayed, but Vet L called us at lunchtime – the operation was over! He had come through it and was just starting to come round. She confirmed that R could go and collect him at 5:30pm. For a village that is ten minutes away, they didn’t get back home until nearly 6:30pm.

No the worst hadn’t happened … it was just that she had a queue of people still waiting to see her and she wanted to spend some time with R to explain the details. She had found that his eye was perfectly formed with one exception – the eyeball! She had found what she thought was his unformed eyeball. She also had some time, so cleaned his teeth. In doing so, she not only found that he already had missing teeth, she gave him two injections into his gums – one on either side at the back of his mouth. A third injection was given for antibiotics (for his eye) and a pain-killer. Wow!

R brought him home and let him out of his cat box. Although a little drowsy still he walked around investigating as though he didn’t know where he was – jumped at every sound – ran away from us when we approached him. Such a different effect as a result of this anaesthetic from the last time … When we thought about it, we realised that being put into a cage while she was away with her emergency brought back all the fears of being abandoned.

After a small dinner and loads of water, he began to settle down. Then R dropped the bombshell …

The infection was a contagious one and we needed to check that the other two cats had been protected against it! An infection that would never clear! He would always be a carrier. We will probably need to organise the two injections and have his teeth cleaned twice a year for the rest of his life.

Off to our vet, Vet A, R went this morning! Good news … the other two cats are protected. Another appointment booked to have Smudge’s stitches taken out.

The statement at the end of The Squirrel and a Soldier said:

To the world you are just one more rescue person.
To a rescued pet, you are the world.
“Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.”

This morning after R came back from another trip to the vet, he called Smudge, who for the first time ever, got off his centrally heated piece of marble, jumped down, trotted over and jumped up onto R’s lap. Lay down and started to purr!

Three and a half months after we found him at the bottom of the steps (Our Smudge!), as we take each step (Purring!), it truly feels as we’ve turned yet another corner!

© 2013 Barbara J. Cormack
First published under Cormack’s Capers in Magna Intuitum