Pet Tips 'n' Tales

Blind and Deaf Cat Leads a "Normal" Life.

Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Meet a survivor!  Alvin was found critically injured alongside the freeway by the road crew.  Assuming he was dead, they picked him up for "disposal" and were startled when he quietly meowed. Alvin, now blind and deaf, found a very caring home with a Cottage Grove couple.

TALES

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the
courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."


The oft-quoted Serenity prayer must have been the silent prayer of Sharon's and Bob's daughter, Dr. Kim, and her husband, Dr. Steve, both veterinarians, (who live 1- hours north in Lebanon, Oregon) regarding the following incident:

It began one afternoon when Dr. Steve was at the clinic.  A Highway Department crew arrived with a badly injured cat who was barley clinging to life.  They had found the cat on the side of the highway. From the extent of it's injuries, they assumed it was dead.  Upon picking up the cat for disposal, they were startled when it quietly meowed.  That meow saved the cat's life, as the cat

was subsequently "disposed" to the closest pet hospital.

Dr. Steve took one look at the male cat, and he, too, did not think that it would survive given the extent of his injuries.  Putting it delicately, the cat's face was smooshed, his jaw was torn into little pieces, part of his tongue was missing, and his eyes were popped out. No wonder the road crew thought he was a goner. His pain must have been horrific.  A vehicle had hit him and the driver never stopped to offer help.  Pain is pain in all species; a broken leg is a broken leg and the same pain in a human, mouse, elk, cat or dog!

Every time Dr. Steve walked by the cat, resting in its cage, he administered medical treatment to help it, hoping for a response over and above the initial quiet "Meow" heard by the road crew. Miraculously, the cat did respond, and continued to do so with each "administration". With hope leading the way, Dr. Steve went ahead and performed three operations to repair the cat's, (since named Alvin), face.  One of Alvin's eyes was badly damaged and had to be surgically removed. Finally, after weeks of pampering and healing, Dr. Steve had to make the decision that if Alvin could not eat by himself, the humane thing to do would be to euthanize him.

No one ever claimed Alvin, and by now, the entire staff had fallen in love with this brave and young cat. 

"Well, Alvin must have heard Dr. Steve's ultimatum," said Bob, "The next morning, the veterinary  technician saw him eating.  She excitedly called out to the entire clinic, 'He's eating!'  Alvin' is so blind that you can wave a hand in front of his face and he wont flinch, and he is quite deaf but his "purr-sonality" is 100% intact.

For two months, Sharon and I had been hearing about Alvin's healing journey over the phone via our daughter. They had taken Alvin home to nurse him full time. When we visited her home and first laid eyes on Alvin, I knew that my wife would not be leaving the house without him!  I was right; after 46 years of marriage, you pretty much figure some things out!

Alvin is 3-4 years old and we have had him a year now. He may be blind, but he figures out where things are.  He is a very intelligent cat with an incredible memory. If he runs into something once, it wont happen again.

Alvin has his own radar system, his whiskers, which get him through life. He will walk through the dining room, into the kitchen, and turn left, exactly at his food bowl.  He has never once walked into a wall.

We did not show Alvin the cat door, he discovered it on his own.  He goes out the cat door, lays on the porch in the sun, and then comes back in for a snack in between naps.

We can trace where Alvin walks, because he leaves fur like Hansel and Gretel left bread crumbs! So, Sharon and I groom him regularly.

Because of Alvin's facial injuries, we have to wipe his face after he eats, and especially after he drink-drools.  It is more like he drowns instead of drinking.  To alert us that he needs cleaning, he comes over and reaches up to us with his paws for us to dry him off.  Either he does not like the feeling of being wet, or else he just likes being able to be the boss of us! Our job is to take care of him, pet him, and enjoy watching him excel at cat napping.  Alvin has the world figured out, some people should be so smart," laughs Bob.

"Alvin curls up next to us when we read or watch TV," said Sharon.  "He is gentle, a real sweetie-pie, and we enjoy his company."

A Canadian veterinarian told Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe", "If you want a good family cat get an orange one, there is something remarkable about them."  His advice must be right...just ask Sharon and Bob.


TIPS

Carry a dog leash; pet kibble; and a tarp or a large garbage sack to use as a stretcher, in the trunk of your car.  When you see an injured animal stop to offer them help.

Microfiber cloths act very much like a cat's tongue.  Rub a wet cloth over a pet and the cloth lifts up a lot of the debris and dirt.  Rubbing a wet pet down with a dry micro fiber cloth is the fastest way to dry it after a bath, a swim in the lake, or an Oregonian rainstorm.

The Furminator is a special grooming comb available at pet supply/farming stores to rid pets of excessive shedding fur.  It cuts down the fur floating in your home up to 80%!  The Furminator helps prevent unhealthy fur balls from forming in your cat's digestive system.  Dogs love being combed with the Furminator, where as cats, being cats...tolerate it!

Veterinarian clinics appreciate donations for cases similar to Alvin's.  Ask clinics close to you if you can contribute to their pet emergency funds or neuter/ spay programs.
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