I haven’t mentioned the chucks or Chea recently so I’ll bring you up to speed.
Flight, my grey chuck, has gone into the moult of all moults and is throwing out feathers like confetti. Her beautifully feathered bum is now just a bum, with nondescript feathering barely covering her modesty.
It is bitterly cold here at night, just now, so the heater has been sought from the greenhouse and placed in Flight and Little’s roosting half of the summerhouse. It doesn’t produce much heat, just prevents the water supply from freezing, and they seem to appreciate it. Little is not bothering to moult, she’s a Light Sussex and tough as old boots, and continues to do her thing – laying a large egg daily. Flight, obviously has to put her energy into producing new feathers and so is taking time out from her daily egg drop.
Chea has had some stupid intermittent cough thing for the last 4 weeks and, although she hates the vet visits with a vengeance, I did, finally, have to admit defeat and take her to see him. She yowls all the way there, sulks for England whilst being examined, burying her head under my armpit, and poohs in the carrier on the way home. Then, she won’t speak to either of us for twenty-four hours, possibly longer.
The vet looked about twelve and spoke of asthma in cats. Yeah right. He took her temperature and listened to her heart and lungs, remarked that ‘something’ didn’t sound quite right with her lungs’ and sent me off with antibiotics and steroids. Bloody brilliant. Oh, and charged me £52. Double bloody brilliant.
Three weeks later and the cat was exactly the same, except that she was more pissed-off than usual because I was having to ram two tablets down her throat every morning, one of them being a steroid tab which increased her already gargantuan appetite, and caused her to eat like a demented pig. At this point I decided that she had to go back to see the senior vet, whom I’ve known for some years. He also knows me and what a pain I am where my animals are concerned. It was decided that dear Chea would go in for an anaesthetic, x-rays and an endoscopy. Naturally this filled me with fear, concern and dread, and had me taking up residency in the loo.
I didn’t even dare look at her when I handed her over to the nurse. My last words were, ‘Chea is the most beautifully natured cat that you will ever come across. She has never spat, hissed, scratched or bitten, however, she HATES it here and therefore will not be showing you that character. She will be sulky and unhelpful.’
I couldn’t sit around waiting for news of Chea so I took myself off to the supermarket, where I absentmindedly filled the basket with items I never use and had no call for. I was just sorting through the strong onions and my mobile rang. It was the vet. And it was way too early.
‘Hi Gail,’ the vet said.
I knew he was trying to be cheerful to soften the blow.
‘Oh God,’ I said. ‘You’re too early. Is it bad news?’
‘No,’ he said. ‘I’ve got your lovely, sweet Chea on the table now.’
I didn’t detect the sarcasm.
‘We couldn’t get near her. I wanted to put the anaesthetic straight into her vein but she was totally wild and the nurses couldn’t get near her either, so we had to pin her in the basket and jab her in her back leg, through the basket. I wouldn’t have had a nurse left that wasn’t covered in wounds, otherwise’
‘Have you got the right cat?’ I said.
‘Oh yes …but you’ve not got a cat, Gail, you’ve got a tiger.’
A tiger? Chea? I did question again if he’d got the right cat and he assured me he had. Chea really is a sweetie – unless you are a robin fledgling (previous posts).
We collected her, wide-eyed and legless, choosing to get her home before she was fully round from the anaesthetic because I knew she would go ballistic if we left her to wake up fully and realise where she was – at the vets, AND in the cat carrier.
Once home she swayed her way to behind the sofa and wasn’t seen for a couple of hours. Eventually, she wobbled out and allowed me to shower apologetic kisses on her head and generally grovel until I could kneel and grovel no more. Around 7.00 in the evening she condescending to eat a little tuna.
The vet said that the x-rays were normal, with nothing nasty lurking. All the endoscopy revealed was a small ulcer on the larynx.
I am now giving her a steroid syrup on her food each morning and she has to go back next Tuesday. She is still coughing and frankly nothing has changed, unless you take into consideration my bank balance – that’s down by another £270.
The weird thing is, I can do absolutely anything to, and with, Chea. She trusts me completely. This I find humbling and lovely. To have an animal choose to trust you is something special in my book.
Take care my lovelies x