I had to bite the bullet with Gaia. Her breathing was getting seriously noisy and I was a bit concerned. The shelter had told me that, as well as the osteoarthritis that had precipitated the amputation of her leg, there was also an historic upper respiratory infection that had caused her some problems which meant that she snuffled and generally made a bit of noise.
“OK” I thought, “I’ll keep an ear on that”.
I noticed in the first few days that more snuffling and snorting came on whenever she was stressed and also when she did anything that involved more movement than shaking underneath the bed, for instance when she uses the litter tray. That bit almost sounded cute as it almost sounded as if she was talking to herself. The stress that I was causing, merely by coming into her vicinity was less cute however.
Over the last week or so I’d noticed that the noise was becoming more pronounced. Whether this was because she was getting more brave overnight and actually coming into my bedroom and therefore I was hearing more of it I wasn’t sure but there were a couple of nights when I really didn’t like the noises I was hearing and I decided that it was time to let my favourite vet take a look. Unfortunately, that meant having to lay my hands on her and get her into a carrier.
In the end, that didn’t prove too much of a problem – she did hiss at me but there were no claws in evidence and it was relatively trouble free. The look on her face, however, was a completely different matter. Nevertheless, I got her down there and Iain didn’t disappoint me – he was so utterly wonderful with her that my respect for him is now somewhere up in outer space (if not further). He was quiet, kind, didn’t hurry her, let her explore the surgery and then eventually I lifted her onto the table, where he examined her very gently, respectfully and patiently.
Other than keeping an ear on her, there’s nothing that can be done medically speaking. An old infection has compromised her airways slightly but she’s showing no real medical issues. She’s in good spirits and still rolling around and showing her belly to the other cats but, alas, my budding relationship with her has suffered from the vet visit somewhat. She’s back to running away from me 75% of the time so although we’re not back to where we were when she first arrived, we’ve definitely run backwards down the path.
I knew when I got her that it was going to be a long road although perhaps I am guilty of not fully realising just how long that road was going to be. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter – there’s no time limit on this and it will take as long as it takes for that dear little cat to realise that she’s in a home where she’s very much loved and will be taken care of for the rest of her natural life in as much comfort as I can provide.