I dropped Caroline off at the vet hospital on Thursday as we headed out of town for a week and half long family vacation. They would continue her tube feedings and care until Monday when another volunteer could take her home after her feeding tube was out. I was nervous to leave her because I could tell she still didn’t feel good.
Caroline’s feeding tube was removed over the weekend-she had maintained her weight through the whole ordeal and her stitches seemed to be healing right on schedule. It was nice to finally get some good news about her prognosis! She spent the rest of the week at another foster home, where she met other kitties and, I’m told, had a great time. She was romping around playing with all the other cats as if she was a young kitten! I picked her up on Monday after we arrived home. It was so good to see her! The hole in her neck where the feeding tube was placed was healed. Her sneezing had significantly decreased. And I could feed her on a normal schedule! As sweet as she was for all those feedings during the night, I was incredibly happy to have a consistent night’s sleep again.
The only problem was that she was making a new noise-it was a mix of a cough and moving snot down her throat. It was a loud, horrifying sound. I suspected she might have caught another infection while she was boarded at the hospital. The vet prescribed an antibiotic, and also took a biopsy at her next follow-up a week later. The biopsy came back in a few days and showed no infection-just chronic rhinitis. We switched the antibiotic to steroids. A few days on the steroids and the sound was gone! Or at least I thought it was.
A few days after she was seemingly cured, I heard her making the noise again. I came into the room about an hour later to find a 7″ hairball mixed with freshly eaten food!! It was quite impressive as far as hairballs go. I began giving her Laxatone and Lacculose, hoping that would move the hair through her system. I wondered why all the sudden she was struggling with hairballs. And then it occurred to me-this is the first time since I’ve had her beginning in January that she was truly grooming herself! A lot more hair intake combined with her megacolon meant that hairballs were a natural side effect.
I am happy to report that Caroline has not made the awful noise or had a hairball in the last week! Her fur is growing back beautifully around her neck where it was shaved for her feeding tube. And now that she grooms herself, she has become a truly gorgeous cat. As soon as I get a decent photo of her, I will post it with a photo of her before and after surgery. It is truly impressive. It’s hard to get a good photo of her these days now that she’s romping around the foster room and playing with the other kitties and toys like she’s a kitten again!
I’m so glad this sweet girl finally feels GOOD. She’s been sick a very, very long time. I hope we can find her a family who truly deserves her. She has been through so much in just the past 8 months-and those are the only months we know about for this cat who is estimated between 9-12 years old! She deserves a family who is attentive, loving and aware of her special needs. Because of her need for a special adopter, she may be at our house for a longer time than most. But we’re both completely fine with that because she is sweet natured and nothing but grateful.
We love you Caroline, and we’re so happy we get to see you start a new, healthy chapter in your life!