A couple of weeks ago I was at work when one of my lovely rescue friends messaged me. Her gorgeous cat was an inpatient at her vets, and of course she’d been visiting him regularly. She’d seen an older stray cat there who had been brought in in quite a state about a week previously, and was apparently blind. Sadly, unclaimed, she was going to be put to sleep that afternoon.
Knowing that we’re full, and stressed, and that blind and poorly cats cost a lot to sort out, and aren’t going to be easy to rehome, I tried to focus on work and put her out of my mind ….
That strategy worked well ….. for about 20 seconds. After that I simply couldn’t concentrate on work thinking about poor little Gertie being eased to rainbow bridge just because no one was claiming her. Frantically googling for any useful information about blind cats in between appointments, and wondering how on earth we might be able to manage her … I took a leap of faith/hope/insanity and agreed to pick her up from the vets on my way home.
I’m not entirely sure what I had in mind when I went to collect her. People laugh at me for having a cat carrier in the car “just in case” …. but it pays off on occasions like these. I was kind of expecting a scruffy old lady ….. and could hardly believe it when they pointed to a very very pretty girlie. We arrived home and I set up a crate for her … wondering still if she would manage to find her food and litter tray.
It proved to be very little trouble to find her food, or her tray, or the cuddles that she obviously loved. The following day we went off to see Dr Clare. Poor Gertie walked round the consulting room in circles and eventually walked into the wall. Clare confirmed that one eye had a detached retina, the other lots of burst blood vessels … but her health otherwise apparently ok. Then came the surprise. We were told that this sort of blindness can be the result of high blood pressure …. and if it is, and it’s treated, some sight can be regained!
Gertie stayed overnight at the surgery to have her blood pressure checked. The White Coat Syndrome is very evident in cats, so we needed to allow her time to settle and then have her bp checked a few times the following day to get an accurate picture. Next day arrived, and so did the news that Gertie had a very high bp. She started on some medication. It always surprises me when cats and humans share their meds …. we’re really not such different species after all … human script for Istin … though cut into small pieces for feline.
The very day after Gert started the meds I thought I saw a difference in her eyes. Not such huge wide pupils. I thought it may be wishful thinking, or that I’d not remembered correctly how they’d been when she first arrived. However, we went back to see Dr Tim last week. He confirmed that her pupils were reacting to light and that the damage behind them didn’t look so bad.
We went away with a urine sample kit as part of the plan to establish whether it was primary hypertension, or whether there were underlying issues with her kidneys. Despite the fact that she’s done enormous projectile pees each time she’s been put in a cat carrier, she’s been reluctant to produce a sample at a time we’ve been available to take it to the vet/the vet has been open. We finally got it there on Friday evening, and are awaiting the results. Whatever they reveal, its clear that she’s able to see more than she could and that she doesn’t need to be in a crate any longer.