A couple of Saturdays ago I noticed a post on a rescue friend’s facebook page: “Urgent place needed for two elderly cats … more details to follow”. The details that followed were sad: an 18 year old with epilepsy and a 16 year old with a cataract … about to be made homeless as a result of their family’s own health issues. I couldn’t get them out of my mind. There was no way we could accomodate two elderly cats with health issues who were unlikely to be adopted. I still couldn’t get them out of my mind. We were full and the couple of people I mentioned them too reminded me of that, and pointed out how stressful it would be to have elderly poorly cats. I still couldn’t get them out of my mind.
I tried hard to ignore further posts about them, even when I was tagged. Even I could see that we wouldn’t be able to integrate two elderly poorly cats into the family, and even more so when I learned they were both tortie ladies! Then I learned that although the two cats tolerated each other they weren’t close .. and the situation was pretty desperate. After discussions we decided to offer a space to the older and more poorly of the pair in the hope that someone else would feel able to take the other.
It felt a bit of a risk because Zoltan would have to live in the main living area with the other cats a) because the private rooms were taken by Hollie and Timtam and b) because we couldn’t shut a cat with serious health issues away in a room on her own.
We set up the big dog crate in the lounge as we had done with Henderson when he first arrived, made it as comfortable as possible. We draped sheets over it for some privacy and so that introductions could be made fairy gradually, and last Saturday we went off to collect Zoltan and bring her home.
In the end she wasn’t in the crate long enough to even get round to taking a photo in there. The residents flocked round to have a look at her, and she looked at them. There was none of the usual hissing and grumbling with introductions. Whilst there were only a couple of other cats in the room, I let her have a little potter around. Rowan was very excited … he loves to make friends with everyone.
Zol tried out a few little sleeping spots on the rug but very soon spotted what has become her favourite space on the sofa.
I’ve never seen a cat settle in somewhere so fast. The photo above was taken less than 4 hours after she arrived here!
We set up nice raised bowls for her so she could eat and drink in comfort but the first night Rowan wanted her to come into the kitchen for tea with everyone else. He even let her share his bowl.
Easter Sunday was nice and sunny and we had the doors open whilst outside gardening. Thankful again to have a secure cat fenced garden because it meant that Zoltan was able to go outside into the sunshine briefly.
We were obviously anxious about her health issues. Unfortunately it hadn’t been possible to get a clear history of her epilepsy so we didn’t know what to expect in terms of frequency or severity of seizures or what might trigger them. It was a relief to get to the vet after the holiday and start to find out a bit more and make a plan for treatment. There are some things to be positive about: her basic health check was pretty good for an 18 year old, and her blood results revealed nothing very serious other than early stages of renal failure. Unfortunately of course, our vet couldn’t tell us how often she would have seizures so that’s a “wait and see”. She’s been quite twitchy on and off all week but late Friday night had the first full seizure that we’ve witnessed. She will be started on medication to help with this shortly.
It’s another steep leaning curve and we’re anticipating heartbreak along the way … but for now she’s happy and settling in with her new friends.