Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hide and Seek Is Not For Sissies

Isadora (the cat I adopted two weeks ago) is not feeling well.

Turns out she has a “mouth issue”. Her gums are unbelievably inflamed and there is a large amount of tartar around her back teeth. She’s having dental surgery tomorrow so please send out some good thoughts.

I knew from the second or third day that something was up. Her breath was foul, she approached her food as though it was the enemy and she licked her lips a lot.

Her vet was hoping antibiotics would help but they didn’t. They did clear the situation enough for the vet to see how bad it is.

Gum disease is rare in a cat as young as Isadora but she was on the streets for the first few months of her life and was most likely malnourished.

Isadora has been to the vet three times since she came here and she’s not happy about that. She is incredibly fast and a very good hider.

After the second visit she didn’t want to have anything to do with me. I saw her with Siren and I’m sure he was telling her how you can never trust me if I go anywhere near the closet where the carrier is kept.

My sofa and loveseat are both recliners. The underneath is raised a bit more than a standard sofa/loveseat and there is a bar that forms a rectangle under the frame.

I once dropped the remote thru the cushions while reclined and it took me two hours to retrieve it. Imagine if the remote could move.

Her last appointment was this past Monday. I had not seen her for two days but I could hear her licking her lips and rustling about under the sofa. If I moved the sofa a bit she would scurry around the end table and under the loveseat – and on and on and on.

Sunday afternoon I moved as much of the living room furniture out of the room as I could. I lined the hall with tables and odds and ends and created an obstacle course for myself and a play land fantasy for Siren.

Isadora never moved.

Bear in mind that my left ankle is weak, my knees have joint issues and my right hip is riddled with torn muscles.

Once the center of the room was clear I pulled the sofa and loveseat as far away from the walls as possible. As I slowly, carefully pulled I could hear her moving along with it, all the while licking her lips. She was deeply nested in the well created by the iron bars.

This is one clever cat. My hopes of all the ruckus igniting her curiosity or fears were dashed.

I sat for a spell hoping for a miracle. Siren ran around the newly destroyed room sniffing and I’m sure telling Isadora to just stay put.

My worst fears were confirmed. I was going to have to go in – and under.

I eased myself onto the floor grunting and groaning like an aged Olympic curler trying to relive the glory days. My ankles screamed, my knees wailed and my back just plain gave up on me.

Siren was so concerned he climbed on top of me to make sure I was OK.

As I flailed about down there my leg hit the one table that was too heavy to move. The glass of ice water that I was sure was safe toppled and fell on the power strip that I was certain was not in the way.

Electrocution would have been so nice.

By this time it was night and I noticed that the room is really, really dark when the lamps aren’t there. I would have moved one back in but the power cord was soaking in water.

When I got back from Staples I mopped up the water and replaced the power cord. Siren was asleep, exhausted from the day’s excitement. I sat and listened – the licking was coming from the far end of the loveseat. The thought of going down there again was more than I could bear.

I climbed down my hallway and got the Swiffer from the linen closet. I closed off all the other rooms except the bathroom and returned to the living room wasteland. The licking had moved to the center of the sofa. I shoved the Swiffer under as far as possible and did a mad, deranged dance with it. The scurry sounds were what a gang of bats must sound like – I assume bats travel in gangs, why else would they wear black capes.

Finally Isadora came flying out and was shocked to see how much the landscape had changed. Siren came running from the other end of the hall. They crashed into each other and landed on one of the displaced tables.

I really didn’t like that lamp.

Siren glanced at me and ran for cover. He had seen that look before. Isadora tried to return to the living room just as I made the sickening realization that I had not moved the bookcase far enough out and could not close the door all the way. I grabbed a magazine rack and blocked the opening.

We did a bizarre lion tamer sort of dance down the hallway obstacle course and into the bathroom.

It was 3 AM.

Thankfully I had already set up the bathroom with bedding and litter and food and water. I dearly wanted a shower but really – even I’m not that insane.

Isadora has been living in the bathroom since. Siren gives me wide berth. The living room is sorta, kinda reassembled.

My reward is that at 7 AM tomorrow I know where Isadora is and will only need to crawl under the toilet tank once to get her out and into the carrier.

I have come to the realization that cats like Isadora find me – or we find each other. She had been in the shelter for over a year. The last few months were spent in the PetSmart Adoption Center window – where she slept in a corner while people noticed the kittens.

I walked by, she looked up, and it’s all good.

I simply want this …

To return to this …


Matt-Man said...

Well good luck to ya both. Cheers Di!!

Ron said...

OMG...I'm all faclempt reading this!

You deserve an Olympic Gold for this one. A perfect score!

But, I had to laugh at this...

..."I assume bats travel in gangs, why else would they wear black capes". are SO funny!

Oh sorry to hear about Isadora. So glad to hear you've got her in a place where you can easily get to when you take her to the vet tomorrow. Please know that I will send LOTS of "good energy" her way, dear lady!

{{{{{ Isadora }}}}}

X ya's

Linda said...

Oh my, you are to be admired. Poor Isadora, she must have had a wretched life on the streets, and a year in a shelter, god forbid.

I understand black cats are the hardest to adopt out. I've never understood that.

I once was appointed legal guardian for a woman who had lived in a homeless shelter 15 years. You get a little wackey in those kind of situations. Hopefully Isadora will come around as well as Jackie did.

Mrs. C said...

God seems to send you the tough cases, which is why He sent me into your life, too, I imagine. You are one of the most loving people I know. :)

I have heard that this is why they serve very bland mushy sorts of food at the homeless shelters. Many of the residents have dental issues from years of neglect and/or nutrition that wasn't the best. I am thankful to have excellent dental care and I eat well (ok, too well) and I still have "issues" and can't eat things like raw carrots or apples.

Daryl said...

Oh I am so so sorry for you both. I think you get the greater portion of my sympathy ... Isadora will be fine, eventually. Once her mouth is no longer hurting you will need to get her to eat again ... sort of like we did with Rose ... a small amount of baby food because its easy to swallow on your finger smushed into the roof of her mouth will get her 'primed' to trust eating will not make her hurt ... I promise it worked for Rose ... xoxo

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh My Lordy....What a Nightmare, Dianne. Poor you. Poor Isadora. I hope you are able to get her into the carrier....Nothing is easy, is it?
I wish you ALL Good Luck, my dear..I truly do.
I just had a thought: Maybe it would be easier, once you get her to the Vet for the Vet to keep her till her little mouth is better....! I know that can be costly, but maybe, in the long run, easier on everyone.

ellen abbott said...

It's a good thing you are determined.

bobbie said...

This is another reason I do not own a cat. You have my sympathy of course. Hope it all takes care of itself in the end - and soon!

Patti said...

Sorry you had such a difficult time, Dianne. I hope the vet visit goes well.

Poor Isadora, she doesn't know what it's like to be in a loving safe home. She has to get into the groove.

Jay said...

Poor little kitty.

And poor little Dianne. haha

An epic battle! But you won. I think. ;-)

Travis said...

She'll forgive you when she feels better.

Mr Tucker does NOT like to travel any distance. I have turned my bed over to get him out from under it, disassembled a chair to get to him, and cornered him under a staircase. I've taken him on a 2 day drive from LA to Washington State, and subjected him to repeated 2 hour trips to visit my folks so I can stay with them for longer than an overnight.

I've brought a couple of country gentlemen to invade his domain for two months.

And I have been forgiven all of these transgressions.

Linda Reeder said...

Told as only you can, bats in black capes and all. I had a mind movie going and it was exhausting!
Good luck with the vet trip, and best wished to Isadora.

ds said...

Forgive me for laughing (loud and often), but you told this so well, and it reminds me so much of trying to track down certain furry four-legged members of this household that I couldn't help myself...We had Mr. Man to the specialist vet today, in fact (he is allergic to EVERYTHING). He goes back in a couple of weeks for a new "protocol." "Protocol" means: throw out all of the (expensive) meds you are now using & start over with new (even more expensive)drugs. But we know they're worth it, and more, for that last photo you put up.

Best wishes to Isadora and to you!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I laughed a little since I know that was a PITA for you, but I've been there. Cats are excellent at hiding! The swiffer was a great idea. My cat hizzates cleaning apparatuses... vacuums, brooms, the swiffer, the mop... weird.

Scott Oglesby said...

My thoughts, prayers and good vibes are with Isadora! There’s no doubt about it; cats are freaking ninjas. I’m sorry but I couldn’t help but laugh (my ass off) at the mental image of you moving a room of furniture out of the way chasing down a cat. I totally ‘saw’ Rocky chasing that damn chicken……bwahahahaha. Sorry.

Dianne said...

matt-man- thanks, we need it

ron - thanks, we need the positive energy. I am so anxious that she has a chronic problem but I'm trying not to project.

linda - most shelter won't adopt out black cats around Halloween, they have been adopted as props and accessories and whims and then returned or abandoned
people suck
you're right - the black cats have been at the shelter the longest and the older they get they less people are interested

mrs c - you're right about dental issues and the homeless
plus bad teeth and gums cause so many other issues, including heart disease
I love that you were sent my way :)

daryl - I know you know exactly how this feels
especially right after Gus, just as it is now right after Mia
I can't stop crying this morning

old old lady of the hills - now that she's settled in the bathroom it's better
staying at the vet would cost a fortune

ellen - I am a loon on a mission ;)

bobbie - it ocurred to me I took on too much but who the hell expected this
they thought she was healthy
I'm just hoping it's a one time thing

patti - thanks! it is a matter of time and trust
I remember when I got Siren. the shelters all said he was unadoptable and would be killed
now look at him!! he's almost a mush LOL

jay - I think I won too!! Oy!

travis - I know she will, thanks
and hugs to Mr Tucker

linda - if I could have taped this I'd be a Youtube sensation ;)

ds - I love that you laughed!! I did
hugs to Mr Man

3 men/lady - they are such odd little creatures

scott - freaking ninjas is right!! perfect
I love that I made ya laugh
I hadn't thought of rocky and the chicken, now I can't stop
and the freakin' song is in my head too!

Arkansas Patti said...

Sorry, still laughing. Really a hoot to read about, not sure I'd want to live it.
I fed my cats, putting the food inside the carrier for a while to make it a more welcome place. They could enter and leave at will. Catching them is easy but does not make for such a fun post.

Smalltown RN said...

OH my goodness what a story...poor Isodora....I hope her surger goes well and that you get your house back in order...I guess you could call an early forced spring clean!

Good wishes to Isodora for a speedy recovery

Akelamalu said...

OH poor Isadora, I'll send her some Reiki. x

Bond said...

In the end you won...and as all have said, Isadora will forgive you when she no longer has a mouth that aches and when she can eat food without hurting.

I just wish we could find a way to make you feel better too.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I can just see you now all over the place! Sending some good vibes your way.

Shelly said... are one determined woman. I've been cranky about a broken furnace...thanks for the reality check my dear.
Bless you for your kindness and compassion with the Isadoras of the world.

Lu' said...

My heart most certainly goes out to both of you. Good thoughts Dianne good thoughts!

Lily Hydrangea said...

what we do for our animals gives me hope for mankind. Bless you both. I hope Isadora has a speedy recovery. I will say a prayer for you both.
: )

Mare said...

Reading about your adventures was a real hoot! Trying to capture the cat i"m sure wasn't funny for you. When she's better, and sitting in your lap or next to you, she will look at you and whisper a thank you with her eyes. You're a good person!!

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