Wow, that was scary. I hardly know where to begin. Let’s start with Tuesday. I was sitting at the computer in the front room when I heard this distictive meow. I can’t really describe it, but it starts with a sound like a rolling r, like you do for Spanish/Mexican words, then ends with sort of a nasaly “eeeeeere” sound. It’s the sound Gunther always makes. Only it wasn’t Gunther. It was a stray we’ve named Scar because, well, you can guess why we named him Scar. Scar was quite obviously abused because it took several weeks before he’d let any of us near him, and even when he wouldn’t, he’d sit there and purr at us, like he wanted to trust but still wasn’t quite sure yet. He’s the most loving cat, to the point of being annoying about it, like doing the circle thing around my feet when I’m carrying one of the sleeping boys out to the car down the steps or something. Bless his heart. But, this isn’t about Scar. It was him making the noise, and that surprised me, and then I thought, “Hey, where is Gunther?” I just then realized I hadn’t seen him all morning. The kids were tucked in for a nap, and I went outside and did the calling and the kissing, and he didn’t come. It was a really nice day, and he should have been outside, not in the garage, but I called and kissed in there too. Still nothing. Then I got really worried.

There’s a staircase of about 3 or 4 steps leading up from our garage into our house. It’s open on the sides, and to help the kitties survive the winter, we’ve put a nice blanket under there so they don’t have to sleep on the concrete floor, and last winter we even got a little space heater for them too. I had parked a garden cart there where I had been keeping the firewood, so it was pretty hard to see under there to see if he was under there and maybe hurt or something. I managed to stick my head under there and called and kissed again, and there was nothing. This whole time Scar was on the steps looking down at the blanket and looking back at me and going back and forth. I ended up moving the cart out of the way and getting a lamp out of the house (couldn’t find the flashlight in my panic) and looked again. I saw a tail and a leg. And they weren’t moving. And with all that hollering and kissing I had been doing, I thought he was no longer with us. I remember running back in the house saying “No, no, no, no, no, no, no” and trying not to cry.

I panic-called Steve and asked if he could come home for lunch. I really thought he was gone, and knew I couldn’t handle finding out for sure by myself. I have to explain. This isn’t just any cat. We got him in FL when we were living in IL. We got him on a whim, and drove him back to IL with us in the car. He was so tiny he slept on Steve’s shoulder part of the time. I have pictures of my mom playing with him that Christmas, that would have been 92. She died in 94, and Gunther sort of is one of the last ties. You should have seen me when we had to trade in our Ford Escort wagon for the minivan. I cried like a baby; I didn’t want to give that car up, because that was the car I drove my mom to her chemo in. I could sit in the driver’s seat and look over and remember her sitting there. Same thing with Gunther. Every time, I see her when I see him. I know, I’m a little off.

Steve couldn’t come home for lunch but said he could be there around 4. After wandering around trying not to think about it, and convincing myself that it was better this way, that he probably just went to sleep the night before and never woke up, I thought, I need to just do this. It was around 2. I started to go into the garage, and there was Scar on the top step, and as I came out, he jumped down, and started to go under the steps and something growled. Scar jumped back. My heart leaped. It was Gunther, and he was alive. Hurt, but alive.

I managed to pull the blanket out of there, and he wasn’t moving his back legs. It was bad. He was just so limp and awful looking. To cut to the chase here a little, we ended up taking him to the vet after school, and they found a bite that had abcessed (sp?) and cut it to drain and gave him an antibiotic shot and me some more medicine to give him at home. He wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t drink, wouldn’t even meow. I actually entertained the thought, then immediately spanked myself, that maybe it would have been better for him if, well, you know.

The people at the vet were SO very nice. They even called back on Thursday to see how he was doing, and by then he was doing way better. He had eaten a little and drank a little and actually by Friday had started licking his wound, which he hadn’t before. I was concerned though, because there was now a lump on top of his spine above where the original abcess was, and I thought it was either a tumor or another abcess. So, I brought him in again this morning and they checked him out again and it was another abcess. They were clipping the hair and actually nicked the bite that had scabbed over already and it just started oozing out. So, they went ahead and opened it up better so it could drain easier and gave me some more medicine for him.

Tonight, he was eating and looked great. And he was pretty pissed off that I had to do the warm washcloth thing over the cut because it was starting to scab over. They said not to let it do that for a day or so, and if it started to scab, just to lay a really damp warm rag on it, and carefully soak the scab and gently sort of wipe it away and if needed, press down on the puffy part to get it oozing again.

Gunther, you go ahead and get pissed off. Growl at me, you can even scratch me or bite me. As long as you have enough energy to do that, I know you’re going to be ok.


2 Responses to “Whew!”

  1. 1 dorkyquilts March 2, 2008 at 3:21 am

    Sounds like Scar is looking out for Gunther. He’s in good hands all around. Speedy recovery to your little furry family member…

  2. 2 Kathy Sue March 3, 2008 at 10:16 am

    And they say cats only think of themselves! It is so cool that Scar persisted in telling you where Gunther was until you found him. We had a cat that was sick for 2 years until she got so bad she couldn’t jump onto the couch, then we sent her to Heaven. I knew it was way past time, but still cried like crazy. My daughter cried for days. Point is, you will not like it no matter when, and there’s no sense in pushing it if the animal seems to be happy.
    good health to Gunther.

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March 2008
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