The house welcomed us with a strong smell of curry, and heavy drawn curtains.
Friend of a friend led us upstairs to the guest bedroom, beaming a large smile. On the bed sat the tiniest kitten I’ve ever seen, next to a little yellow ball. As soon as he saw us, he wobbled away to hide behind a pillow.
This guy found the lost kitten at the edge of a park. Despite searching for a while, he couldn’t find any other cats nearby, and there wasn’t a garden from which he could have escaped either. So he scooped him up, took him home, and intended to keep him. But his family said no.
They believed cats were bad luck.
They gave him a week to find someone else to look after the kitten. Otherwise, they were going to sell him on Gumtree.
I guess we came at the last minute.
Something was off
As soon as we were back in the car with this tiny creature and his yellow ball, I noticed something was wrong.
Both his eyes were tearing up heavily, and one eye was swollen and bulging out. When I pulled the skin on his cheek a little, I saw the eye was bloody where the white should be. He was shaky and fragile.
We called the vet and booked him an appointment on Monday.
In the meantime, there was a new home for him to explore, with plenty of fresh air in it.
At that time we’ve already had Rascal for about 2 months, and so we prepared a spare room for the new kitten to adjust in peace. We gave him some food, he gulped it up fast, and hiccuped badly afterwards. The hiccup looked awfully painful.
Until Monday, we all slept separately. I slept in the bedroom with Rascal and my boyfriend with the newbie next door. The kitten curled up to him and slept on his chest both nights.
This is how we approach all cat introductions. By giving both cats their own space, you offer them the chance to adjust to sharing their territory in peace.
We watched the new kitten closely all weekend and I was so relieved when Monday finally came. The swelling didn’t get better, and the eye was still bloodshot. Worse, by now the eye was badly protruding. His stomach couldn’t deal with his appetite very well. But at least we took the big appetite as a good sign.
He still smelled like stale curry.
When we finally heard my name called out in the vet’s waiting room, I sprinted across the room holding the fragile fluffy handful. On top of everything else, he’d now started to cough.
Of course he wasn’t wormed, and I knew from the guy he hadn’t had any vaccines either. The vet took care of all that, inspected the little shaky-tailed bundle, and explained he was probably the runt of his litter. That’s why he was so tiny and weak. She gave us some probiotics to clear up his stomach.
But she wasn’t sure about the eyes. It could have been an infection, or the protruding eye could have been a sign of abnormally high blood pressure. Which she thought likely – since the kitten was a runt, the probability of a serious health issue was high.
Because of the possible high blood pressure, she didn’t want to give us antibiotics and offered some eye drops instead.
This private veterinary practice didn’t have the equipment to check his blood pressure, or to do an advanced heart check. We were sent home with the drops.
I was petrified, but I knew I wasn’t going to let this go. I couldn’t let this brave little bundle down. So I started searching online.
And sometimes, the most extraordinary help comes when you expect it the least.
Love always wins
And they saved our little boy’s life.
To start with, they had all the right equipment to check his heart and blood condition. They immediately ran a series of tests and put him on proper medication. Within a few days, his eye was half the size, and the blood started clearing up.
He was finally able to come out of his room and meet Rascal.
Rascal instantly took over the role of the protective big brother. We watched as he gently washed his little face, then prompted him to a chase, and before we knew it, they were cat-wrestling as if they’ve known each other since birth. They are best buddies to this day, and can’t be without each other for more than a couple of hours. They’re brothers.
We named the brave boisterous bundle Isaac (as in Eye-saac).
He has the most beautiful eyes in the world. He is now healthy, athletic, and fit. He can jump to and from anywhere, always chases leaves and flies, and wants to play fetch with us all day.
And we will be forever grateful to the beyond-amazing team at Celia Hammond’s, for giving precious Isaac the chance to enjoy living his life.