Earlier this year, I started an online fundraiser for getting some help for Igor's surgery that was supposed to happen in first week of April this year. I just wanted to write this blog as a gratitude to thank everyone who helped me by donating and to put out how it went and how me and Igor dealt with the situation.
Igor was in a lot of pain, when the vet suggested to perform a Femoral Head Ostectomy on him.
A FHO restores mobility to the hip by removing the head of the femur. This removes the ball of the ball-and-socket joint, leaving just an empty socket. The muscles of the leg will initially hold the femur in place and over time, scar tissue will form between the acetabulum and the femur to provide cushioning that is referred to as a 'false joint'. Although this joint is anatomically very different from a normal hip joint, it provides pain-free mobility in most cases. Without the surgery, his situation would have worsened gradually.
On 9th April, I got him in the car early morning as we had to leave for Newcastle from Port Macquarie and got him admitted by 9 AM. I had to bid farewell to Thor who was getting anxious about Igor leaving with me. It was a 2 and half hours drive. Igor was quiet the whole way. I kept patting his head, caressing the back of his head just to let him know that he's going to be fine. He didn't respond the way he usually does and kept staring out of the window, in the vicinity.
As we reached the vet's clinic, I picked him up and walked in. They were getting the paperwork ready meanwhile the doctor explained to me the details of the surgery procedure. Igor was very calm, unlike his regular self. He was not hissing at all when the doctors picked him up.
The vet gave him anesthetic and in couple of seconds I saw him dozing off. I was scared, the overwhelming emotions took upon me. It felt as if they are taking away a part of me.
Anyone with a pet might be able to understand what I felt at the moment. Once you start caring for them, you can not undo it.
They seem like family, away from family.
For me, it is a ethereal bond, something that gives me a sense of home.
While I am here all by myself, my cats are all I have. Most of the days, when I am under the weather or I am depressed, they extend their love for me by mere gestures. They curl up on my feet and rub their head on my legs. In a moment of distress, mere feelings are enough to pull you out of the turmoil. Love is a feeling which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
I live in a 2 bedroom flat so they can roam around the whole flat but when I am home they always keep me company by being by my side no matter what, they never let me feel alone. The unconditional love they have for me fills my heart with pleasure. Even at night, both of them sleep in my room with me and stay there till morning when I wake up and leave my room.
The surgeon told me that he will get additional X-rays done before the surgery to show me the problem with him I still hadn't viewed the CT Scan reports. I was just explained the report over a telephonic conversation and was asked to book the surgery. Finally when the vet showed me the X-rays, it hit me hard. I thought it must be something similar to having a fracture but when I saw that both of his thigh bones were centimeters apart from his hip joint. I couldn't even imagine the extent of pain he must have gone through, all those months when I was trying to save money to get his CT Scan done. Now some of my friends might think it was crazy of me to spend $2000 on a cat, and honestly at that point, I could not afford it. It was hurting me to see him hurt while no meds were helping him with the pain. I was restless looking at him limping. That's when I decided to raise funds through the online communities and I started a fundraiser. A lot of helping hands were extended and I finally was able to book the surgery.
I left the clinic to pass the time as the vet told me to come back at around 3 PM to pick him up. I spent whole day trying to figure out ways to help him after his surgery.
At that phase, I was trying hard to maintain a balance between my expenses while switching jobs and my regular medications. It was hard for me to keep track of everything but I made my mind to give him my undiverted attention during the time he recovers. Later that noon, when I went back to pick him up the nurse got him out in a cage. I looked at him and he looked so weary and tired. I picked him up and got him in the car seat. His surgery wounds were fresh on both sides. It broke my heart to see him so weak.
I started to drive back to Port so he could have some rest but unfortunately there was an accident on the highway which caused a huge traffic jam and for the journey which should have taken no more than 2 and half hours to get back, it took us more than 4 hours.
While we were in the jam, Igor was getting so restless and it was making me anxious how he must be dealing with so much pain. It was getting dark as it started to rain. There was silence in the car, just the sound of the rain hitting my car roof, and the sound of my vipers sliding across my windshield. I tried to pat his head, make him feel comfortable.
We somehow reached home where I found Thor, waiting for us so desperately. My small family was complete again. I got him all set up in the spare room with warm bed and blankets and arranged for his litter. For the first couple of days I used to pick him up to get him to the litter box and food and water but after a couple of days he started walking on his own. I kept in touch with the vet and kept giving him his meds and in a months time he was healthy as a horse!
He was back to the happy loving Igor and not being cranky anymore. Now when I see him running or playing, it gives me immense joy. My heart goes out to the kind people who understood my pain and helped me by donating to the fundraiser.
When I reflect back at this event, I learned a lot of things from it. I learnt how to care for someone who is not able to express his pain by words, like us humans. I learnt that I was not alone. I was surrounded by so many kind people online who are always willing to help. I learnt that animals have an unreal ambition to endure the situations and to survive. At times, I wonder how animals can be so resilient and strong. Just like us humans, life can throw anything at them and they come out fine from the other end of it, still wagging that cute tail.
As humans, we should learn the will to survive from animals and I am sure people like me who feel lost some days and want to end the struggle will find some strength to carry on and find that will to survive anything.
I do the same.
I hope you do too.