Opinion

Ark Animal Sanctuary – Week of November 25, 2019

I would like to tell you about Silver. She is a petite little grey cat who has the misfortune of having feline AIDS.

Silver came from a feral cat colony here in town. She was trapped with all good intentions of releasing her back once she was spayed. When she tested positive for AIDS we knew releasing her back was not possible. Silver is a long time resident at the Ark. She is feral and doesn’t like being touched or handled by humans. 

A few years ago she had to go to the vet for a full dental extraction. That whole ordeal traumatized her and she became more invasive. A couple of weeks ago I noticed she was acting very lethargic and not eating very well. So the plan of capture was put in motion so we could take her to the vet. I will tell you there was nothing easy about this whole process. With feral cats you throw caution to the wind and go with whatever works. That day a big blanket  worked. I cornered her and then I was able to pick her up once I put the blanket over her. This was too easy so that right there told me she didn’t feel well.

 Once at the vet they were really limited to what they could do, short of putting her under so they could work on her and we really didn’t want to do that. They hydrated her, gave her an appetite stimulant and a shot of antibiotics, hoping that would work. 

We knew we couldn’t pill her and we also couldn’t put meds in her food because she wasn’t eating. So we returned home and hoped for the best. Three days went by and she still wasn’t eating and the shot didn’t appear to be working, she showed no signs of improvement. 

At this point I didn’t see any other alternatives she had to eat or she would die. I came up with the idea that I was going to force feed her, I wasn’t exactly sure how that was going to happen, but I was on a mission.  

Day one, I had her wrapped in a towel with only her face peeking out.  I started to syringe feed her and I have to be honest it was not pretty. We were both covered in food, but I was able to get nutrition into her and not get all scratched up. I fed her every few hours and by the end of the day I was feeling pretty confident. Silver wasn’t very happy but that is OK. 

On the second day, I called the vet and told her the antibiotic shot wasn’t working and that I felt I could pill her, so we tried a different antibiotic. On day 3 along with syringe feeding her I was able to pill her. On the fourth day, she was looking a little bit better and ate a small amount on her own.  

I continued this routine for a week. Every day I would scratch her ears and tell her that eventually she was going to like humans. On the seventh day, I could tell she was feeling better because now she was trying to fight me and it was becoming a nightmare to feed her.

Finally on the eighth day, she ate two full dishes of food on her own, so now I was able to crush the antibiotic and put it in her food. 

Silver still has seven more days of antibiotics so my fingers are crossed that she will continue to eat on her own. Quite frankly Silver has had quite enough and so have I.  As much as I would like to say that Silver has warmed up to humans that would be a lie, she wants nothing to do with them. I think she knows that I helped her, but she is not about to re-pay me with even a small purr. That is OK with me, I am just glad we were able to muddle our way through this and that she is feeling better. Would I do this again? In a heartbeat because I see the end result.  I walked away from this with only a few minor scratches so I feel very lucky.

 Please join us for Miracle on Mechanic Street on Saturday, Dec. 7. We will be doing the 12 Dogs of Christmas, there will be Christmas carolers, we will be selling Christmas trees and wreaths. Pictures with Santa, a bake sale, silent auction and much more. Please come and join us!

 Thank you for your continued support and as always, thank you for reading our column.

The Ark Animal Sanctuary is located on 101 Old Woodstock Road. To contact Lorraine Monfils call 532-7387 or check out their Facebook page. 

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