So much has happened with me and my girl, Samantha since I last wrote. We both have experienced an uptick in our healing. The idiopathic cystitis that plagued Samantha for almost a year magically disappeared sometime in June. And although I experience bouts of extreme fatigue that sometimes cause me to catnap on my lunch break or cut-short an evening out, my life is rich with joyful experiences again! My first book is in the midst of getting published, I’m a regular at The Cliff again, my favorite place in town for live music, and for the past couple of months, The Sawdust Festival, Laguna’s beloved summer art festival, has been my weekend happy place.
And Samantha, once again, has the energy of a kitten! Each morning and evening we play toss the pom pom, tag (Samantha runs up to me, swats my ankle then runs around the house as I chase her) and hide ‘n’ go seek. She’s even into wine “sniffing”!
Then last Tuesday Samantha’s right eye became teary and the lid a little swollen, which happens on occasion. It always goes away on its own within one to two days. But by the following evening, the irritated eye had become quite swollen, which coincided with Samantha loosing her appetite and becoming reclusive. My heart sank—something was very wrong. A visit to the vet the following morning resulted in an ulcerated cornea diagnosis. By the time the vet examined Samantha, her pupil and part of the iris were cloudy and red. The treatment: at least one week of an antibacterial eye drop twice a day and an anti-inflammatory/anti-pain eye drop three times a day. A morning, afternoon and evening eye drop regimen. The vet said it would be hard and that I would need help. Okay—well, I live alone…?
Upon explaining this dire situation to my new beau who loves animals and is smitten with Samantha, he replied by saying he’d help. This real life Batman has been assisting this Catwoman with her injured cat child by coming to the cottage morning, afternoon and night to assist with Operation Eye Drop. His IT systems project management job provides some flexibility in his schedule, but he’s a busy guy, yet he’s scheduled time to break away, put on his superhero cape and save the day.
We created a purrrfect system: I ask Alexa to play “Ambient Radio”, Batman cradles Samantha in his arms and calms her with his baritone feline baby talk, I gently scratch the top of her head and join in with calming vocals, then quickly spread her eyelid open and release a drop. We must wait five minutes in between the two drops. Batman continues to cradle Samantha, we continue with the calming vocalizations then do the second drop.
After a check-up yesterday, the vet determined that Samantha is making good progress in healing, but that the eye drop regimen is needed for at least another week. Her eye formed a scab, which is a mucus-like tissue that is starting to shed. The vet administered pain-killing numbing eye drops then wiped some of the scab off of her eye itself. This gave her some relief and allows the eye drops to better penetrate.
I’ve given Batman a break. I conducted Operation Eye Drop by myself yesterday; the afternoon drop was easy as Samantha was still under the influence of gabapentin, which I gave her before the vet visit. The evening dosing was successful, but it didn’t go smoothly.
Batman may have to return.