Last updated January 14th, 2018
“He’s gone blind” I texted my husband, just a week after invasive dental surgery on our 15-year-old CKD cat, Earl Grey.
“That can’t be possible, I saw him climbing on the bridge this morning.”
I observed every step he took, watched every movement closely. Yes, our cat has become blind, overnight. Our beloved Earl Grey is struggling to find his way around the house. He is trying to desperately rediscover every corner, sniffing every inch of surface, treading lightly with each hesitant paw. His slow movement is not just weakness from the surgery or muscle atrophy from his kidney disease. His eyes are dilated black saucers, trying desperately to catch any light, just any at all. His head sways in the general direction of my voice as I try to soothe him with calming words.
At this moment I try to recall if this was a sudden onset or was he like this when he returned home after spending two nights at the vets after his surgery. Were his pupils this dilated and vacant? I can’t recall through my utter devastation. But how was he able to climb up to the bridge?
Our vet confirmed he has high blood pressure and this, coupled with the four-hour long surgery to remove ten teeth and the myriad of drugs administered to keep him alive during his surgery, were all contributing factors to his loss of sight. Having kidney disease did not help his situation either.
In every situation, there is light at the end of the tunnel, albeit for him, a very dark tunnel. We know his mouth is pain-free now as he is wolfing down his food. A huge relief!
My mum asked, “but how will he get by?”
Watching him navigate the stairs very slowly, finding his litter box, drinking from his water bowls, I realize that seeing him losing his eyesight is more heart-breaking for us than it is for him. My favorite words to him were always “my heart belongs to you” and he always responded with a slow blink and microdermabrasion grooming of my face with that sandpaper tongue! Ouch.
Last night while he was quietly sleeping on my chest, I sang like I always do “somewhere over the rainbow” and the sound of the melody jolted him into a rhythmic purr so loud that my husband could hear him from across the room. He then proceeded to groom my face like old times. Yes, he cannot see with his eyes, but his other senses have heightened.
Mostly, I think he’s telling me “I can see you through my heart.”
Being blind and extra receptive to sound and touch, he gets extra cuddles, brushings and lots of sweet talk. While I feel sad that he can no longer see his environment he still seeks out the company of his feline friends and humans. At mealtimes, he doesn’t like eating alone and will always want his bowl placed right in the middle of the other cats. As if to say “I’m blind, but still the head of the table.”
My father always called him the lion king when we lived in South Africa with my parents, because he always had a very slow, calculated, confident gait. Today his gait is frail, and while he will probably not be able to oversee his territory from his favorite spot, “pride rock”, in the catio, he will remain our Lion King.
The past two months were filled with many vet visits, shedding of tears, coupled with work stresses so I have been rather quiet in the cat blogosphere. I have recently learned of the many rainbow bridge crossings in the blogosphere arena and it breaks my heart. It’s with great sadness that I read about the passing of Fiona from the Kitties Blue, The Cat on My Head, who lost her battle with CKD. I have enjoyed many Sunday Selfie blog hops here and today we join them once again. It is on their blog where I met Sammy, from One Spoiled Cat who sadly has also left us for the rainbow bridge. I smile through tears as I remember his first comment on this blog introducing himself as a fellow ginger polydactyl kitty. My heart goes out to all these furry friends and others that have passed their time in this life and moved onto the next.
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