One day in March we received a phone call at our veterinary clinic here in Pickering from a distraught client in Ajax – there was a cat laying on their porch with blood coming out of it’s nose. “ Dr. Fulop, you have to help it. You have to put it out of it’s misery”. Animal Control couldn’t come out for the cat until the next day and the client was afraid that the cat wouldn’t make it. I asked if they could bring the cat to the Amberlea Animal Hospital for me to look at. They were afraid to touch the cat but managed to get her into a cage and brought her to us.
Mortified at what we were going to see, we were prepared for the worst. Blood from the nose – could she have been hit by a car? Could she have been attacked by another animal? The client arrived in tears. My technicians brought the cage to the back treatment area while I went up to console this distraught client. I thanked her for bringing in the cat and told her that we would take care of the cat.
My heart was pounding as I walked back to the treatment area. All I had was a vision of a cat in very rough shape and had all intentions of humanely euthanizing this cat if it was suffering. As I approached the cage I could see the cat sitting up in the carrier. Ok, this is a good sign. As I got closer I could see a bloody discharge coming from its nostrils. We didn’t know what to expect, but we took the cat out of the carrier and out came the skinniest cat you had ever seen. And she was purring!! We quickly checked for a microchip in hopes that we could contact the owner, but unfortunately there was no chip to be found. I performed a physical examination and other than the nasal discharge she didn’t appear to have any trauma to her. You could see the faces of my technicians light up as I said nothing was broken and no wounds were found anywhere. She was in rough shape though. She was missing a lot of fur, had large crusts all over, her ears were packed with ear mites and she was very itchy. Her eyes were very hazy and she was missing some teeth. Based on this she was assessed to be 16 yrs of age!!
I feel this cat had a story to tell us, perhaps about a long journey she may have taken and how she had to fend for herself. We offered her some food and she ate like she hadn’t eaten in weeks. Our hearts melted for this cat. I didn’t have the heart to call the Humane Society because we feared she would not be adoptable. We treated her for an upper respiratory tract infection, treated her for ear mites and fleas, dewormed her and yes, she did have the scabies mite and we treated her for that as well. We are making every effort to find the owner of this cat. We have put up signs in the Ajax neighbourhood where she was found as well in surrounding Whitby and Scarborough area and we even posted her picture on Kijiji. Someone did respond to the Kijiji posting but in the end never even came to see if she was their missing cat. We are still looking for her owner, but in the meantime we have made the decision to keep her and we call her Mrs. Pickles.
Pickles is a character. She has her little routine every day. We greet her in the morning, she comes out for a stretch and heads up to the front reception area, scratches the carpet and has a good roll. Then she sits in front of the door and stares outside. I wonder if she misses her life outdoors or if she is thankful to be safe inside. We love her little strut, with her severely arthritic legs. She comes for her scratches and pets and then she heads back to her cage.
Here we are 3 months later. We love this cat. She had a bath the other day, which she actually enjoyed and didn’t even mind being blow dried. In one respect we are very saddened that no one came forward to claim Mrs. Pickles, but we are so happy that she did come to us and we have been able to nurse her back to health and provide her a safe environment.
Wishing you the best, Dr. Kathleen Fulop.
Veterinarian Blog 2012
Amberlea Animal Hospital serving Durham, Pickering, Ajax, and Whitby, Scarborough, and the GTA