Oh, Bill. Bill, Bill, Bill.
How Bill likes to make me worry.
Yesterday around lunch time, I went up to hang out with the kittens, and saw that he had a little blood on his right eye, the eye that had been bleeding Tuesday and which necessitated a run to the vet. I put some ointment in his eye and on the part where it was bleeding, and made a note to keep an eye on it.
An hour later, I picked him up to look more closely at the eye, and it sure looked like the attached eyelid was attempting to peel off. I called the vet’s office and asked if I should just wait to see what happened, or bring him in. They told me to bring him in, the vet was in surgery, but they could take him back to the operating room for her to take a look at him.
I hoped I was just being a worrywart, but I put him in the carrier and left. I briefly considered putting another kitten in the carrier with him to keep him company, but decided he’d be fine.
Poor stoic Bill, the quiet observer, the one who follows me around like a puppy, cried all the way to the vet. He has a raspy voice, and he cried and paced back and forth in his carrier, and I did my best to reassure him, but it was apparently cold comfort.
At the vet’s office, I walked in with him, and he got quiet and looked around. The receptionist took him back to the operating room for the vet to take a look at him.
She came back and told me that since I was bringing Sookie in this morning, I should bring Bill with her and leave him. They were going to put him under and scrape –
and then I didn’t hear the rest, because I mentally put my hands over my ears and said “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU.”
Seriously – doesn’t the word “scrape” when used in connection to an area like a tender, attempting-to-heal eyelip, make your toes curl?
Let’s just say they’re going to clean up the eyelip area and make it more secure.
“Do you have a soft e-collar at home?” she asked.
“I don’t, actually,” I said. She went and got one – extra-small – and put it on him.
“If he completely freaks out, you can take it off him,” she told me.
In the carrier, Bill sat and gave me a look as if to say “What fresh hell is this?”, but he wasn’t freaking out.
We headed home, and Bill meowed softly once or twice, but was quiet most of the way.
At home, I took him right upstairs and took him out of the carrier. He tried backing away out of the collar, discovered that wasn’t going to work, shrugged, and went to use the litter box.
I wish I’d had the camera with me – all of the other kittens followed him and watched him use the litter box, and then followed him back out into the foster room and sat around staring at him with big cartoon question marks over their heads. They took turns biting at the edge of the e-collar, and then Bill stood up and stretched and then jumped on Lafayette and bit his back.
I spent some time following Bill around trying to comfort him, but to be honest he didn’t seem terribly uncomfortable. After a while, I went off to do some cleaning.
An hour later, I went back upstairs, and judging by the fact that Bill had climbed to the top of the cat tree – which is about 5 feet high – that collar wasn’t holding him back.
I left the collar on him, and when I checked on him before I went to sleep, he still had the collar on, and he was perfectly fine.
When I opened the door this morning, the collar was off. I haven’t a clue how he got it off, but it was off and neatly folded by the door, in fact. Since I was about to take he and Sookie to the vet, I just left the collar off.
Right now, Bill and Sookie are at the vet. She’s only being spayed today, not having her eyes done because they don’t want to keep her under for that long. She and Terry will have their eyes done next week, one of them on Wednesday and one on Thursday.
Before you get too worried about Bill, just tell yourself what I’ve been telling myself for the past day – this is NOT a matter of life and death for him. The eyelid surgery is what’s known as a “free graft”, and as such a failure or two over the course of 12 eyes is not completely unexpected. The worst that will happen is that this graft won’t take, and we’ll have to try again. The good thing is that his other eye looks great, and the fact that his “bad” eyelip was bleeding means that there was some sort of blood flow going on, so the graft is attempting to attach.
Our sweet baby Bill will be fine, and if I have to swaddle him in cotton and carry him around in a baby carrier, I will!
See that picture up there of Sookie? Notice that, as they say, one eye is looking at you and the other is looking near you? Our Sookie is… well, I don’t know if she’s wall-eyed, or what. Her right eye seems to be fixed in that position, and I don’t know if that means she can’t see out of it, or what. The eye itself is healthy, and she can see well enough, so I’m not going to worry about it (though I will mention it to the vet).
I emailed the shelter manager the other day and asked if perhaps the woman she’d gotten these kittens from had lived near a nuclear plant or something! This litter is just such a mess, it’s impossible not to love the stuffing out of them.
Terry seems to be pretty much recovered from his surgery. The scar still looks kind of red and painful to me, but he honestly doesn’t even seem to know it’s there. It’s a long one (I’d guess three inches at the very least), but I picked him up by putting my hand underneath him, and he didn’t react in the slightest.
You can kind of see his scar here:
Oh, and I have good news! The shelter manager just happened to be at the clinic yesterday when someone brought in a 2 1/2 week-old kitten they’d found. She immediately claimed him as a sibling for Ike.
I bet Ike will love having a little brother or sister!