Friday, 14 July 2017

A 19 Year Honour and Privilege

If it was not for my animal dilemma, and Chad dilemma, I would have been on a plane with Mark [and Chad] and would have started my new life already. Chad's visa entry is more complicated than just a dependant visa and I may or may not have mentioned in previous posts that he can only get in on a holiday Visa for three months and then he has to leave. He can come and go for the next three years as long as he does not stay in New Zealand for more than 3 months at any given time.

Our dogs can only go in November because although there is no quarantine period in South Africa, the process starts 6 months before they can fly. We could have and should have started the process a long time ago but it is not cheap and we were not entirely sure that we would even go to New Zealand or if our work visas would be granted. It is a long process and not as easy as we once imagined. Just getting a holiday visa was a nail biting stressful experience. It must be fantastic to just hop on a plane and fly to another country without baring your soul and financial state to the immigration departments. The joys of living in a country not wanted by other countries. Just PS - until November last year you could go to New Zealand for a holiday without first applying for a visa. You completed forms when you landed and that was it.

So to say this was a stressful procedure or adventure is putting it extremely lightly. For one when we went to our initial interview, there was no mention of Chad having to leave after 3 months. We did have a discussion around JD coming and going every three months [that is another heartbreaking story for another time] but Chad was our dependant and there were no issues. We did know that no airline would fly our cat who was 18 at the time. She was 18 even though I was stuck on 19 for ages.

We even had thoughts of lying about her age because in 19 years she has had max 5 or 6 annual injections. Putting her in a car all but kills her as she stresses so badly. I won't go into detail but she surrenders to her surroundings in the most awful way. Strangely enough moving here, 60km's away from home was the least stressful for her and us. Perhaps because two of the dogs were with us that she felt a sense of calm.

I have had many bouts of anger, guilt, tears, and sadness over her and her future. Since moving here, she has hardly gone outside. If she does it is on the Patio. She either sits on the lounge windowsill or she sleeps on the couch and there is almost always a dog next to her.

Last week on Tuesday at around 4pm she vomited bile [in the lounge]. It is not unusual because for as long as I can remember she has moments of puking. I just cleaned it up and put her on the chair on her packet. She is the strangest cat ever. She needs a packet to sleep on. Not a bed or a pillow but a packet, especially a new packet. Nowadays she has this aura about her like I am a senior citizen, a very old lady and I have the right to do as I please and don't say a word. I am not big on feeding animals off my plate or allowing them near me when I eat but at the moment our living area is pretty open plan and we have our old lounge suite and the animals are in close quarters with us. Well, they always were but I am indulging the senior citizen moment with her and allow her closer to me when I eat then I would normally allow [it is called guilt]. She tried to steal butternut off my plate and she has been eating a lot lately. Like she is permanently hungry and I didn't think it was worms. She was dewormed in October last year and had her vaccinations.

Back to last Tuesday night - I had just finished cooking and she jumped off the chair in the lounge and fell over - she collapsed. Chad saw her jump off and noticed that something was very wrong with her. It first looked like her leg was broken and then her back. She walked weirdly and went almost rushing to get food and water.

If it wasn't so sad and serious it would have been funny. Obviously, we consulted Doc Google and the diagnoses ranged from Kidney Infection to Gun Shot Wound which was highly unlikely for a cat that never leaves her couch.

We live 10 km's from the nearest Spar Supermarket that we use when desperate times call for desperate measures otherwise known as where your standards come to definitely die and we had no idea where we would find a vet in this area at night. Our vet[s] being more than 60 km's away. We just made her comfortable and Mark was sure it was a stroke {we sent him a video or 6}. We made her comfortable on the couch and I stayed up for most of the night to check up on her and the next day we had to make the decision of whether we find a new vet or drive the 60 km's to our normal vet.

Heather, our landlord/neighbour/cousin-in-law told us about a vet by the said Spar and after a long story at that said vet and his promises that he was on his way to his surgery and then an hour and a half later said he had run out of petrol and airtime - a vet yes - whose assistant told us he owns a farm with 18 horses and and and. His assistant was a very helpful friendly man but could not help our cat but did offer to put her in a cage and we could come back. We had seen a vet that looked deserted down the road - the assistant said he was on holiday. Turns out he wasn't on holiday and had hadn't been on holiday in years or planned to go on holiday.

He said straight away she had a stroke and would recover anytime between 3 days and 6 weeks. He gave her a cortisone injection, cortisone pills, and other blood-thinning pills. He was such a sweet old man. He also warned that she could have another stroke and said we mustn't rehome her. The kind thing would be to enjoy her until we leave, make her comfortable love her and then euthanize her.

It is so awful knowing that we are going to end her life. I don't know what the right thing to do is. She, of course, got better and refused to have her tablet. She refused to eat her food for a whole day when I put her tablet in her food. I tried to do it the way vets have shown me in the past. Put it in her mouth and gently blow in her face and then she ripped my hands up and I left her.

The Morning After The Stroke

Yesterday morning, I watched her strutting around the lounge like she is going to outlive us all. No indication of a stroke. Chad and I went for our afternoon walk, she was sleeping on the couch, like she does all day every day. We came home and after about 10 minutes, she jumped off the couch and collapsed. She had, had another stroke in her sleep. Her front paw was turned over just like a human's hand goes after a mild stroke. The night before I was watching Isidingo and she was lying next to me and her head jumped up like she had an electric shock going through it. I managed to give her a pill (her 1/4 dose) and she was so dazed and spaced out that she swallowed it yesterday after she woke up and collapsed and I made her Haddock and hid the evening dose in there. Today she looks and walks with almost no sign of paralysis.

I know the end is near and it is like waiting for an old person to die. It is sad and tragic and it is breaking my heart. It is a privledge and honour to have known her. She is also proof that it is nonsense that cats are nocturnal creatures that have to hunt at night - she neither hunts at night nor during the day and has never gone out at night wanting to hunt.

We were planning on flying to New Zealand on the 15 August 2017 but now I am once more undecided because my cat, The Old Lady, The Senior Citizen may still have so much life left in her and may still outlive all of us. Where will you find a human being of equivellant age walking unaided and jumping up onto chairs and using the toilet [litter box] unaided.

And...The Experts still maintain we are the superior species 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

A Few Hours After The First Stroke

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