Fluffy is such an endearing cat. He even has a large contingent of fans on Facebook, who follow his every move (I’m not kidding). He is fat, fluffy, puffy, affectionate, happy and full of character. He loves being carried around on my shoulder and he chirps when he wants attention. He has slept with me every night since he arrived. Whereas Paddy was like a king, Fluffy is like the court jester.
When Ziggy arrived, he and Fluffy made friends immediately. Primarily due to Fluffy being so amenable and amiable. He doesn’t have a territorial or aggressive bone in his body.
Ziggy had a tough start in life. He came to us tiny, thin, full of mites and worms. He had been kept isolated before he came to us, after being treated for everything. About a week after he arrived, I dewormed and treated both Ziggy and Fluffy for mites, just to be sure.
A return trip to the vet gave them both the all-clear.
As Ziggy recovered he grew like a weed, became stronger and more energetic, and started to annoy Fluffy (or so I thought). His particular favourite game was jumping on Fluffy’s ears and biting them. Fluffy started hissing and hiding away from him as much as possible. He stopped sleeping with me. I took quick looks at his ears (though understandably, he was reluctant to let me near them) and they seemed clean and did not smell.
Then one day I noticed his balance was off and he was totally deaf. When I tried to check him he hissed and spat at me. Which is so unlike him that I took him straight to the emergency room, where we waited from 5pm to 9pm to be seen. Verdict: yeast infection, bacterial infection, inflammation, middle and inner ear infections, and two burst eardrums. They said Fluffy was in terrible pain. I couldn’t believe that he barely showed it. He had been eating normally and his nose was wet as always.
On the plus side (if there is one) the staff at the animal hospital fell in love with my beautiful boy. They could not believe how heavy and fluffy he is. He has unusually thick fur which makes him look bigger, and people always comment on it.
They sedated Fluff and manually drained his ears. The muck that came out of his ears was utterly disgusting. And copious. They said it had been deep inside which is why no one had spotted it. Regular vets don’t have the right equipment to look that deep inside a cat’s ear.
They gave Fluffy a cortisone injection and said they could not operate while there was still so much infection. Antibiotics do not help for this type of infection, so I had to treat him at home for 10 days and then bring him in again. Apparently eardrums also often heal by themselves.
So twice a day I had to irrigate his ears with cleansing solution and then put anti-bacterial drops in. What fun that was! I am used to giving cats pills (Tusse 1 tablet a day for five years and Paddy 3 – 5 tablets a day for seven years) and that is somewhat of a tussle, to put it mildly. But actually inflicting pain on an animal – even if it is to make them better – is horrible! Fluffy is also big and strong so it was a nightmare. At the vet it took three of us to hold him down. At home it was way harder. I had to be rough to actually get the job done and I hated myself for it.
He was miserable and seemed to become even more miserable. At one point I was on the way back to the emergency room but they said that the wait would be five hours or more. So I decided to stick it out until his appointment unless it got worse, because he hates being there. All the smells and the dogs barking and all the people stress him out.
Then last Saturday he perked up. Saturday night he started sleeping with me again. Sunday he started to play and he stopped hissing. The sight of him playing with Ziggy again brought a lump to my throat.
Well, yesterday I took him back to the animal hospital and all infection was gone and his eardrums were fine! There was some irritation remaining which was making him itch and scratch but cortisone will fix that. Boy was I glad! Thank goodness for pet insurance though.
All that remains now is to give Fluffy cortisone drops every day and irrigate twice a week for a month, when he will go back for a checkup.
I am so glad he is better. I hate seeing animals suffer or feel sick because you cannot tell them things will get better or the discomfort you are inflicting on them is to help them.