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From the Heart - Part Two

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From the Heart - Part Two

by Dr. Michael Trapani

We settled on “Lollipop.” It seems the right name for her. Every well-loved kitty should have their own song, and Lollipop is in fact, “sweeter than candy on a stick.”

It has been just over six weeks since Lollipop came to stay with us. In that time, her weight has gone from 1.85 pounds to 4.15 pounds, making her two and one-quarter times the cat she once was. Her hair is regrowing, though we are still worried about one possible ringworm. She uses her kitty box and now creates little tootsie rolls, of which she is quite proud, although her vitamin B-12 deficiency is not quite resolved and still interferes with her ability to form normal stools. She gets a weekly vitamin B-12 injection, and we expect her to be done with this soon.

Lollipop’s parasitism problems are just about handled: Her fleas are history. Her roundworms are gone, as are her tapeworms. We can find no sign of the toxoplasma parasites that made her so terribly ill. We have had quite a bit of trouble getting rid of her coccidia, a protozoal bowel parasite, and had to order a special medication for her, but it looks as if we’ve finally gotten rid of the coccidia as well. We will need to verify a few more samples, but it looks like Lollipop’s parasitism is a thing of the past.

Lollipop’s story has inspired quite a remarkable response, and we have received a few donations towards her care. This has really, really helped. We’ve had donations from Laray, from Chester the Cat, from Michele, and from a couple of Stray Kitty lovers who prefer to remain anonymous, and most recently, from Sue. May they, and all of Lollipop’s well wishers, be blessed.

Watching Lollipop return to health has been a joy. At first, she was so weak that all she could do was lie in her bed. She would purr when we petted her and was able to take a step or two towards her food bowl, but she had no strength at all. After a few days she became strong enough to actually enter her cat box, but that was as far as she could carry herself. After a week or so, she began to stand whenever someone approached her cage, anticipating another meal. Soon afterwards, she was charging the door!

Nowadays, Lolli wants out. She stays in a big, glass-doored dog run and has begun leaping up in an effort to manipulate the latch and open the door on her own. She’s a pretty smart cat just to have figured out than we move the latch to open the door. When we do let her out, she runs from one technician to another demanding food. In all of our time with her, this is the one thing that hasn’t changed: Lollipop is always hungry. We have to limit the size of her feedings to prevent her from over eating.

She has her favorites among the staff and particularly favors the women, although Kristen’s partner Nate is a notable exception to the “Ladies First” rule. She tolerates the doctor, and is willing to accept ear scratches and snacks from me, but would just as soon spend her time with anyone else, the ungrateful little brat.

I am especially amused by Lollipop’s changing behavior as she returns to health. Recently, she has acquired RIGHTS. Lollipop feels that she deserves certain things, like Kristen’s lunch, and demonstrates no reluctance to loudly voice her demands. At such times we refer to her as Ms. Pop, as in, “Ms. Pop will have your lunch, please.”

We’re far from done with Lollipop. There is still that pesky little ringworm to deal with, and it is only a matter of time before she goes into heat, so there will be surgery in her future before long. She needs to be microchipped and will soon be healthy enough to be vaccinated. She drinks more water than usual, so a urinalysis will be performed along with her pre-surgical blood tests. Having brought her this far, we’re not going to let her go until she is fully and completely restored to health.

And then? It’s hard to say.