He was the neighborhood sweet talker. Followed everyone around for snacks and pets. I fell in love with his soft fur, quick to purr and tons of kisses. He started staying in a few nights. Our two other cats were not happy, but they seemed to tolerate each other. It seemed like he had a cold. Sneezing and boogers were a common ailment with him.
One day I walked by him and his head was bouncing around, like he was following a fast moving fly. But his eyes, I’ll never forget, darted everywhere else. He couldn’t focus, couldn’t walk and kept vomiting. I rushed him to the local clinic.
“What’s his name?” they asked. “John Doe” I replied. I hadn’t convinced my husband we needed another cat just yet. They medicated and sedated him. By the next day he was worse. I took him to a larger clinic, and they immediately started fluids and treatment. “What’s his name?” they asked. “Noodles,” I tell them. He needed a name on his cage at the vet, John Doe just didn’t feel right.
It was discussed that Noodles has a brain infection. He might need to stick around for a week or so. It was a viral infection and they were reviewing treatments that would be beneficial. Given that I’m unemployed, this is a difficult decision. We only have one income and we know how expensive it could be. My husband said to dust off the credit card and get him the care he needed.
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During his stay, we had conversations with the vet daily. Near the end of the week and a half of his stay, we were told that the treatments didn’t seem to be helping and it was looking like it would be something that he would constantly have. We would have to make the decision to euthanize or deal with what may come. I’ve never turned down a challenge.
The vet advised us that it seemed like a clot traveled to his brain to cause the event he had suffered earlier, so now his brain function was compromised. He wouldn’t walk straight, couldn’t jump right, had a head tilt, his equilibrium was off and he still had major snot coming out of his nose. Add to the mix, two Great Danes that have mastered the art of drooling.
What says “Welcome to our home” like bloody snotty boogers and dog slobber? When he sneezes, he shakes his head. We grab the flashlight and clean up the mess. I’ve washed our bedding daily. It seems that I spend the day cleaning the walls of mucous.
It has been about 8 months, and although the snot has drastically reduced, he is still sneezy and wheezy. My husband binged “The Last Kingdom” during the winter months. So when it was time to take Noodles to the vet for his checkup they asked, “How is he feeling?” My husband interrupts, he has his new name now, it’s “Uhtred” Uhtred the Bold, because he is a fighter.
Our Danes love Uhtred and they know he needs extra care. They protect and watch over him when he is in the backyard. Between slobber and snot, we are the odd family in the neighborhood.
Story submitted by Carolyn from Waterford, California.
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