I’ve been looking forward to telling you Joel’s healing stories because I think you will get inspiration from them.
And honestly, I just love to talk about Joel.
“He’s the only cat I’ve met who starts purring just because you’re looking at him.”
That’s how Robert described little Joel after his first week with us.
Joel is quite a character. He gets so excited about his little soccer balls that when he’s carrying one in his mouth he makes a high-pitched squealing sound—it’s nothing I’ve ever heard from a cat before!
Joel had a rap sheet
Though he’s not even two years old yet, he’s surely gone through several of his 9 lives:
- He was a rescue cat who, at 5 months old, had already been through several temporary owners and a shelter or two.
- The shelter said he had “quite a rap sheet”–his medical folder was already thick.
- He’d been afflicted with severe ear mites, fleas, and glaucoma. To protect him from the glaucoma infection, a doctor had removed one of his eyes!
- He had a birth defect in his tail, which is to say he was missing about 1/4 of it.
- He had scab-like bumps on his ear.
- Updated March 27: I just opened his medical folder and was reminded that he had also been treated for tapeworm and an upper respiratory infection before we adopted him.
- When we got him home, we noticed more problems:
- He had a strange skin condition—the scab-like bumps on his ear were also on his chin and legs.
- His nails had a very strong-smelling fungus on them.
- He tended toward severe constipation—in fact, it became life threatening.
- His fur coat was rather dull and dry for a kitten.
More on these last 4 conditions later…
but don’t worry, these stories have happy endings, I promise!
I had a strange dream
I hate to admit that originally a kitten in his condition—and missing an eye–would not have been my first choice.
But, I’ve changed. I had a dream right before I met Joel:
In my dream a woman had adopted a kitten who then developed a disability. Suddenly this woman no longer wanted the kitten. She was walking away from the kitten, but I could feel how much the kitten loved her and wanted to be with her. The kitten was trying to follow her.
I wanted desperately to yell out to her about her mistake. I wanted her to feel the kitten’s love for her—how could she leave him? How could she not love him back?
It was heart wrenching and I woke up with the feeling still strong in my chest.
Two days later we met Joel and his dearest friend, the beautiful 6-month old Blue we named Phil.
Joel just wouldn’t stop purring at us—so loudly!—and snuggling. I fell in love with both of them in minutes. It was a done deal!
Get this–we soon learned that Joel and Phil and had been adopted a couple weeks earlier, but were returned when the adopter got spooked by the idea that Joel might get glaucoma again and lose another eye. She abandoned them! Just like in my dream. Sad, because once kittens are 6 months old their chances of being adopted slim down considerably. Yet happy—because then we got to adopt them!
Very nimble indeed
Though one eye is “closed,” Joel has turned out to be very nimble indeed. I can see absolutely no hindrance in his abilities to jump, chase, play soccer, wrestle, and cause trouble. In fact, he navigates table legs and other obstacles faster than Phil does. (If you’ve read Homer’s Odyssey, about an amazing blind cat, this won’t surprise you.)
Part two of Joel’s health story
My very next blog post is part two. That’s where I’ll start to explain how, with a holistic vet’s assistance, we have helped Joel put those health problems behind him.
Have you ever unexpectedly adopted a special-needs cat?
I invite you to share your experience in the comments area below this post.