Ginger Girl Is In Surgery

I've always taken in rescues and strays, always cared for the ones that no one else seems to care about. One of my rescues has wiggled her way into my home for good. This girl, Ginger, was always supposed to go to a new home, never supposed to stay, but instead she has become my husband's favorite, and a near and dear soul to me as well.

Hubbs and I recently took leave, and went out of state to visit his family. We decided it would be best to leave our 4 cats here with a sitter, rather than drag them on a 7 hour drive, to spend 16 days in an 8 ft X 8 ft room, constantly surrounded by my In-law's pack of 4 adult and 10 puppy German shepherds.

Apparently, though, Ginger decided she wanted to go look for us, and one day when the sitter came in to check their food and water, Ginger took off out the door and would not come to the sitter or her daughter. The next day, the sitter found a kitty hit on the side of the road, took her to the vet, but there was nothing to be done to save her. I thought I'd lost my Ginger kitty for good.

But then, today at 7 this morning, I hear my Ginger crying frantically at the door. Tears in my eyes, wondering if I was dreaming, I ran to the door and let her in. It was really her. The cat that had gotten hit only looked like my Ginger. While I was holding a hysterical Ginger, I caught the unmistakable stench of infection. It's musky, slightly sweet and sick. I wiped the tears out of my eyes and looked her over more closely. She had on a safety collar, but somehow the safety function failed. For the last week, apparently, she has had her leg through her collar, pulling the safety band into the other side of her neck. I could see swollen red furless flesh, and a bit of puss.

I took her to the bathroom and rinsed the entire area with warm sterile saline -- I've got a great first aid kit -- and once the entire area was saturated, I undid the clasp of her collar. I started to peel the collar away, and only saw a few scabs and raw places on her chest and under her leg, nothing too serious, but then I got to the side of her neck. The elastic loop that allowed the collar to stretch and be escapable had bitten deeply into her flesh. I had just begun to lift an edge away from her skin when she flinched from the pain, ******* away from me and tearing the collar free from her flesh. What was left twas an open, oozing gaping wound in the side of her neck.

The smell hit me so strongly I almost gagged. Where had my girl been for so long? Why hadn't she come back so I could fix this? Through the tears running down my face I could tell this is something a vet would need to fix. Filled with guilt that I had been away too long, full of fear for Ginger's pain and health, I gently wrapped her in a towel and woke up my husband. I showed him the wound and he was as shocked as me. We agreed that she had to go to a vet now.

So he held her while I grabbed a 2 minute shower, dressed and got a few things together for Ginger. The vet wouldn't be open for another 40 minutes but I couldn't just sit there with her in pain. I picked her up and held her in my lap all the way to the vet's office. She whined the entire way, and I could tell she was in serious pain.

When I got there, no one was at the door. I was still 15 minutes early. I walked around to the side of the office, where the chainlink dog kennels were, and banged and called until someone answered me. When I told them it was an emergency, they sent someone to the front to unlock the door. The desk girl looked a little upset that I was early until I showed her the wound. She gasped and the first thing she did was start calling for the vet techs to come out and get the injured cat.

I waited for 15 minutes before the vet came out to talk to me, but in that time I heard Ginger's cries of pain ease off into silence as they sedated her, and watched one of the vet techs cradling her as they walked back and forth with her in the exam room, murmuring to her. The vet got me to sign some release forms, but Ginger is going to be alright. They will keep her sedated to ease the pain for now. When they are sure her stomach is empty (only 6 more hours now) they will put her completely under to trim around the wound and clean it. They will excise the damaged and infected tissue and give her a few stitches with a drainage tube. She's already had antibiotic and steroid shots, and they'll send her home with more antibio's and pain meds.

The vet sent me home with an estimate and told me to relax, that she'll be fine. When I showed the estimate to my husband -- $200 to $700 -- he just hugged me and said that it would be fine. Ginger is worth it. We'll make it work somehow.

I love my kitties, no matter how rough of a shape they get themselves into. I would do anything to make their lives a little better. I'm glad that I didn't lose my Ginger baby, but I would much rather that she had come home to me in one piece. I don't think I'll ever know where she disappeared to for so long, but I will not ever let her be on her own again. We're going to have a long recovery ahead of us, but knowing that I not only gave her a chance at life by rescuing her mom, but that I'm giving her a second chance as well -- that makes things worth it for me. I'd save them all if I could, but I'm just going to have to do this one cat at a a time...
darkchild23 darkchild23
22-25, F
2 Responses Jul 13, 2010

Ginger is now out of surgery and seems to be waking up just fine. She may have to stay overnight but she's doing much better now.

The Magical Babalu<br />
Orlando Lujan Martinez IWA<br />
<br />
Edmundo Serano is a gentle man, and a doer of good deeds, who is always looking for the opportunity to do another good deed. Edmundo, for the most part, is satisfied with life, and has learned to cope with its ups and downs, sad and happy moments, discouragement's, set backs and regrets. He found out that to forgive and forget is the best way to cope with these problems but one regret continued to haunt him for years after it happened. A regret he thought needed redemption and forgiveness from God before he could have peace of mind. <br />
It-the recipient of Edmundos good deed and the cause of his regret- appeared one night as casually as a new snow fall. It- the happenstance-caused Edmundo such great sorrow that he would try not to think about it. When he did his eyes filled with tears of remorse. He sometimes thought he was to blame but then at other times wasn’t sure if he was to blame at all. <br />
Rows of icicles hung from the gutters and gables of houses in the bitter cold snowy night A flume of frosted vapor, from a roof top vent, floated up into the crystal cloudless sky where a gorgeous white winter moon rested in the stars. When Edmundo returned from dinner, it was late in the evening and the streets were empty. <br />
When Edmundo opened the front door he felt a little push against the bottom of the door. He looked down and seen a big gray Manx cat, with no tail, trying to push his head through the crack of the slightly opened front door. The cat wanted to get out of the cold so Edmundo opened the door and let the cat go in. <br />
It was obvious, from the cats handsome well kept appearance, it came from a good home where it was well fed and loved. Edmundo wonder what kind of strange circumstances brought, by happenstance, this unusual cat to his door. Edmundo named him Babalu, a word from a Desi Arnez Cuban song. Ai Babalu ia a Babalu ia is a line he remembered from the song. Babalu means "holiness" if the Afro/ Cuban Santeria religion.<br />
Babalu gracefully walked around the house, purring and rubbing against the furniture and Edmundo’s legs thanking him for bringing him out of the bitter cold. It was the loudest purr Edmundo had ever heard. It was the purr of a contented cat. Years later, through the mist of time, it occur to him that Babalu was mystical cat, and perhaps a messenger from other portals. <br />
When Edmundo returned from work, the moment he set foot in the door there would be Babalu, in the same place every day, across the living room purring and rubbing against the couch. Edmundo guessed Babalu watched for his return from a window and then would go to greet him. He was perfectly content, peaceful and as Edmundo, recalled later, had a sacred and artistic nature. <br />
One evening Edmundo sat in the cozy warmth of his house reading and listening to the song To Dream the Impossible Dream from the Broadway musical Man From la Mancha. Babalu purr loudly and rub against Edmundo's legs but on this evening Babalu’s loud purring and unconditional love annoyed Edmundo, for some strange reason, and the innocent Babalu became the recipient of that discontent. Edmundo (on the way to his regret) picked Babalu up, and remember the words he said forty years later, “Okay, okay, that’s enough,” and put him out into the bitter cold night. And alas, alas, the innocent Babalu did not know why he was put out of the warm comfortable house. <br />
Edmundo didn’t put Babalu out because of cruelness but, he realize later, it was just a way to get rid of the purring and...perhaps... ( part of the dreadful regret) the unconditional love that it represented. Babalu became the victim of a spontaneous reaction Edmundo could not control because it came from a deep seated punitive emotion established long ago. Edmundo had, without knowing why, renounce Babalu’s love. The night Edmundo carried the purring Babalu (he thought Edmundo’s touch was affectionate) to the door and put him out it was fifteen degrees below zero. Edmundo had mistakenly though Babalu would be okay because his fur would keep him warm. Years later Babalu’s warm fur and purring would haunt Edmundo. Leaving Edmundo confused and full of regret because he wasn’t a mean man and was, in a sense, as innocent as Babalu. <br />
<br />
Babalu disappeared for a couple of days until one morning Edmundo’s father told him Babalu was by the side of the house. Edmundo went to look and found Babalu sitting in the bitter cold in a patch of bright winter sunshine, leaning against the house, to sick to move but the moment Babalu seen Edmundo- his friend- he started to purr. When Edmundo remember that moment later ( and the glorious winter day) it broke his heart and he was grief stricken and wept. Edmundo took Babalu to a veterinarian toId him that Babalu had an advance case of pneumonia, and couldn’t be saved. So the beloved ( Edmundo discover his love for Babalu that fateful day) Babalu was put to sleep. Ai Babalu ia a Babalu ia. It was a tragic end for the mystical innocent Babalu. But Edmundo was as innocent as Babalu because he was the helpless victim of a condition reaction and did not know, a simple thoughtlessness, would have such fatal consequences for Babalu.<br />
Years later on a cold winter evening a neighbor knocked on Edmundo's door and told him she seen a mother carrying a kitten go under his porch. He looked under the porch and in the flashlight beam a cute white kitten was looking over a pile of rags. Edmundo knew when the real cold weather arrived the kitten would freeze to death. (Maybe he thought of that because of Babalu.) So he crawled under the porch got the kitten and took it in the house. He put the kitten, who could barely walk, by the open kitchen door and braced open the screen door. <br />
It wasn’t long before the kittens mother looked in the door, then cautiously went to her kitten, and that is when Edmundo close the door, trapping her inside. Edmundo named the kitten Bucky Linn. Finding them homes would be another of his good deeds. And then he remembered what a recipient, of one of his good deeds had said in a letter to him, “...the giver becomes part of something vast and beautiful...” <br />
Edmundo gave the little kitten Bucky Linn and her mother a lot of kindness that might have been to make up for what he didn’t give the mystical Babalu. They slept in a comfortable box next to the stove until Bucky Linn was weaned. Then Edmundo and a friend, Kimi Jackson, found Bucky Linn a home with a lawyer and his mother went to live with a couple on a farm. It was a happy ending for all. And the mystical sacred and artistic Babalu, watching from the memories of Edmundo’s mind, was proud of him and started to purr and Edmundo's regret vanish. Ai Babalu ia ai Babalu ia .