On that fateful day, Ben was dying. I like to think that those spiritual forces that surround us gathered to watch. They reviewed his life and saw the misery, the lack of love, the sadness. It was not his time so they sent a lady on an errand to the house where strays were left food and she saw him, lying there, already climbing on to that mythical Rainbow Bridge.
He struggled and scratched her but she got him in to a carrier and took him straight to the vet and sent me a text.
It was not feasible to save him I was told by the attending vet in a phone call. He was too far gone. His teeth were rotten, his mouth full of ulcers and lesions, he was FIV+ and he fought any attempt to examine him with what little strength he had left. 'How do you expect him to fight this ? she asked.
All due respect to that vet, her experience and the things she sees daily in these difficult times but we had to try.
He was put on a drip, given pain relief, medications, bloods taken.
Later that night his vitals plummeted but the spirit people standing by must have whispered in his ear, keep fighting, things will change.
And he did. By morning he was stabilising.
He spent days in hospital. All his teeth were removed, he was syringe fed by them, given pain relief, antibiotics. His was desexed and vaccinated, his ratty tangled painful fur shaved off while having surgery.
Our vet called me. She wanted him to come home because he was depressed. We had no room, nobody to foster him. We had to leave him there for a few more days until we found someone.
And then we did.
Our foster carer was also a rescuer. She worked with rescue, fostering mainly mum cats and kittens and orphan kittens for others. Ben settled in to eat high quality food. He ate and he ate to begin with, He put weight on his scrawny frame.
There developed a love affair between Ben and his carer but it was not over yet. Ben had breathing difficulties and came back to surgery for more antibiotics and observation.
He needed Entropian surgery for his eyes and came back a third time for that.
Each time it meant a long drive for our volunteer who first found him and later ourselves.
.The love strengthened, at each separation between Ben and his carer.
Until.....Ben is being adopted by his foster carer.
Enormous thanks to Bronwen Stade, Lex Lexy his carer, the staff at Farifield Road Vet Hospital and the people who donated towards his recovery. To enable us to rescue more cats like Ben please see our donation page.