When I had my interview at the shelter, we sat in the cat room and talked. Several of the cats came over and checked me out. One in particular jumped up on my lap and stayed there. When I showed up for my second interview, she was again waiting for me. When I sat down, she jumped up on my lap again and settled in. This kitty became my favorite. Her name was Mrs. Miniver and I always made sure I had time to say hello to her, no matter what else I was doing at the shelter.
Mrs. Miniver is very old. She is about 15, her owner passed away last summer. She and her brother came to the shelter and there they wait. Miniver had some dental work done when she first arrived at the shelter and there were complications. She never fully recovered from that. Her throat was damaged (she purrs like a freight train now and has trouble breathing) and her mouth wasn't ever quite right either.
I always told the volunteers in the cat building that Miniver could come home with me when she reached the end of her days. Early in November, she took a turn for the worst. Mrs Miniver stopped eating and started to hide. Not a good sign. I brought her home with me and figured she didn't have much time left.
She settled right into our family. Our girl cats Daisy and Baby stay in our bedroom and Mrs Miniver liked that just fine.
A couple weeks passed. Miniver would sleep right next to me every night and purr right into my face. I noticed that her breath was really bad. She didn't want to eat and was getting very thin I was worried the end was near and so I made an appointment with the vet.
When we saw the vet, he gave her a full exam. When he opened her mouth to check it out, I couldn't believe my eyes. Her teeth and mouth were a total disaster. I cried because it was so bad. How could we not have noticed this? The vets recommendation was to do surgery and pull all her teeth, cleaning out her gums and giving it a chance to heal. He said she would either not survive the surgery or she would come out of it a different cat.
The surgery was going to cost $600-$1000. I was very upset. How can you justify that kind of money on a 15 year old cat. The vet said that the original surgery performed last year was not complete and she has just been festering ever since. I felt like we owed it to Mrs Miniver to finish the job right and at least give her a chance. I called my director and told her the news. She asked what I thought we should do. I told her that if the shelter couldn't or wouldn't pay, that I would find a way to pay for it. That's all she needed to hear. If I felt that strongly, then we'd do it.
In the meantime, Miniver had an upper respiratory infection. We treated her with some injectible medication and a nebulizer. She hated that damn thing, but it sure made a difference. Once she was healthy, we scheduled the surgery.
Miniver came through with flying colors. They pulled all her teeth but one and cleaned out all her infection. After a recovery period, she started eating again and gained some weight. She stopped hiding and was much happier. At her 6 week check up, she was cleared for adoption. Now the question was - who would take a 15 year old cat with one tooth!
So, in honor of Wookie (read about him HERE), Opal (read about her HERE) and Gus (read about him HERE), we welcome Mrs Miniver to our family. She will always be one of us.