Thursday, August 15, 2013

A bad cat day

Vet Gede checking on this small female stray cat with a bad leg

Sigh... where do I start? It's hard times here now, cat-wise.

Worst news first: the tiny little loud ginger kitten died. As hard as they tried at Lutwala Dive to keep the kitten alive, it just... well, died. So, so sorry to hear about that, but everything possible was being done, and the kitten received so much love and care... and it's a comfort to know it did not die alone.

Right now I have 3 sick cats in my house. My own Marli (short for Bob Marley) got terribly sick yesterday. I gave amoxicillin, but no change for the better. I called Vet Gede at Lombok and he agreed to come to visit first thing in the morning. I had Marli in my bedroom all night, he did nothing but sit in one corner of my bedroom, looking miserable. I woke up sometime at night, when he started to make weird noises, and I was shocked to find him bleeding from the nose. His breathing was also horribly hard and he smelled really bad. I've seen this before, it's cat flu, and a horribly agressive type of it. The cat can be fine today, and close to death tomorrow.

The vet came in the morning, brought me supplies, medicated the cat and showed me what to do. Marli is not drinking or eating, so I give him fluids with a drop (needle through the skin in the neck and fluids and stuff go in as liquid), vitamins and antibiotics. I need to give the fluids every couple of hours, so I know what I am doing the next couple of days, until Marli gets better and starts to drink and eat himself.

While the vet was here, I really really wanted to catch a couple of cats that are not mine but hang around and every now and then come to my garden for food. The other one, gorgeous big male had some kind of a boil in his face. The other one, a tiny girl, has a bad leg, that looked just awful: swollen and infected. The cat was basically walking with 3 legs only.

Luckily we were able to catch both of these cats, it required some team effort, chicken baskets, cat food, small sausages and a broom, but we did it!

The black male was an easy case: the boil was opened and cleaned, and he got some stitches. And as he was already knocked out, the vet castrated him too. He's still sleeping there, outside. I have him in a chicken basket, so he does not go wandering around before he is well enough and not drunk anymore.

But the small female cat with a bad leg. I'm not sure what the hell is wrong with her leg.  Now that I got a close look, it just... I don't know, it looked like something out of horror movie. The swelling alone looked awful but once we noticed the leg had tiny little pus-leaking holes all over... holy shit. The vet was also horrified and after thinking for a while said it most likely is some kind of parasite. But why on one paw only? No sign of maggots or anything like that, but sure, it may well be a parasite.

The vet cleaned the leg, spent like an hour just cleaning and desinfecting. Then putting some anti-parasite-spray and giving a dose of antibiotics to the cat. The cat needs to stay inside now, since his leg is full of these open holes. And as it is a stray cat, what could I do? She's in my house now, at the guest bedroom. Still sleeping, which is good, since when she wakes up, she is not gonna be feeling good. Leg is more sore than before, and she is locked inside, and she has probably never been  inside a house, more than just visiting. On the positive side, she does not need to worry about finding food now, I take care of that.

This is how miserable a cat looks when it has a bad case of cat flu. He would die for sure, unless he gets medication and care
So: the boil-faced male cat, no problem there. He can go as soon as he's not drunk anymore. But my Marli and this young female cat with bad they are right now, it just breaks my heart. Poor Marli is in my bathroom, under the sink,doesn't wanna move from there. The bleeding from nose has stopped now, but he is very sick, very miserable, probably in pain and he's just not himself at all.

So it's 24 hour cat care netxt couple of days. I was planning to finally try to finish my dive master training, but that can wait now. The sea is not going anywhere, and these cats need me more than I need my dive master -title.

Of course, a positive thing is that the vet came so soon, Marli got sick only yesterday. Another good thing is he checked and sterilized the big handsome black male that has been hanging around and has been causing lots of fights around here. It's also great that the little female's bad leg was finally checked, she is medicated and has someone to look after her now. But we still need some good luck to get through this.

This will be a vet clinic in a box
One more great thing is that I have now started collecting some medical supplies for cats. There is no vet here and it takes time to get to the vet or get the vet to come here, so most of the time you need to figure out yourself what to do, at least for a while. I try to put together some kind of "emergency first response"-kit for cats, or a "vet clinic in a box" as I call it. Vet Gede from Lombok brought me some basic things today, so it's a good start. The goal is that I have the EFR-kit here and if there is a cat emergency on the island, at least we have something to help with until a vet takes over.

For that, I will later on put out a list of what we need, just in case someome is able to help. The fact is we are here, on a tropical island, quite far away from everywhere, and it's impossible to find certain things here, or even from the islands close by (meaning Lombok and Bali). So Cats Of Gili needs help! Maybe you are a vet coming to Gili for a holiday and could donate us something, your TIME would be good too, once you get to the island. Maybe you have a friend who is a vet and would like to donate supplies. Maybe you are just an animal friendly person and would like to bring us something useful as you are coming here for a holiday! All help and donations will be highly appreciated!

Cats of Gili will become a project that concentrates helping the cats on these 3 little islands. I have lots of plans, and already things are happening, here in Gilis and good things happening in Lombok too. I'll tell more later on, now I need to concentrate on Marli and the little female with a bad leg.

As much joy animals brings to your life, sometimes it's so, so hard. Watching your beloved pet, or any other animal, to die... I don't think there's antything worse. Seeing sick or hurt animals, or otherwise suffering animals, it breaks my heart. If the cause for suffering is another human being, I feel terribly ashamed to be a human, and - to be honest - I feel a desire to KILL. At those moments I just wish the aliens came already and wiped us idiots off the planet, since we do not deserve to be here.

As my favorite quete goes: "The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none if has contacted us". The quote is from the awsome cartoon Calvin & Hobbes, when Calvin gets tired of all the rubbish and pollution on earth and runs away to another planet with his best friend Hobbes the Tiger. They meet aliens there, and the aliens are extremely scared when they hear the visitors came from Earth. Calvin finally figures out why, when he tries to explain why they left the Earth. Who wouldn't be scared of us? Just look how we have handled our own planet... if there is intelligent life out there, if they are any wiser, they won't be welcoming us with open arms (or claws or hooves or whatever they have).

This huge black male cat had a big boil in his face. Vet Gede cleaned it, put some stitches and then took off his balls!

After cleaning the little female's bad leg, we saw it's full of small holes


  1. There are so many bad things going on, but also some good - of which you are one of the best. Cats may be happy that you exist!

  2. Update on the cats in this blog post:

    Unfortunately my cat Marley did not make it, he died yesterday morning in Lombok, where I rushed with him to see the vet. As soon as we got to the vet, Marley stopped breathing and died.

    The little female with bad leg is doing a bit better today. Had eaten last night, the swelling of the leg is down a bit, and she finally lets me touch her without a terrible fight, so cleaning the leg and medicating the poor cat is not so hard anymore.

    The big black male was doing good last time I saw him, he haven't been coming back to my Warung Kuching for food, still mad at me for taking his balls, I guess.


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