Saturday, October 13, 2007

Teaching me to see

This is what a cat sees - a lot of blues and greens, and grays.

Tex, my 15 year old kitty - is blind as of last week.

I'm trying to figure out what to learn from all this. He has a hyper thyroid (for a couple of years at least), and some high blood pressure which probably caused the loss of vision. He is managing okay - better than I thought he would. He's on another one of his many lives, overcoming obstacles, living in the moment. He dreams a lot - moving and twitching - and then wakes up. What is it like to wake up to darkness? He knows his way around the apartment - he has that memorized. He's learned how to jump up on the couch and the bed - amazing. He's on a new diet for kidney regulation, along with saline injections because he was dehydrated. He still has his thyroid medication. All of this is worth it, hopefully. I'm not going to go to any extra-ordinary measures to save him, I'll let him decide how active he wants to be. These first few days have been hard on me - taking him to the vet when my car also broke down posed a challenge and a friend has been very generous in getting us where we needed to go. I'm wishing my other vet would have been more pro-active in telling me what to do to get some of this under control earlier, now it is too late.

I think about the morning rituals I have - opening the blinds, the curtains, how life must be so different without sight. It's made me pay attention to everything. Tex is aware of sounds and smells, his whiskers tell him where he needs to go, he seldom 'bumps' into anything. I know he's gradually adjusting. I don't think he's in pain unless his eye is bothering him. His one eye is worse than the other, he may have to have it taken out but it's too early to tell. The vet tells me about cats with no eyes who get along fine. The eyes are the window to the soul. It's hard to relate to others without the eyes looking back at you. Now they are a cloudy stare, his pupils are dialated and stay that way.

I'm not ready to give up on him yet. It seems like everyone says, 'he's old, he's not going to last much longer.' True. But cats are there to talk to; it will be lonely without him. I'm the type of person who needs a cat around the house. (Cleo, by the way, my other cat, is the same age and has hardly been sick a day in her life and is doing just fine) Tex may be blind but he is teaching me to see.

A good website on cat vision is:

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