Poor Precious has had a skin problem for the past month, much to his dismay and growing dread of being shoved ( as opposed to casually walking ) into his cat carrier. Oh the first time was ducky. I don't have a clue why he didn't even blink an eye during the 45 minute car ride to the veterinarian's office. After the second ride things got dicey.
While there in the waiting room he got to visit through his carrier door with the two "Hospital Cats" that greet everyone that comes through the door. One is all black and has the feral 'notch' in his ear. Which just goes to show that even though a cat may be feral starting out, they really just need to be in a safe place with loving humans. The other has such horrible allergies she has to have shots all the time, her nose runs, she sneezes and her eyes are always swollen and runny, but she doesn't let feeling miserable like that all the time affect her pleasant disposition, nor the concern she shows when any animal is in the waiting room showing obvious signs of distress.
Well by the third time in as many weeks that Precious had to return to the vet for another antibiotic shot my son and I walked in to see this on one of the benches, on his own little bed.
He didn't look really happy to see us so we asked before sitting on the other end of his bench.
The receptionist then told us "Harvey's" story.
First of all, Harvey is extremely small for his age, and not due to the circumstance of his unfortunate expression. He is about a year old and all of two pounds, with an hilariously loooooong tail. When he was around six months old a large and very ornery raccoon decided to try to eat Harvey, who fought like a trooper, managed to get away, but showed up on a door step with half his face missing and screaming for help.
I cannot even imagine the extent of the emergency surgery to save poor Harvey, but the reconstructive surgery as well that enables him to eat, and breathe. One actually hears him before seeing him, much like those little pug dogs. Harvey made it through all the surgery and accompanying anesthetics despite his diminutive stature.
Despite his horrific experience, he is one of the most loving and compassionate cats I will ever meet.
Precious had been yowling for the entire car ride, knowing yet another really quite quick, and not too painful shot in his shoulder was included in the not-fun-anymore ride. He howled louder the entire time my son and I were trying to listen to Harvey's story. What we failed to notice
, so horrified were we by THE ATTACK ON HARVEY, was that at some point Precious had stopped howling.
At the end of the stomach churning tale we turned to check on Precious, and there was Harvey at the cat carrier door, with one teeny paw resting in the door, with Precious on the other side, both nose to nose. Precious was actually relaxing. Harvey is a miracle in more ways than one, for while sitting on the bench next to them both I had to reflect on one of my mother's most important pieces of advice. "Always look at the inside first, aesthetics don't matter if there is no compassionate soul holding it together." At first both my son and I had thought Harvey was not a happy camper and way beyond unfriendly simply because of his expression.
Once he had calmed Precious down he sat on our laps and snuffled trying to purr rolling around on our laps until the receptionist crumpled a piece of paper, automatically chucking it on the floor. Harvey has his humans trained. They are conditioned to automatically throw the crumpled paper on the floor, as the minute he hears the paper begin to crumple he is up and running. The receptionist is one we had not met before (which is incredible considering the amount of time we spend there.... *sigh*) but the second she chucked the paper she started apologizing saying they can't disappoint Harvey so they just wait until he is done chasing the paper ball around then they pick it up (Classical Conditioning at its best, way to go Harvey ).
Harvey served to remind me there should be no such word as ugly.
Of course when it was Precious's turn to go into the examining room, he started his screaming like a little girl again while we were trying to convince him this was not a Poe novel nor would he end up on The Rack. The other two hospital cats were following, they too feel compassion in the wake of distress, but when we arrived in the room we were greeted by this...
Harvey knew which room we were headed for and made it there ahead of us waiting on the floor. The minute we put Precious on the bench (gaud forbid we give him a heart attack by putting him on the aluminum examining table two seconds longer than he absolutely needs to be there...) Harvey was up on the bench with his teeny paw through the carrier door again communing with Precious. And sure enough. Precious stopped howling. Needless to say I was in love and hoping our vet would say that yes, Harvey had his forever home in the hospital, and when she did, relief flooded over me. He will need special care, and special food, well, special everything for the rest of his life, and they will provide it, while Harvey provides proof that no matter how hard the struggle, no matter how much it hurts, with love everything is possible. With that, I end with the best photo my son took with his phone.