The vet told me five days ago that it should heal with the medication within three days, but it has not.
So, today, the vet said it would have to be a very thorough check-up with blood tests and xrays.
A blood test revealed that Tiger is FIV+. This is the feline immunodeficiency virus, a cat version of the human HIV. This sort of explains everything now:
1. The persistent wound behind the ear that would not heal. It would appear to "heal", then would erupt every few days.
2. The lameness that refuses to heal.
Tiger, being FIV+ has an immune system that has been compromised. Hence, healing is difficult.
Later, after a lengthy discussion with the vet, Tiger's condition might even explain his timid character. The xray revealed "doughnuts" in the lungs. This is the layman's term to describe enlarged "tubes" in the lungs. Tiger may have been suffering from mild oxygenation problems, thus making him timid because he has difficulty breathing (this is not obvious to us).
Tiger has been timid ever since he was rescued as a baby.
So, I now have another FIV+ cat in my colony. Bunny is also FIV+.
I suppose when you choose to rescue stray kittens and adopt them, you have to be prepared to face such eventualities. They come with all kinds of diseases and symptoms. It could be either genetic or picked up from the street.
Earlier, right after I boarded Tiger this morning, I went to buy a cat condo for him. I figured he would need cage rest to recover from his lameness. No more sneaking out to the neighbour's anymore. This morning, I found Tiger limping in the middle of the road!
Now, the vet says Tiger may never recover from his lameness due to his compromised immune system. But to the vet, the lameness is the least of his worries. He explained that if you had AIDS, would you worry about being lame?
Here's Tiger in his new condo. I had set it up in our covered backyard, but decided to bring it into my room, next to Suki's house. I spent the entire afternoon clearing up my stuff just to make space for this huge condo.
Tiger was quite unhappy being caged, but soon, he decided he'd use the litter box as a bed. Here he is now, resting, after a long day at the vet's.
Of course I am upset that Tiger is FIV+, but that's life. These things happen. And you would just have to take it in your stride and do your very best for these angels who come into your life to give you a chance to practise unconditional love and compassion.
Tiger is my angel.
One day at a time. For now, it's nursing his lameness, hoping for a miracle that it might heal. Liquid spirulina to the rescue!
One day at a time. Indeed, isn't that all we have?