The Story of George the Cat by Danika Cormier, RVT

This blog post hits a more personal note for me than most…
On August 31st, 2014 the apartment building at 487 Champlain St was destroyed by fire. This had been my home for over 12 years, and though I lost my own 3 loving kitties, I was very pleased to hear that the staff here at Acadia took it upon themselves to provide emergency care for any animals that were found and brought in from this tragic event. And so begins the story of George…

My neighbors, Judy and John Johnson, were home when the fire began and tried their hardest to get their beloved cats out with them. As the flames grew, they had to be rescued by firefighters from their fourth floor balcony. There was just no time. Though one of their precious kitties was never found, meowing had been heard in the building for a couple of days and suddenly, wandering on the second floor of the building was George, a 14 year old long-haired cat.

George was rushed over to us at Acadia. The prognosis was certainly guarded at first. He was cold (36.0c, normal is 38.5c), dehydrated, scared and covered in soot and debris. But this senior kitty was not ready to give up. Our dedicated team started treatment immediately, warmed him up, started IV fluid therapy and cleaned his matted fur. Now it was up to George…

This situation brings to mind something that we face at the clinic every day. Old age is not an illness… Senior pets should not be given up on, simply because they’re seniors. Cats can often live to ripe old ages of 18, 19 or even 20! Judy and John certainly weren’t going to give up on George. He’d made it this far, and he wasn’t ready to give up either!

By the next morning George was still in precarious condition, but we were pleased to see his temperature had risen back to normal, and his hydration status was on the rise. Not out of the woods yet, but Judy and John were so pleased to see their little darling on the mend and were cautiously hopeful that George would pull through.

George had been through quite an ordeal. He didn’t have much of an appetite, but he needed nourishment in order for his frail body to repair itself. Force feedings were begun in order to get him the energy he needed to get well. Repeated bloodwork, though not perfect, showed that George was indeed improving. Another day of fluids and constant care were given. It was decided to send George home with Judy and John along with a long list of instructions for his home care and continued force feedings at home.

This can seem like an overwhelming task when you have an ill pet, but with lots of help and advice from the staff at Acadia, Judy and John did a wonderful job with George’s ongoing home-care. When George came back to the clinic for a check-up a couple of days later, we hardly recognized him! He was scampering around the exam room, and was purring loudly as we petted him. Repeated bloodwork again showed a vast improvement. The whole staff is ecstatic with George’s recovery. I think I felt this most of all… I felt like I had a connection with George. Through this tragedy there was still something positive to be found. This little senior was not ready to give up, and luckily no one around him was either!