It’s been nearly a month since our little baby cat was hit by a car and had to have a leg amputated, and so, I thought I’d give you all a little update on life with our three-legged babe.
That weekend, back at the beginning of August, was easily up there in my top 5 hardest moments of adulthood.
I won’t bore you all again with the full details of exactly what happened (although if you did miss that post, it’s over here), but it hit me in a place I really didn’t think it would.
And, watching myself fall so tremendously over an injured cat absolutely terrified me. It scared me for the future and all the bigger battles I’m yet to face that I know nothing about, it scared me because it made me so aware of my strength and alerted me to the idea that I maybe wasn’t as strong as I’d always pictured myself to be.
I felt like a broken person waiting for each update. Waiting to find her, waiting to hear what the vet would say about bringing her in at 3am, waiting to hear a morning update, waiting to hear her x-ray results, waiting to hear about her surgery and her ruptured stomach wall and her possible nerve damage around her bladder, waiting to hear about when she’d come home.
I didn’t realise quite how deeply in love, quite how connected and best pals I’d become with Rudey, until she was almost taken away from me. And then I realised she was my everything and that I would do anything to make sure she could come home to me.
I bought Rudey from a Polish family in Leyton in September 2013. I was told she was a boy and I named her after my Polish granddad who’d passed away earlier that summer. Chris and I weren’t yet official, but he was visiting London for my 24th birthday weekend and came with me in the pouring rain to check out this fluffy little mite I’d spied on Gumtree.
I hadn’t planned to bring him (her, obvs) home with me that night because I’d planned to have 20 friends over to my studio flat for pre-drinks the night after, but alas, that little fluff ball convinced me otherwise and suddenly I had a tiny baby kitten who could fit in my hand, living with me.
She really enjoyed the pre-drinks party too and posing in people’s hands for photos and selfies, takes after her mother, she does.
We spent a year together living in London – she made sure I didn’t stay out drinking every night because DAMN GOTTA GET HOME AND FEED THE CAT, she also became a pro at sneaking into cupboards and dragging wet food sachets to my bed and mauling them open with her teeth when I was at work.
She made me cry a LOT because she liked to attack my ankles when I was already in a fragile mood and make them bleed, she’d wake me up by clawing up my curtains at 3am, and we’d often spend the snooze time between 6am and 6.30am with her purring on my chest whilst licking my nose.
We had a lot of fun.
It’s always felt like she’s as much Chris’s little baby, as mine. And whenever I went away for work (or for holidays because LOL, I LOVE HOLIDAYS), he always took her up to Ipswich and keep her in his bedroom at his mum’s house. She became a very seasoned car, bus, taxi and train traveller and was pretty haps about it because guuuuurl gotta get as many cat treats as she can.
We moved to Ipswich together last summer and have spent the last year working out working from home as an adult in a grown-up relationship together. She’s been my little rock. So when something happened to her, it really, really, really felt like someone had ripped all of my organs out and left me empty and numb.
I struggled to eat or sleep or talk or walk or function. I didn’t reply to texts, I couldn’t do any work, I couldn’t be Hannah until she was home and I knew she’d be OK.
She had to wear a cone for a week, be on cage rest for two weeks and then has another month of house rest after that, because her routine surgery had complications.
I moved my iMac downstairs so I could be with her during the day, which was both the most hideous and rewarding thing I could have done. Hideous because every time she tried to itcher her face with her back leg that wasn’t there I’d burst into tears and sob into the sofa, and rewarding because it felt like I hadn’t abandoned her, that I was supoorting her through her recovery.
She struggled to eat with her cone so I spoon fed her three times a day and lifted her water bowl to her mouth every now and then. She cried to come out of her cage and so we’d let her wriggle around the lounge, only for every time I’d turn my back to read an email, her to leap over the barricade to the dining room we’d made and attempt escape.
She once made it to the garden and it legit took me an hour to calm down that she *could* have damaged herself (she was fine, obvs).
It took me about a fortnight after the initial accident to feel normal again. To not feel like I could burst into tears at any given moment and to not feel like constant grogginess hanging over my head from the moment I woke up, to the moment I feel asleep. I was emotionally exhausted and drained and maybe that makes me weak or soft, but y’know what, I’m very OK with getting overly emotional when it concerns the wellbeing of my favourite people (and animals).
She’s fine. She’s naughty. She’s attention-seeking and constantly crying for no other reason other than she’s bored. She’s fast, she can jump, and her fur is starting to grow back. She’s had a few incidents where she’s tried to jump onto something she used to be able to reach and has fallen back down, but she doesn’t seem agitated and pissed off the way I would be.
She is good, she is healthy and she is happy.
And so my heart is happy, even when she wakes us up at 5am because it’s starting to get the tiniest bit light and she fancies eating breakfast now.
Oh Rudey Cohen Mittens Gale, you’re such a little rascal <3