Meet our beloved kitty boy, Grady, who is now two years old. He is my husband and my joy and happens to be one of the world’s many kitties suffering from feline herpes, also known as FHV-1.
For Grady (and us, his family) feline herpes, which is settled on his eyes and nose, entails Grady’s eyes (and nose) run pretty much constantly like a faucet, a condition that no medication to date can change.
Three or four times a day – everyday – my husband Joe and I make time to clean our poor kitty’s eyes via a ritual of laying him lovingly on his back in our arms in front of the kitchen sink and running warm water on clean cotton balls that we then soothingly apply on each eye to wash away the tear overflow from his fur that is around his eyes.
If a feline herpes kitty’s eyes are not cleaned regularly the overflow tears harden and turn crusty, causing the cat physical distress as well as endangering the animal’s long-term sight health. It’s quite involved keeping up on our boy and takes a good amount of time to do correctly. But we love our boy and are committed to his wellbeing.
But we know also know well from having visited our local Humane Society regularly and seen personally that more cats than you’d realize suffer – untreated – from this condition and have no mommies or daddies to wipe up after them.
But when you fall in love with a little guy who beyond his control happens to suffer from this stressful virus – one that experts worldwide believe 90% of all cats are exposed to in their lives – you take on the responsibility of that kitty’s ills the very moment you say “yes” to that adopted animal, and after you bring your new baby home and into your everyday life, accepting the full financial and personal responsibility your particular animal’s health concerns involve.
If you have a pet who is facing health concerns, let us know and we’ll highlight your pet and his or her life challenge here. Many of us love animals of all types and try our best to work proactively to help them, and highlight the plight here on the net.
Grady and his (left) weepy eye, the one that is the most problematic. The quilted blanket (in this case wrapped around a heating blanket for kitties) was made for Grady by an elderly Humane Society volunteer who makes these personalized “blankies” for each kitten and puppy that comes into our Humane Society. I had put the small blanket away right after the tornado and Grady and the blanket were not reunited till a few months ago – almost two years since he’d last seen it. You’d think it had been years when he did see and smell it again! He pretty much went nuts and did a little happy dance around the blankie for quite a wile before settling down onto it on his tush-warmer where he sits most cool winter evenings.
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