As a veterinary surgeon for over 40 years, I came across many wonderful animals. Some stick out more than others and Elsie is one of those. Towards the end of my practising career I helped Anne Batley and her NZ Cat Foundation to provide veterinary care voluntarily. We were asked to help with a tiny kitten who was obstipated (extreme constipation).
This kitten, we later called LC (little champagne – her colour), had been rescued as a starving stray at a plant nursery that had eaten wood chips or some other indigestible foreign matter from desperate hunger. LC had already been to 2 vets who had recommended euthanasia. This situation became a huge challenge for us, but little did we know just how challenging it would be – how to get the bowel (colon) moving again and how to remove the build up of hard poo from the bowel.
We used enemas, faecal softeners by mouth, a drug to stimulate motility and gentle massage to evacuate the bowel. Two or three times a day we did this for about 6 weeks – yes it took 6 weeks before we were presented with a normal poo. Never have we been so delighted to find a normal poo and I photographed it for the record.
LC became an extraordinary cat and companion. Through all of this invasion she would happily lie in my arms as I walked about the property. She created her own fun by leaping in the long grass for some invisible prey or stalking the fence line balancing on the top batting any stray branch. That happened 8 years ago and she still stalks the undergrowth and enjoys all of the comforts inside the house.