Mention anything about a cat having issues with her bowels or colon, and 99% of adopters will flee in terror. Add the words inflammatory or mega to those bowel/colon conondrums, and you lose most of your last 1%.
Most, but not all. Besides, a cat doesn’t need 1% of adopters…she just needs the right one.
And so it’s happened that our Gabby, a megacolon survivor almost three years into her stay at Tabby’s Place, has found her “one,” her forever home.
Like Tex, Gabby is one of those cats who has always lived up to her name, chittering away as soon as you enter the room, and continuing her monologue as she weaves ladylike figure-eights between your knees. Reward her gabs with a pat, and your fingers sink into the softest, floofiest white-and-caramel fur you’ll ever touch. With a roundish face that seems curved into a perpetual smile, and a personality as soft and sweet as her poofy coat, Gabby would seem the type to be on the fast-track to adoption.
But then there are those tricky little truths we have to tell. About colons and bowels.
Gab first came to Tabby’s Place due to some serious infractions when it came to…well, “doing #2.” Yep, Gabby was pooping outside the litter box, and she was doing it liberally. Once our floofy feline joined us, it didn’t take long to realize that she was just about the most constipated cat we’d ever met. Poor Gabby was bound to be uncomfortable with all the “stuff” stuffing her up - who could blame her for just “going” as soon as she was able, whether or not she was near a litter box?
There’s little our veterinary team didn’t try in Gabby’s first Tabby’s Place year. Alas, a parade of enemas (now there’s an image), stool softeners, laxatives and special diets all came to no avail, and just made Gabby a very uncomfortable girl. The beautiful snuggler who had kissed the feline Blarney stone deserved better.
And so, with great care and concern, we agreed that Gabby’s situation merited the ultimate option: surgery. When a cat with megacolon is so uncomfortable that her quality of life is suffering, a subtotal colectomy can change her life and bring back her happiness. There’s a chance that the surgery (which essentially removes the colon) can result in lifelong diarrhea, but we’d be happy to clean up after Gab for the rest of her life if it meant she’d be comfortable and free.
But a better gift was waiting for Gabby. Not only was the surgery a success, but there was no cascade of diarrhea forthcoming. In a way, a new life started for Gabby, and we had the joy of loving an even sweeter, more exuberant Gabby than we’d ever known. The “new” Gabby was chattier, more gregarious, and clearly loving every minute of life unbound by megacolon. While most adopters still demurred once they heard about her history, Gabby already had a grand gift: peace.
For most of her Tabby’s Place sojourn, Gabby has roomed with fellow sweeties Lilly and Cali. While each of the three has a strong preference for human beans over fellow felines, they’ve reached a special understanding with one another, tolerating each other’s presence and (usually) letting the others receive some of the human attention on offer. I’ll confess I’d come to think of the three as bonded friends, “sisters,” even, although it’s quite disputable that they’d see things that way.
But it’s indisputable that the best gift for Gabby has finally come.
Yes, Gabby’s very own amazing, huge-hearted human bean has arrived and adopted our marshmallow-soft girl. Best of all, Gabby’s mom reports that Gabby is already loving life with her new family…including its four canine members. Who knew that Gabby was a dog-lover?
I expect there’s a lot yet to learn and love about Gabby. What a gift for the grand heart that’s taken her home!