She may look like little more than fluff and feathers, but Henrietta is a warrior woman.What else would you call a cat who’s survived a horrific hoarding situation; grueling months of baths for stubborn ringworm; and shockingly-severe liver disease…all without losing her divine spark?
We’re in awe of our tiny trooper at Tabby’s Place. When Henrietta first came to us, however, that feeling wasn’t mutual. Fresh from a hoarding case, Henrietta was ravaged with ringworm, atrociously underweight, and extremely angry. One of our staff members resorted to offering to pay others to medicate Henrietta for her.
We loved Hen anyway, though, and worried that the grizzled old girl might not have much time. Alas, an initial exam only fed our fears: Henrietta had a startlingly enlarged liver. Something was seriously wrong with this skinny senior.
Patient diagnostic work revealed that Henrietta had chronic severe lymphocytic cholangitis. This infection of the bile duct is never good news, but in Hen’s case, it was worsened by being paired with possible small-cell lymphoma. As if these life-threatening issues weren’t enough, Henrietta also had chronic herpes with recurring eye ulcers…plus that tenacious case of ringworm.
If there would be any hope of health, Henrietta would need a mountain of medications. Antifungals would help ward off ringworm, while steroids would calm the inflammation in Hen’s liver. An additional liver-supportive medication would ease her cholangitis, as would expensive, but potentially life-saving, chemotherapy. Antibiotics and eye ointment would help to keep Henrietta’s glistening green eyes comfortable. Finally, a senior diet would keep our girl going with gusto.
It all might be enough to make a lesser creature crumble. But surrender isn’t in Henrietta’s vocabulary, and as months went by, our old girl got her groove back. Gradually, Henrietta came to accept that we were on her side, and leeriness turned to love. As her wild silver-tinged mane grew back in and she added much-needed ounces, Hen became ever more beautiful in our eyes. Today, the very staffer who once offered to pay others to handle Hen has deemed Henrietta her favorite cat of all. It seems you can’t keep a good cat down…and you can’t resist Henrietta once you’ve seen her spark.
Given Henrietta’s horde of health issues, we know it’s likely Tabby’s Place may be her forever home. Please be one of her “mother” (or father) hens as we cherish this gutsy girl.