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Fort Macleod residents rallied to save stray cat


Veronica and Anna Hoskin with their new cat, Gibby, who was brought back to health through the generosity of Fort Macleod residents.

Veronica and Anna Hoskin with their new cat, Gibby, who was brought back to health through the generosity of Fort Macleod residents.

I want to thank and acknowledge the staff at Edgewater Companion Vet Clinic, Claresholm CARes Animal Rescue Society and all the people from near and far that rallied behind a very sick little stray cat.
For the last month or so, a friendly stray was hanging around our street. When he came into our yard, he would purr and sit on the kids laps and hang out with the neighbourhood cats. He became such a frequent visitor, the kids nick-named him Gibby.
Then on Easter weekend, he came to our yard looking very tired and grubby. His face was a mess and he was covered in dirt and dust. The girls knew something was wrong right away and asked to bring him in. Since we have two indoor cats, he had to be quarantined in our bathroom over the long weekend until we could get him to the vet on Tuesday. We didn’t know if he was contagious and were worried about exposing our cats.
Over the next few days, Gibby’s condition deteriorated. He was salivating like crazy and wasn’t eating or drinking so we gave him water every couple hours through a syringe. He developed diarrhea but couldn’t groom himself. We went through a lot of Lysol and all Gibby could do was lay there.
When we got to the vets on Tuesday, they thought he may have ingested antifreeze — very dire. Claresholm CAReS had got wind of the situation and contributed a generous donation to Gibby’s treatment. We decided we better try to save him.
They inserted an IV and pumped fluids and antibiotics into Gibby. Over the week, there was very little change other than his colour going bad, indicating his liver shutting down. But by Friday his colour had improved. At that point, a feeding tube was inserted and Gibby was taken home by vet staff over the weekend so they could give him continuous care and regular feedings every two hours, even through the night. He began to excrete blood but by Monday, it had turned black which was an improvement.
It looked as though Gibby hadn’t ingested antifreeze but something corrosive. His whole digestive tract from his mouth to the end was covered in sore ulcers.
Each day after the weekend, Gibby improved by tiny increments but he was far from out of the water. How long would he be at the clinic? I began to worry about the cost of Gibby’s care and expressed that to the ladies at the vet. They indicated that after my contribution of $500 and the donation from Claresholm CAReS, they would subsidize. I was blown away by their passion, dedication and generosity.
When my friends heard about it, more donations went in for his care. In the end, a lot of people from far and wide were rooting for that little guy. Some of my friends said prayers for him, some did distance reiki.
And the phone call I got this morning indicated that Gibby has pulled through. His feeding tube came out, he’s walking around and eating on his own. Just like that! I’m not sure what kind of permanent damage was done, but after doing a lot of negotiating chores with the kids, we’ve agreed to adopt him and add him to our too-many collection of animals.
I can’t really put into words how I feel about everyone who rallied behind Gibby and the staff that wouldn’t give up on him. He was, after all, just a stray cat. But something about his plight struck a chord and people wanted him to have a second chance. He got it and that is just amazing. Thank you again to everyone that helped little Gibby.

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