My beautiful Minnie, sister to Hank and Shadow, moved from Portugal to Puglia with us in February 2005. She was such a sweet and gorgeous cat, so lovely, all fat and cuddly. Minnie and Hank were so good, with all the dogs we have brought into their home, and they were also very close to each other. They would both give a dog a smack if needed. Where Hank used to play with some of the dogs, Minnie would not. She was far too ladylike.
Minnie’s life was far from uneventful, she had more than her fair share of suffering. In May 2009 Minnie was attacked by a dog and nearly lost her life. The dog that attacked her, Sonny, had arrived less than a month previously and had shown no signs of aggression towards the cats. Had we known that he would turn out to be so aggressive and dangerous he would never have come through our gates. We have to draw a line somewhere. We had no choice but to take Sonny back to where we had found him.
Minnie made a remarkable recovery helped by our nursing and became a picture of health again. She was at the vet’s for three days and when she came home we had to administer a daily injection and antibiotic in tablet form. After three days at home, Mino had to take Minnie back to the vet as she was still very poorly. He tried to clean up her wounds but at this point, there was little more he could do as she was too weak to be anaesthetised. She wouldn’t eat or drink so we were syringing fluids down her. It was heartbreaking to see Minnie in such a bad way. Minnie had to go back to the vet again to be sedated and have the wound cleaned up, the tissue had been badly infected where she had been bitten. My fat and cuddly Minnie was by now skin and bone. Once she started eating again we were advised to buy her A/D food for convalescing cats, very expensive, but she did start eating so somehow we managed to get it for her. The cost of her food, medication and vet bills was very nearly €200, a lot of money for us to find.
Around this time after both Hank and Minnie had been ill they were no longer as close. Such a shame, but by mid-June, six weeks after the attack Minnie had improved no end. She still had a little way to go and really needed to put some weight back on.
I was watching Minnie like a hawk, so worried that if she ventured out of the garden, she wouldn’t be strong enough to defend herself if she came up against another cat, or God forbid, a dog. We had friends round for lunch one day and I wasn’t paying enough attention and Minnie disappeared. She was gone from midday till 1 o’clock in the morning. I was frantic! Every five minutes I was in the garden calling her. I walked all around the fields outside calling and looking for her, and have suffered since, as my legs were bitten really badly by mosquitoes. I suppose she must have been feeling much better, to wander off like that.
Thankfully, after 48 hours, Minnie returned safe and sound. Maybe for some cats, going wandering for a few days is not a long time. For Minnie it was, before this she had never really gone anywhere, she was content to stay at home with me. You can imagine, I was frantic with worry particularly as she still wasn’t very strong after her trauma with the dog attacking her. I was so happy to have her back at home.
That wasn’t the end of her troubles. In September 2010 Minnie had to go back to the vet as she had a large lump and was very poorly again. At first, the vet thought Minnie had a hernia, and he operated on her. When Mino picked her up, he told him it wasn’t a hernia but a burst abscess inside. Poor little girl, they cleaned it all and stitched her up, the next day we picked her up and brought her home. She seemed fine, although she was slightly unhappy about wearing the Elizabethan collar she had little choice. Despite the collar, somehow, within 24 hours she had taken out all her stitches. She had a gaping hole and the whole thing looked such a mess. Mino had to take her back to the vet. Cats are so clever, how she managed to get at it with the collar on, I don’t know! The vet did not restitch the wound, we had to put Iruxol into the wound three times a day and give her an antibiotic injection once a day.
After that Minnie went on to live a quiet and contented life, staying at home, for another five years until she died on 19th November 2015, aged almost 14. I loved her so much, she will always be in my heart.