As would be expected, my lessons from the little stray cat Hope that I took in last year have continued, as my journey with her is accompanied by learning, inspiration and yes-- sometimes exasperation. For those of you who did not read the previous story of how she came into my life, here it is.
Several weeks ago, Hope gave us another scare. Just when things were going well, she started meowing incessantly day and night. This went on for 3 weeks until I was at the point of no return. I had tried flower essences and they only seemed to work for a few days at best. It seemed that she was wandering around aimlessly in search of something and often times her meowing was so severe, that you'd think someone was trying to harm her. The loss of sleep was really starting to get to me.
Despite having recovered from her last episode, a persistent ear infection simply would not go away and this seemed compounded by what did in fact, appear to have been a type of mini stroke which had left a number of after effects. When the homeopathics did not work, I took Hope to my vet and she was given antibiotics which eventually resolved the ear problem, however, she had developed a permanent head tilt called torticollis which he felt was due to a stroke. I usually only resort to antibiotics after I've tried other methods to stimulate the immune system. In Hope's case, she simply couldn't overcome this ear infection without them.
I had noticed that since her last collapse, Hope also did not seem to be able to see anymore and the vet confirmed that this could also have occured due to the stroke. Her whole body had changed and it was amazing to think that she was still around. The meowing seemed to coincide with the restoration of balance in both ears combined with what seemed like hearing loss resulting from the stroke. What else could go wrong for this little cat?
I decided to give Hope another dose of her original remedy Lycopodium which I have used with great results with stray and feral cats who suffer from health problems related to malnutrition and being homeless. Whether Hope's condition had already deteriorated or the remedy caused her to express underlying symptoms, I will never know, however, what I experienced with her next was truly overwhelming at the time.
Sometimes when you chose a remedy, the animal or person will display new symptoms which will lead you in the direction of the right remedy and/or the cure. Hope's meowing stopped for several days after giving her Lycopodium, however, what happened next took me by great surprise. It led me in the direction of another level of understanding of Hope's complex health condition and also the abilities of homeopathy to deal with a wide variety of problems. Suddenly one day she started drooling excessively and then vomitting bile and even piddled right in front of me on the kitchen floor. Since I felt she might get worse, I put her in a kennel and monitored her. Several hours later I heard her howling and found her foaming at the mouth, delerious and her head twisting and contorting around in the air as though spirits or some unseen force was trying to attack her. I panicked thinking she was in the throws of death. I didn't know how to alleviate her pain and suffering and since it was late at night, the only option was a trip to the animal ER which I didn't want to do.
Once again, I decided to talk to a friend who uses homeopathy with her cats and she suggested I use Aconite which is a remedy for trauma and shock. Because I was in the middle of the situation and was unable to think clearly, I hadn't thought to consider this. It is a remedy made from the flower Monkshood and I've used it often for wildlife that have been injured and severely traumatized, so that they become handleable. It made sense to me, however, the problem was that I couldn't even get near to Hope, as she was in such a state that it seemed that she might attack me. So, what I decided to do was just get some drops on her skin which would eventually absorb the energetic vibration of the plant.
In the meantime, I went through my homeopathy books again and reviewed one of the remedies I had used previously on Hope during her first collapse. One was Belladonna, another plant remedy. The plant itself is toxic and psychotropic if ingested, however, if taken in the form of homeopathy which is just the energetic vibration, it can produce amazing results. I had seen it with Hope in the past, with my son, and with myself. It's one of those remedies I just love to use because it is typically used with sudden onset and extreme conditions. Well, Hope's symptoms were all pointing in the direction of Belladonna so I tried it once again and left her alone. I checked her later in the night and she seemed to have calmed down.
What struck me so severely during this experience was the sudden change in Hope's disposition. She had gone from a cat that was extremely sweet, clingy and docile to one that was vicious and out of control with glaring eyes. Then it dawned on me that she felt I was a threat, similar to a wild animal, because she did not recognize me anymore. The Aconite and Belladonna had worked to calm her, but there was more going on with her. That's when I realized that Hope was acting like she had Alzeimer's disease and so I did some research and found out that cats, do in fact, experience Alzheimer's just like humans do. All the patterns which she had been displaying, including the incessant meowing were all related to her diminished mental capacities and her lack of clarity regarding her surroundings. During my research, I also found homeopathic remedies that have apparently helped in managing this disease in humans.
After things quieted down, the next morning I found Hope much less agitated, however, I still could not touch her. She actually moved away from me, cowering in the back of the kennel and flinching if I even so much as touched her. She also had develeped a severe nasal discharge. She looked a wreck and for 2 days she would not eat, but I had begun administering Natrum Sulphuricum which is a type of salt remedy which I had never used before. Hope was displaying many symptoms relating to this remedy including the alternating between melancholy and periods of mania, all which formed her constitutional (entire) picture. Natrum Sulphuricum is one of several remedies suggested for working with Alzheimers disease and it seemed right for her. I literally didn't have much hope at this point due to the severity of what I'd seen and the fact that Hope wasn't eating, so once again I scheduled an appointment with my vet to put her down if she still hadn't eaten by the 3rd day. She had improved in that she was once again allowing me to hold her, however, she seemed to have absolutely no interest in eating anything and that is always a pretty strong sign for me.
As a last attempt, the morning of Hope's appointment, I decided to syringe her with some baby food and suddenly she walked over to the food bowl and began searching for more to eat. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was as if she suddenly remembered what food was. Not only did she regain her appetite and start grooming herself, but she also began playing with a toy mouse as though she was a kitten again. It was truly an endearing sight to see and worth just one day of seeing her so happy again, regardless of what lay ahead in her future.
As the days progressed, Hope continued to eat with our other cats and put weight back on. It has been over two weeks now and although still fragile and at times wandering from room to room seemingly searching, she has continued to improve and is definitely living comfortably now and no longer meowing. She has some days that are better than others and when she seems to be going downhill, I just redose her and she improves. Due to her diminished hearing and sight, Hope seems to rely more now on the realm of vibration paying attention to what she smells and feels, as her other senses have become more acute. Overall, I know that Hope is still here to teach me about the resilience of animals, overcoming seemingly hopeless situations, and a deeper understanding of the miraculous powers of homeopathy.
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