It’s been six weeks since Mort went out and picked a fight with a car, a fight in which he came off distinctly second-best. In those six weeks, he has been x-rayed, scanned, operated on for a tear in his abdominal wall and for a diaphragmatic hernia, has spent several days in intensive care, and since then has been at home, recovering.
When we originally took him to the surgery, he had a cut under his eye, all the fur on his stomach had been pulled out and rolled into a massive chunk of felt on his chest, he was passing blood in his urine and we thought he might have fractured his pelvis.
Instead it turned out that Mort had a tear in the abdominal wall which meant that his intestines and spleen were now lying on his rib cage – Mort is one of the few creatures you will ever meet who has genuinely vented his spleen. The amazing vets managed to get all of this put back where it belonged and the tear was stitched up. He also had a tear in his diaphragm, which meant that his breathing was compromised during the operation. I only found out today that through some of the operation the nurses were doing his breathing for him. Miraculously, the vets managed to stitch up this hole as well, and Mort was then moved to a specialised veterinary nursing facility 30 miles away, where among other things the vets drained 500 mls of air from his chest over two days. So, yes, he was also full of hot air. He also had an incision so long it looked as though he could unzip himself and step out of his own furry onesie.
Because the bills were really starting to mount up, and people had begun offering to help, we finally agreed to set up a fund for Mort’s expenses. Mac and Pete Jordan very kindly created a web page for us and then I sat and watched while my PayPal account went berserk. And then the cheques started to arrive.
We honestly had no idea Mort had quite so many friends, particularly when so few of you have actually met him in the flesh. We can’t thank you enough for your generosity in contributing to his fund. Between you, you have paid for the actual operation and covered a significant portion of the after-care as well, which was a great relief for us.. We are so deeply, deeply grateful to everyone for this and for all the moral support in those first few weeks.
Mort is now pretty much his old self. While he recovered from the operation he was happy to lie around snoozing but after a week or so he was clearly becoming somewhat depressed so we started letting him go out during the day. As it turned out, he didn’t want to go far but he really did want to sniff the air and hunt insects. His recovery has genuinely been measured in leaps and bounds as he made it onto the kitchen stool, the counter, the window sill, and so on. As he got stronger and was able to get onto the garden wall, this turned into wanting to inhale as much lawn and mud as he could find, and climb onto our neighbours’ kitchen roof (but we don’t talk about that last and especially not about how he nearly fell off).
In the last week, he’s become Full-on Mort again, and is now bounding round the house, meowing his head off, playing with Rosa and Minnow whether or not they want him to, as well as with his box-den and bits of dried cabbage stalk (Mort has a thing about brassicas). He is also back to waking the humans by sitting on them and purring hard into their faces, in between a little light savaging of their hands and feet. The legendary Mort appetite has also finally returned and he’s back to being a six-pouches-a-day and as many snacks as he can find cat. He is a bit more of a homebody than he used to be, for now at least, and we’re very happy about that.
Today we heard that the surgery has chosen Mort as their Pet of the Month for March, which is a lovely way to round off six weeks of worry.
So, once again, thank you to everyone at Manor Veterinary Clinic for their excellent treatment of Mort, and especially to Rosie and Rocio, who stitched him back together; to Newncourt Veterinary Hospital for exemplary aftercare; to Mac and Pete for facilitating Mort’s own web page, and most of all, to all of you for helping with Mort’s treatment and recovery. He is a testament to the kindness and generosity of the internet community.