Tabata at the shelter
When I started volunteering at Apao four years ago I knew it was a matter of time before I would adopt but with nearly two hundred cats it wasn´t going to be easy to pick just one. After a few months I started to take notice of Tabata, a nine year old white and ginger cat who was in quite poor condition. I remember thinking she looked lost and hopeless as she wandered around, not like the other cats that seemed perfectly happy and content. I could tell she wanted attention but was nervous and I could only get close enough to touch her if I sneaked up behind without her noticing but when I started scratching her back she loved it! Over time she became more trusting and I decided she was the one, I so badly wanted to take her home and make her well.
I took the day off work, picked her up and went directly to the Vet where they had their work cut out for them. Tabata was skinny with a runny nose, flees, clumps of missing fur, an eye infection, a mouth full of rotten teeth constantly biting and gnawing at her legs and belly. The first thing we needed to do was get her strong enough so that they could operate and extract those teeth. So they gave her a good dose of subcutaneous fluids and antibiotics then sent us home with varios pills and ointment for her eye. Tabata went straight into quarantine, we didn´t know if what she had was contagious so it was best to keep her completely separated from my other cat Nuni.
With a constant supply of soft food and a warm bed she got stronger and healthier by the day. A week later at the Vet she was given more fluids, antibiotics, cortisone and an appointment for surgery to have all her teeth removed with the exception of the four fangs. And as soon as those teeth came out I immediately noticed a difference in the way she ate, she was no longer in pain, and I saw her use her tongue to groom herself for the first time.
After nearly three weeks in isolation I decided it was time to introduce the cats, they were both well aware of each other’s existence as they´d seen shadows under the door and caught glimpses of each when I was coming and going with the cat carrier. As soon as I opened the door Tabata came trotting out showing no hesitation, Nuni on the other hand, was a bit dubious and stalked Tabata for the first few days, following her around to see what she was doing all the while keeping a safe distance. But before long they were taking naps together and became play buddies, chasing each other back and forth with the occasional swat to the face but it was all in good fun.
I eventually found out that Tabata has allergies so by switching to a hypoallergenic diet her condition improved and regular cortisone shots were no longer needed to keep the itching under control. Today, Tabata is still is a little timid when I approach her straight on, this nervousness may never go away completely but nevertheless she´s gone through a complete transformation. She´s a total lap cat, purrs like a small engine, plays like a kitten and constantly flops herself down and rolls over in front of me so I can rub her belly. She´s also extremely vocal, she let´s me know when it´s feeding time and we´ve had some quite long conversations, in fact, the last one we had she told me she wants another playmate so we´ll see…
Not looking so well
In her new home
Starting to look a bit better
After having her teeth removed
Nuni the stalker
Nuni & Tabata nap time