Luka’s Story

Jenny rescued Luka and his sister Kia from a farm in West Cork on the back road to Caheragh, between O’Driscoll’s and Skibbereen.

A concerned passerby had reported the state of the kittens to Della who called Jenni – something dreadful wrong with their eyes.  Jenni got in contact with the woman who said they’d had bad eyes for two weeks but had disappeared.  Jenni asked her to contact her as soon as they reappeared.  And got a call a week later.  They were trapped on the 14th of September 2007, three weeks after their eye infections had been noticed.

Luka’s actual right eyeball was swollen, twice the size it should have been.  Not a virus, possibly an infection in the eyeball.  The eye was a purple, plum shade and looked incredibly uncomfortable.  I’d never seen anything like it.

Both kittens eyes were treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories but nothing could be done.  Kia’s left and Luka’s right eyes were removed in November.
Left with a pair of eyes between them the kittens went from strength to strength and their remaining eyes recovered fully, though Luka’s left eye suffers from weeping from time to time.

Kia & Luka recuperated at Jenni’s house alongside the Ms (Magic, Mischief & Magpie).  But as the lot of them grew there just wasn’t the room for them there and all 5 moved into my spare bedroom.  I was reluctant to take in any more foster kittens as I knew we’d ringworm loose in the house.  But there was nowhere else for them to go.  I linoleumed the spare room, defumigated it with bleach and various other products designed to kill ringworm and got it comfy with bedding, coorie holes and playthings.

And in November 2007 Luka & Kia (the One Eyes) and the Ms moved in.

Initially all the kittens were pretty timid, with Luka and Magpie being the worst.  Maybe because of that the pair of them really bonded and were practically joined at the hip.
I felt the kittens were pretty isolated up in the spare room on their own and tried to spend an hour or so up there with them daily as well as feeding and medicating them & litter changing at least twice daily.  But I just didn’t have the time and managed to recruit several marvellous volunteers to spend time with them – thanks go to Nuala, Dermot and Feargal in particular.

It took at least a week before Kia would approach and even longer before Luka realised that laps and belly tickles were well worth associating with the two legs that historically had neglected and abused him.

And, despite my fumigating precautions first Mischief, then Magic and Magpie and latterly Luka showed signs of ringworm.  I’ve learned more about this fungal infection that I ever cared to know this year.  It’s not really a problem for single cat households – the cats get over it quickly enough and are then resistant (though not immune).  But in a household like mine new cats coming in are at risk and nearly all seem to get it.

Anyway, the main reason for keeping this lot of kittens separate was to keep them ringworm free.  Now that they had ringworm anyway I decided to let them loose on the house.  They’d been confined for at least a month and I felt they just weren’t getting enough attention, the space felt small for such growing kittens and they’d no access to greenery at all.

And they were delighted to get out into the wider world and stretch their muscles to their limit.  Luka took a bit more time than the others to explore the whole house but figured out the cat flap pretty quick.  Delighted to be out in the fresh air and equally delighted to come back inside to the warmth once his inital euphoria got rained on.  He took over a week to stop cowering but it was well worth the wait as he’s another writher and loves getting his belly rubbed.

Sadly, when all the kittens Luka knew went to the UK in January he had to stay behind as he still had ringworm. Though he lost his best mate Magpie, who worshipped him, he didn’t seem to be too distressed and proceeded to come out of his shell and asserted his newfound dominance in the house by mildly bullying the two resident adult cats.

Posted in .