Monday, March 16, 2009

Lucille is Deaf

My little kitty has lost her hearing and I am sad for her. She is only 9 years old; the vet was quite startled and said it could only be age related. They checked her for mites--I was so hoping that was the problem, because getting rid of the mites restores the hearing. But no joy. Lucille does not have mites.

I think this hearing loss only took place over the last two months. I had noticed six or eight weeks ago that she slept really deeply and started when I tried to wake her up--I remarked to my girlfriend about it. Only after Lucille pulled a couple of chunks of hair out on her paws and I started really watching her behavior to ascertain if something was wrong--only then did I realize that she can't hear.

I stood over her and called her name as she slept--nothing. Then I put my hands down on her and she about jumped out of her skin. Then, I knew. She is living in a silent world now.

Lucille was a stray cat at Jim Bertolin's house; she came to live with us after she had been living on her own for a while. She had a ragged ear and mites and ringworm and all kinds of things wrong with her--the result of living outside and fending for herself. We cleaned her up and I had made arrangements for her to be spayed--when the vet cut her open, it was apparent that had already happened. Lucille is very social-- and had been since we got her. She obviously belonged to someone once. Who knows what happened and how she ended up out in the country at Jim's house, in the cold.

Of course, we never knew exactly how old she was. We had to guess and the vet and I talked about this the other day when I had her in for her hearing loss. The vet said she could be a little older than we thought--but not much. She's still really young to be deaf.

So I am trying to be aware that she can't hear. I go out of my way not to startle her--she does notice vibrations from the floor. I stomp up to her and she can hear me coming. That way she doesn't jump. Poor girl. I wish she could hear. I told my dear father that Lucille can't hear. He has been dealing with deafness for years--and said, "Welcome her to the club!"

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