Rachel Clark, California, United States

We have a colony of feral cats who call our backyard home. We provide them with food, water, and shelter, but due to there being no free or affordable Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs in our area, they continue to reproduce.

This past summer, one of the kittens who were born under our porch (a sweet, brave Ragdoll-looking girl I met for the first time on the day after my birthday and had already given the name Princess) got an eye infection. Since I could pick her up and handle her, we were able to try treating it. Our over-the-counter veterinary pink eye medicine cleared up only one, but not both, of her eyes, and I thought she should see a vet. So, I took Princess to the vet. They were pretty sure they’d have to remove her one eye that hadn’t healed, but she also had an upper respiratory infection that she needed to be able to recover from before eye surgery would be an option.

So, Princess moved into the house with us. The vet’s office became like our second home for quite a while, and finally, last month, she was pronounced clear of the upper respiratory infections and healthy enough for surgery. They did have to enucleate her left eye, and she got spayed at the same time. The story doesn’t end there, though, because having been on antibiotics for such a long time left Princess dehydrated and undernourished. We had to go back to the vet the day after she got her stitches out, because I saw she was having constipation-like trouble in the litter box. They gave her some subcutaneous fluids and sent us home with a tube of Nutri-Cal to give her for a month. I’m delighted to report that Princess is now feeling great and doing great. And I am fully addicted to her!