Sunday, August 22, 2010

Azalia’s Tale by Su Mei Lenden-Hitchcock

It was a Wednesday afternoon and a group of us were headed for our very last gathering before my friend left for Australia to further her studies. It had been years since we last met. As usual, the same two friends were late and so my friend Jia Rong and I met up first. We had known each other since primary school and we were both passionate about animals. And that’s when it all started…

Knowing how much I cared about animals, Jia Rong told me about two kittens she had seen on her way to meeting us. She said they seemed to be in pretty bad shape and had mucus all over their eyes. My first thought was to go clean up their faces, but when Jia Rong told me she had already done so. We decided to go see the little kitties anyway since we had some time to spare.

When we arrived, we saw that the kittens had snort plastering their noses and dried mucus gumming up their eyes. These two black kittens were a miserable sight. One kitten had an eye infection so bad that her cornea had swelled and her eyes were clouded. My heart bled for them and I couldn’t bear to leave these two babies as I knew their future would be uncertain. A few phone calls and some time later, Natasha and Keong rushed down with pet carriers. We managed to get the kittens easily but mummy cat wasn’t coming along without a fight. We were hoping that we could catch her as well so she could continue nursing them and we could sterilise her eventually. Apparently, she had other plans and did not want to co-operate so after many unsuccessful attempts, we had to leave for the vet without.

Armed with lots of medication, Jia Rong brought the kittens home. The kittens were too ill and refused to eat, to the point of spitting out their medication and whatever food we tried to syringe into their tiny mouths. Badly dehydrated, the kittens were brought back to the vet, to be placed on a drip. It was then they were named. The smaller kitten, which proved, despite her frail looks, to be an extremely feisty girl when it came to doing things she didn’t like, was named Ariel, which means “Lion of God”. Her sister was named Azalia, meaning, “God has spared”.

Under the care of the nurses at James Tan Veterinary Centre, the kittens improved and their flu cleared up. Azalia was able to eat on her own after a few days but Ariel didn’t seem to improve much. She refused to eat and remained on drip. Sadly a week later, she passed on.

Azalia on the other hand, improved tremendously. She recovered and developed an appetite. When I picked her up from the vet a week later, she was FAT and her fur was lovely. Despite being blind in one eye from her eye infection, she was absolutely charming. Had my parents (and more importantly my own cat) allowed, I would have adopted her without a second thought. Samantha didn’t last long. The day after she brought Azalia home as foster cat, she decided to adopt her. All purrs and playfulness, Azalia had won the hearts of both Samantha and her siblings.

Azalia now lives happily with Samantha. She is a bundle of joy and has brought much laughter and love to the family. Her favourite toy is a stress ball that she loves to chase, despite it being too big for her. Her eye is healing very slowly and she has regained partial sight in that eye. Much loved by Samantha and her siblings, Azalia has finally found home.

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