My human asked me if I would consider going camping with his brother and sister in-law over the long weekend at the end of August. My response "Sure, as long as it's not the Bear Grylls kind of camping you and your brother do". I like camping...at a campsite, with a fire pit, and some necessities, like a toilet facility and shower. But this was a whole new level of experience! Now, I term "Bear Grylls Camping" to be real wild life, live off the earth kind of camping, the way Bear Grylls does on television. Our camping trip wasn't exactly like that...we took food with us, and didn't have to eat bugs, or any type of reptile, thank goodness!
So it was decided, we were going camping in Brecon Beacons National Park for four days, us four and the two dogs, Bennie and Mocha. As my human would put it, "I had all the gear, and no idea!"
After our four hour drive from London to South Wales, we did an hour and a half hike ( me in my trusty mustache gumboots!) to where we were to set up camp. The whole hike there I couldn't believe I had agreed to do this, I had voluntarily said yes to carrying a ton on my back through long grass, mud and stinging nettles, and up the steepest hill! The dogs on the other hand ploughed through it all, so excited about the adventure they were on. The amount I value our little dog Bennie could never be completely described in words, he always stops and looks back to check on me, making sure I haven't fallen too far behind, that I'm still alright with the task he's so happily doing. When we got to the top, the guys got to work setting up camp and making a fire in between tall pine trees, and I set off to explore our surroundings with Norman (my camera) in hand... And it was magical! The trees looked like the could touch the sky, they were so tall, and there was moss covering everything, on the rocks and hanging from the trees. As I kept walking the scene changed from mossy greens to autumn browns and it all looked so gloriously secluded and untouched. The dogs were in their element, sniffing every little this and that. Mocha (my person's, brother's Jack Russell) was super keen to jump in and out the little streams and explore all the new smells.
Being in the woods like that, make one appreciate the small things like a tap with water, an extra blanket in the cupboard when you're cold, clean socks and a stove. But I was so amazed at how efficient my human and his brother are with the resources they have at their disposal in the wild. They knew where and how to set up our camp, got our fire going, collected logs to keep the fire going, collected water and boiled it, prepared our meals, and when we left, there was very little trace that we had been there at all...well rounded wildlife camping men!
Next time...and yes there will be a next time...I will be more prepared, now that I know what to expect! Nature is beautiful and mystical, and there is nothing quite like breathing in that glori
On Friday, April 25th at roughly 8:30am, my fur-muse came crawling in the window in obvious pain, his breathing gurgled. His whole body was dry except for his back legs and he had this strange fluid coming out of his nose. Instant neurotic mother mode kicked in and I started to panic! Thankfully my human was still home, about to leave for work. I calmed enough to call the vet and asked if we could bring in my cat ASAP, it was an emergency! Then I put Mo straight into the traveling box and we rushed over to the vet. Thank goodness my human is calm and reassuring, because I was an absolute ball of mess with worry! The kind nurse at the took him and put him into an oxygen tank, so he could try breathe a little easier, until the vet could see him. The vet did an examination of him while we waiting in the waiting room and then called us in.
With not knowing what Mo was doing or where he was when what ever happened, the vet could only speculate, but wanted to do an x-ray and blood test to try rule things out. So we left Mo in the vets capable hands and waited to hear from the vet. Chilli phoned the vet for me, because I would've been a blubbering idiot. Mo needed to stay for the weekend on a drip of anti-biotics and pain relief, his x-rays showed no broken bones or collapsed lungs, but they still couldn't ascertain what was wrong. They did know he had loads of mucus coming out and his chest area was bruised and sore.
I was allowed to visit him on the Saturday afternoon, and it broke my heart to see him look all groggy on pain medication, with the drip in his leg and a cone-collar on so he didn't pull it out. He was doing a bit better with his breathing, but hadn't eaten anything. So I left with a heavy heart, hoping he'd be well enough to come home the next day... Which thankfully he was. I got to take home my patchy kitty! (they had shaved him on his neck for the blood test, one front leg for injections, one front leg for his drip and a spot on the base of his tail for his pain patch). He was sent home with 10 days anti-biotics and pain medication, as well as something to help with the mucus stuff still coming out his nose. He had another check-up I had to take him to on Monday...but Sunday night I pretty much stayed awake worrying that something would happen during the night and I would be helpless to help my furball. So on the Monday they kept him after his check-up, more as a precaution because he hadn't eaten. But we got the go ahead to bring him home, once he had eaten a whole tin of what they call pate for cats.
Slowly but surely he has been getting better every day, he had a lot of sneezes, coughs and snot balls come out. He wasn't allowed out (mostly because of his neurotic mother) until his meds were complete and I felt he was strong enough to be able to defend himself again...which I'm sure the process was sped up by Bennie tormenting him all the time. He's back to being out in the sunshine and watching for birds, but is in every night curled sleeping on the pillow right next to my head...his mothers child!
P.S. A BIG thank you to my human for your patience, calm and support with Momo, how would I have held it together without you!
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