Ruby was found in the grounds of the Callisto Hotel in Ayia Napa with her tiny kitten. Guests at the hotel had been feeding them. Ruby had lost most of her tail somehow and what remained was very sore and infected. One of the travel reps from the hotel called me and I took Ruby to the vets with her kitten as he was too young to be left there under the bushes alone.
The vet fixed her tail (what was left of it!) and she stayed there for quite some time even though the vet bills were clocking up, as I was reluctant to put her back at the hotel to an uncertain future and set about trying to find them both homes.
The kitten was getting evermore playful and it was decided to separate them as Ruby had for some reason developed a sore on her neck which wasn’t healing very well and the kittens playful claws weren’t helping. After a few days a friend of mine (Christine) offered to foster him until a home was found as he was by now going stir crazy in his cage alone. He was soon much happier at Christine’s running around with her other cats in the field around her house.
After a few weeks of no one showlng any interest in them I reluctantly decided that I would have to put them both back at the hotel and tried one more time on Facebook to get them a home. To my delight the very next day a lady in England came forward and said she would have them both! So I set about arranging the pet passports and flight. I decided to take Ruby home with me for her last few weeks in Cyprus as I felt she had been in that cage for far too long and wanted her to start to integrate with other cats again.
She had only been with me for a couple of days when I realised she seemed to be quite deaf and she had a little cough every now and then, particularly when she woke up. The vet had noticed some small lumps on her mammary glands which didn’t seem to causing her any trouble but had told me to tell the new owner to keep an eye on them.
I just felt there was something wrong and so I took her back to the vets for a blood test and an xray and the results were disastrous. One of her lungs was totally a shadow, her white blood cells were extremely high and she had tumours in both of her ears. These were things that the vets wouldn’t have picked up on when she was in there as she otherwise seemed healthy and after all she only went in to have her tail fixed!
I broke the news to Karen, the lady who she was going to live with in UK, and she was understandably very upset. I told her I didn’t feel it was fair to Ruby to put her through the stress of a flight nor to Karen to have to take on a cat with cancer and so we decided to look after her for the remainder of her life.
Karen very kindly offered to take another kitten of a similar age to Rocky to keep him company and so Rocky and Rambo (instead of Rocky and Ruby!) flew to UK and are now living a wonderful, happy and safe life there.
Ruby is being spoilt rotten here. We give her lots of love and attention and she has the best of everything. She is still quite well although over the past couple of weeks we have noticed she has suddenly started to lose weight. She is eating well but sleeps for most of the time.
There is a very large tumour now on her mammary glands. A couple of weeks ago my vet did a biopsy and it proved the tumour was obviously malignant. We don’t want to put her through chemo but we don’t want her to suffer and we will not let her suffer. In the meantime we are trying everything we can to make her as comfortable as possible but feel that she still has a reasonable quality of life.
I give her aloe vera gel to drink every day to boost her immune system and to make sure she is getting her nutrients. It is also a natural pain killer. She has taken to going outside in the afternoon over the last few days and so I take her bed out there and she just lies there until the cool of the evening when I bring her back in to “her” spot in the house.
The other cats (I have 22 in total here at the moment) seem to know she is “special” and keep a respectable distance from her. This is particularly noticeable when she is eating and they will not push in as they do with each other but wait until she has finished before they devour anything she has left. I find this astonishing that they “know” these things. Cats are not given enough credit for their intelligence and “knowing” in my opinion. They really are amazing creatures and it makes me so sad to see them treated so badly by some……
I am trying to find out all I can to do everything I can for Ruby to make her last days as comfortable and pain free as possible and would welcome any advice or knowledge that anyone has on this subject. My vet says to operate and remove the large tumour may make things worse or she may not even survive the operation. I am not prepared to take that risk or to put her through it and so for now I am just letting nature take its course and I hope and pray that when the time comes I will be spared the decision that all animal lovers dread and that the angels will whisk her peacefully away to Rainbow Bridge…………
Update on Ruby: On July 10th, Ruby’s long fight with cancer ended.
Ruby was laid to rest in our garden. I asked Bastet the cat goddess to look after her for all eternity. I feel so bad that I was not with her in her final moments which broke my heart, but at least the end came quickly and with little suffering. I hope that we managed to give her the best last few months of her life.
Rest in Peace darling Ruby. Your long fight with cancer is over and you are now waiting for us at Rainbow Bridge. I hoped you would wait for us to get back from UK before you took your last breath but that wasn’t to be. Thank you my little Ruby Tuesday. You were one very special cat, you were almost human with eyes that looked deep into my soul, I swear you were speaking to me. You never once complained about that cancer that just grew and grew inside you or that you had lost your tail. I shall miss your little face waiting for me every morning. I’m glad we had chance to sit together and watch the sunset a week before you died and have our little chat. See you one day at Rainbow Bridge little one. Rest in Peace little one.