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March 16, 2009 | by  | in Opinion |
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the Wong View – Herpes

There’s no herpes like cat herpes. Seriously. It’s a plague our feline friends can never escape (and a truth that, sadly, I know only too well). But it’s time to take a stand. No longer will our pets live in shame. This year their story will be known. Here is the tale of Boomerang (aka my cat) and her life of hardship.

Boomerang

Boomerang has always been an awesome cat. As a kitten, she would show her affection by scratching, biting and vomiting. You could call her pretty smart too—one time she climbed out the window and hid in the next apartment, creating a long search and several calls to the SPCA. She even stole fruit muffins and a whole bag of salami from the neighbours, which was really swell. So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to hear: “Your cat has herpes.”

“Your cat has herpes”

After a long day of uni, I came home only to find Boomer had a bung eye. She didn’t look like she was in pain, hell, she didn’t even seem to notice. But, being the dutiful owner that I was, I called the vet.

I have a tendency to zone out when people talk to me, so as the vet was explaining what Boomer had, the news didn’t really hit me. All I heard was:

“Boomerang is fine but… herpes, a type of feline virus… like the cold sore. It doesn’t go away…”

It was only when he started writing out a prescription that I realised what my cat was: a walking STD.

Road to a Cure

It’s not easy medicating your cat, let alone buying her drugs. But lucky for me, her pills can be found at the local pharmacy. Awesome. Walking in, I found the appropriate person and handed over my piece of paper. She looked at it. “So your cat has herpes, huh?” I nodded.

I had never thought of a pharmacist as a sales person until that day—she managed (quite convincingly) to sell me a pill-crusher. It’s quite amazing. It takes all the hassle out of, well, pill-crushing, and as she put it, “I don’t know where I’d be without one.” It was at that point that I knew it would be twenty dollars well spent.

You may not be aware, but Boomerang will have this virus for the rest of her life. As a result, I have to constantly give her these drugs. Dinnertime is a traumatic affair at my household.

You know something is up if your cat refuses her food. One time I thought, “Well, she always tries to eat what I am having for tea. Maybe if I eat a little of hers…”

I’m telling you now, that doesn’t work.

Social Stigma

One day, I noticed her eye was swelling. Up until then, she had been fine. Eventually, the swelling reached the point where she could no longer open her eye. Cats avoided her. Perhaps in the feline world, they could sense she had herpes. I didn’t realise what a stigma it would be on her social life. But she soldiered on through the week.

That is until her eye burst.

There was pus everywhere. Now, not only did cats stay away from her, but people also stayed away from me. We were both lost souls in the sea of social isolation. However, not all hope was lost. As we battled through this prejudice, we forged a bond that can never be severed. I love my cat.

So, that ends this tale of Boomerang and her herpes. She is off her meds now and doing well. I think this affair has made me a stronger person—I will never judge another herpes-infested cat again. If you ever find your feline in the same situation, just remember there is no right or wrong solution, but there is the wong view.

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