Guardian Angel: A Cat named Walley
by guest Author, Fay Stancliff
I have read many stories about dogs being very protective of their owners, but there have not been many such stories regarding the loyalty of cats.
Cats seem to only be affectionate on their terms. Usually they stay to themselves, coming around for an occasional pet on the head. But for me that changed after September, 2004.
We were given a beautiful kitten we named Walley in 1995 when he was just 6 weeks old. He gave us so many happy memories and joy the 12 years he was with us. Little did I know he would become my “Guardian Angel”.
In June 2004 I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Polymyositis and if that were not enough, also with another disease called interstitial lung disease (also referred to as Fibrosis of the Lungs). By the end of August my Rheumatologist decided to add Methotrexate to the treatment plan along with Prednisone. Due to the lung disease I had a severe reaction to Methotrexate after just 2 doses. On September 7, 2004 I went into pneumonia and respiratory failure. I was place on a ventilator for 5 weeks and was in the hospital for 8 weeks. During these 8 weeks, this cat, who was our dear friend, would each and everyday wake my husband up, knowing his routine was to be at the hospital from early morning till late in the evening. My husband never had to rely on an alarm clock as Walley made certain he was up and out of the house on time daily!
I was finally discharged on October 27, 2004 and from the first day home Walley was by my side. I came home with a feeding tube in place, a walker and oxygen 24 hours, 7 days a week, due to the Fibrosis of the lungs. Also, my medications had to be crushed and inserted into the feeding tube. So the routine would be medications at 7am and then I could not eat until 9am. My husband would rise around 7am, give me the first medications and then Walley would lay by my side until 9. At 9am he would pester my husband because Walley knew it was time for my next medication. This would be repeated at 3PM and again at 9PM each day, Wally was right there. It seemed that our wall clock striking the time would alert Walley that it was time for the next medication. This went on for 3 years and he never failed to let us know what needed to be done.
On November 10, 2007 Walley became sick. He wasn’t eating or drinking and for the next several days he would just lay and stare; sometimes I felt like he was trying to tell me something like your health problems are no longer as serious as they were at the start of this journey.
Then on November 19th, we took Walley to the vet, not realizing how seriously ill he was. They took x-rays and we were both shocked to see what the vet was pointing out. His lungs were so inflamed that you could not even see where his heart should be.
And the eerie thing was in March 2007 after several tests and chest x-rays I was told that all the inflammation in my lungs was gone and the Fibrosis was very mild so I was removed from all oxygen several months before this exam. I had been on oxygen since Sept. 2004.
Looking back on all that happened that year I am convinced that God sent Walley into our lives in 1995 because he would serve as a special instrument in the miracle I was to receive in 2007!
We take our pets for granted and don’t usually consider that they can have a true value in what they bring to our lives.
Walley lived for 12 years and there is still not a day that I don’t remember him and how much love and joy he brought to us!
The image at the top is not Walley; it is a stock image to represent the love of animals.