Knut has always had a wonky right eye: when she was a kitten, she had some sort of infection that left it looking...kind of gross. Her cornea is scarred to high heaven, and her sight is very likely smeary and clouded on that side. But it never seemed to bother her, and it never bothered me. She is my one-eyed Knut: my furry, bad-tempered pirate baby.
Last week, as best I can tell, she scratched that eye somehow. Maybe she was fighting with one of our other cats, maybe she just did the kitty equivalent of poking herself in the eye. I don't know. But she had a scratch on her eye, and it didn't seem to bother her. One of my guinea pigs had had the same thing happen once, and there was nothing we could do about it except make sure it didn't get worse. Well, the guinea pig's eye healed. Knuty's did not.
I took her to the vet yesterday (shout out to the awesome staff at Ahoskie Animal Clinic!), thinking that I would be getting some eyedrops for her or something. Well, it turns out that Knut's scratch ulcerated, and she has lost at least half of the layers of her cornea in that spot. The pressure inside her eye could cause the remaining layers to rupture. Which, even to the layman, sounds every bit as bad as it really is.
The vet said that her best chance of keeping that eye would be to use her third eyelid as a sort of eyepatch: pull it up, stitch it there, and give the cornea some time to try and heal. There's a good chance that this will work, and she'll be fine. But if for some reason it doesn't, she will have to have that eye removed.
I was dead calm as the vet was telling me all this: composed as I said goodbye to Knut and they took her back to prep for surgery. It was only when I got to the lobby to fill out the consent forms that it really hit me, and then I started to cry. Knut has never spent a night away from Sammy, never spent a night away from people who loved her. And now she's going to be doped up, stitched up, and wake up surrounded by strangers? It broke my heart.
Sid has been kind of a mess. He's never had to deal with something like this: hell, neither have I, but if you've had as many pets as I've had (and buried as many as I have), you learn to just roll with the punches when it comes to the furrybutts. An injury is not.so.bad. It definitely could have been a lot worse.
Right now I'm trying to find the funny in this situation, and the only thing I can come up with is that now my Knut really is a pirate: an awesome hardcore pirate, because her eyepatch is made with her own living flesh. Doesn't get much more hardcore than that, does it?