Yesterday was the day we hoped would never come. Matilda’s big beautiful eyes started to work against her, and they had to come out.
On Tuesday night Matilda was having a nap, and I went to give her a pat. When she looked up at me I knew something was wrong. Our usually happy little alien looked like she was hurting, and her left eye was gooier than normal, and a little bit enlarged. We contacted her ophthalmologist right away and set up an appointment for the next day.
In the morning it was even bigger. When we got to the veterinary ophthalmologist she confirmed what we were pretty sure we already knew - that eye had to go!
We booked the next possible surgery, which was the very next day. The eye had grown to a size that I wouldn’t have thought possible overnight, and we were desperate to get it out. We dropped her off first thing in the morning, and though we knew she was in the best hands, we worried all day long. Finally they called to let us know that everything had gone very well, and that she could be picked up to come home.
I was surprised when she came out. She looked different, but also the same. The face that I remembered from when she was a kitten came out from the back, all stitched up and decked out in a cone and a polka-dot ribbon. My eyes may or may not have leaked a little bit (I’m a sensitive lady), but I was just so relieved that she was back with us that I couldn’t help it.
While the right eye was still okay and didn’t actually have to come out, we decided together with Matilda’s veterinary ophthalmologist that it would be better to take them both. Every weird thing that has happened so far with Matilda’s eyes starts in one, and in a few days the second one does the same thing. There was no point in going through two traumatic surgeries and healing twice.
Some of you that have been following Matilda for a long time might remember that she has a collagen deficiency, which is why we were hoping her eyes would stabilize and that we could avoid surgery altogether. Not having enough collagen means that healing from any kind of trauma is very difficult, and takes a long time. Our fear was that if she had to have a big surgery like this, that her little body wouldn’t be able to seal itself and heal.
So, we’re not completely out of the woods yet. Matilda’s stitches will stay in for extra long to give her more time to heal. She has plenty of medicine to keep away infection. And she’ll be going for checkups until she gets a clean bill of health.
She is home and recovering and doing well, but Matilda has a lot of healing to do. She has stitches and some bruising and swelling, and is missing some fur and whiskers. You know how much she loves the camera, so we’ll keep photos to a minimum until she’s camera-ready again. Although she looks different, she is still incredibly cute and inspiring, and we can't wait to show you her new look!
But for now, it’s all about rest and healing.
Please though, keep sending your art. We love it so much! Think of it as a get well soon card for our little alien.
The Lady, The Bearded Man, Dog, and Matilda <3
A note on funding…
With all of this, we can’t express enough how grateful we are that you guys helped us build a health care fund for Matilda. We hoped that it wouldn’t be necessary, but when it was, it was such a tremendous relief to be able to get her the treatment she needed in an emergency. It made us realize how lucky we are, and how heartbreaking it would be to not be able to afford treatment for a pet.
Because of Matilda’s GoFundMe campaign, we have been able to keep up with her regular visits to the eye specialist. We were able to immediately go ahead with this surgery when she needed it. While it hasn’t covered everything, it has helped us tremendously, and we will be forever grateful. A large portion of that campaign also went to Paws for Hope Animal Foundation, which is an amazing organization that helps low-income people whose pets need urgent and regular medical care, and to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies.
There are lots of pets out there that need help. Matilda is set, but if you feel compelled to give because of her story, check out the Paws for Hope giving page. This charity is based in Matilda’s home city of Vancouver, Canada.
There are lots of amazing charities that do this type all over the world too! So, if you’d rather, check out the ones in your area and help pets in need in your neighbourhood.