Shisha’s Story



*UPDATE:  I said goodbye to Shisha on 15 March 2017.  It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.  However, I knew the time was right.  She will always be in my heart … I miss her every day.


I was living in Saudi Arabia when I was introduced to a kitten (approximately two months old) by a little boy who told me, in Arabic, “see my new cat”.  She was filthy.  He was holding her and I just barely touched her with my little finger to rub the side of her head and she immediately started purring.

A week later I saw her again cowering underneath a parked truck outside of my home.  She was crying.  I picked her up and brought her into the yard.  I left her some food and water but she didn’t touch it.  She was very ill.  She had no fur on her back legs, a distended tummy, dandruff and diarrhea, and she was extremely lethargic, not bouncing around like a wee kitten should be.  After a few veterinarian visits, baths and medication for ringworm and worms along with a healthful diet and clean water, she started to blossom into a wonderful and healthy member of the family.

Shisha has had a couple of surgeries, the most difficult of which was eye surgery for entropion.  Her lower eyelids rolled inward and her lashes rubbed on her eyes.  One eye developed an ulcer and she had her third eyelid stitched up over the eye to allow the ulcer to heal.  Two weeks later that stitch was taken out and luckily the ulcer had healed.  She then had surgery to remove a little crescent-shaped area of skin from beneath each of her lower eyelids and then the edges were stitched together to ‘pull’ the eyelid outward so the lashes would stick outward instead of inward and prevent them from rubbing against her eyes.  She had the cone on for a while and finally a few months later she was all healed.  With special thanks to Dr. John Basterfield at the Juan de Fuca Veterinary Clinic for the excellent surgery.

Today, Shisha lives with renal failure and was recently diagnosed with diabetes.  She was losing weight, losing strength in her legs and though she was drinking large amounts of water and eating a lot, she was also urinating a tremendous amount.  She was looking unwell.  After some testing and after spending a few days in the veterinary clinic with her wonderful doctors, receiving subcutaneous fluids, insulin and lots of TLC, she started feeling a little better.  It took about two months of poking her little ears twice a day to monitor her blood glucose and numerous adjustments to her dosage of insulin before she finally stablized and now I only check her glucose levels once a week and sometimes once every two weeks to ensure she is still stable.  I give her insulin injections every 12 hours and I am grateful that she is doing quite well for her age.  As she is an old kitty, she is slowing down and she does sleep a lot. She has some arthritis she deals with but she still has an appetite, loves to be cuddled and purrs like crazy.

She has given me so much more than I have given her.  I love this little girl <3