Sir Henry, we're still deeply saddened by your passing more than a year and a half after you passed on to Paradise meadow to wait with Pressy, Ausie, Pepper, Willie, and Hannah for Grandma and Grandpa to come for you all one day. Sir Henry's story begins...|
Sir Henry first entered our life in February, 2006. I had stopped by Marine View Veterinary Hospital to talk with our vet/friend for 30+ years Dr. Randy Felts about an issue with a dog in Egypt we were virtually helping the owner resolve an ear problem. As I walked in the door, one of the young new veterinarians Randy brings into his practice to "intern" with him noted my entry. She was standing in the reception area, looked at me and said "We should have thought of you right away!" Of course I was quite puzzled by that reaction and asked what she meant. The young new vet's name is Stacy. She said "We have a wonderful kitty for you, would you like to meet him?" Cautiously I responded "Sure" as I'm a "kitty person". She took me into an exam room and said "I'll right back with Sir Henry". A few minutes later Stacy walked in with this beautiful white (although nearly all shaved) medium long-haired white adult kitty. "This is our Sir Henry" as she put him down on a soft towel on the exam table. Stacy explained they were keeping him lightly tranquilized because of his trauma and strange new hospital environment. As I petted and talked to a mellow Sir Henry, Stacy told me Sir Henry's story.
A good Samaritan dropped the kitty off at the hospital in the afternoon having found the kitty at the side of the road more dead than alive and then left. Randy and Stacy with his staff went immediately to work on the poor kitty...Randy told me later he nearly could not get a body temperature to register! Anyway, Randy is not a vet to give up. There was no thought of whose going to pay for his care. Randy and Stacy took the kitty into the hospital's critical care area to begin treatment. As an aside, Randy's Marine View hospital is the best equipped veterinary hospital I have even seen short of a specialty vet clinic. With the kitty in critical care they prepped him for surgery and began surgery on the kitty. Randy told me later the kitty was a mess internally with a ruptured diaphragm and internal organ trauma but luckily no broken bones. Randy and Stacy operated on the kitty for about four hours trying to put him back together internally. Another aside, Randy is the most skilled veterinarian I have ever met and is a certified feline specialist.
After the surgery, the kitty was moved back to the hospital intensive care unit. Randy doubted the kitty would survive the night despite the excellent surgery and constant care. Randy and Stacy stayed the night to care for the kitty. The kitty survived the night and was showing positive signs toward recovery. Randy, Stacy, and the hospital staff were surprised and happy the poor badly injured kitty could perhaps survive his injuries and be a healthy kitty again! This is when "Sir Henry" received his name as the staff decided he earned it by his strength, bravery, and fighting spirit. Had to keep that name in honor of the kitty and the belief of the Marine View staff!
Once she finished his story, she asked if I would adopt him when he was recovered enough to leave the hospital. I hedged my bets saying I would have to check with Pat, my wife before I could commit. At that point, I discovered I had been "set up and ambushed"! Unknown to me, Pat had come by the hospital earlier in the day to talk to Randy about a possible issue with our dachshund Ausie. Randy had already introduced her to Sir Henry and asked if perhaps we were interested in adopting another kitty. She thought Sir Henry was beautiful even though nearly "bald" from the surgical prep. Pat told Randy and Stacy that we would take Sir Henry if I agreed. When I said that Pat would have to agree is when the Stacy sprung the trap on me saying Pat had already agreed to adopting Sir Henry. I knew Stacy very well from multiple hospital visits for check-ups and care. Stacy immediately opened the exam room door and announced to the staff that we were adopting Sir Henry. That brought a round of cheers. Randy, the plot ringleader, joined Stacy, me, and Sir Henry in the exam room and said Sir Henry would need a long convalesce until he could leave the hospital. I said that was not a problem, we would wait patiently. Stacy said she'd call me when Sir Henry was ready to go home. Randy made no mention of Sir Henry's expenses...this man is a dedicated animal lover! He does so much "pro bono" work to help people who would otherwise not be able to care for their pets. He has an "Angel Fund" at the hospital so clients may make contributions to offset care costs...we contribute to that fund every time we enter the hospital. I have been in the hospital waiting room when someone has brought in a beloved animal but could not afford care when told the cost. Randy offers those clients a cost that really does not even pay the hospital's expenses. My wife and I pay for that animal's care as another contribution to the Angel Fund. Randy has many clients with generous hearts who help underwrite his 'pro bono" care. Randy is a wonderful human being and his clients respect, appreciate, and love him very much.