We all know that pets are special, with minds of their own and qualities that make each fur baby truly unique. Our Pet of the Month series is all about celebrating our pets, embracing their individuality and finding out more about the hardships they may have experienced and how they’ve overcome them. We’re happy to announce that Georgie the cat has taken the crown for January’s Pet of the Month! We had a call with his owner, Sarah, to find out all about his life and what it’s like to be a pet parent to a very special cat.
How old is Georgie?
Georgie is 7 in April. We first saw him in an ad on a pre-loved pet site. Unfortunately, his previous owners no longer wanted him but we were more than happy to take him in and make him part of the family.
What was it about him that made you want to adopt him?
As soon as I saw the ad I knew I wanted to take him home. He was only 6 months old at the time and was so obviously in need of love and a safe place. When we first met him, he was covered in fleas, was dirty and dishevelled, had missing patches of fur and a hernia (which was suspected to have been caused by trauma). The second I laid eyes on him I knew there was no way I was leaving him.
What is Georgie’s personality like?
Georgie is kind, loving and gentle, but he also has a mischievous streak! I have some health problems and can become quite unwell from time to time; Georgie constantly checks on me when I’m ill and nestles into my tummy as if he’s trying to make me feel better.
He loves to bound around the house with his adopted brother, playing chase and going a little crazy. Although he’s timid at times, he’s also incredibly sociable and loves being around his family.
What makes Georgie special?
First off, I don’t think I’ve ever known a cat to be as intuitive. Of course, cats always know when something is wrong but Georgie takes this to a whole new level. For example, my doctor is currently investigating some stomach pain I’ve been having and Georgie will paw and lick my stomach as if he’s trying to make it better. I fall occasionally and when I do, he’s there in a heartbeat. Even if it’s just a dizzy spell, it’s like he knows and wants to check I’m okay. Georgie has a lot of empathy in general; if any of the other pets in the house aren’t well he’ll cry next to them to get our attention.
Unfortunately, Georgie suffers from heart disease and heart failure. It all started when he collapsed last year and then we found out that he had a blood clot, which was restricting the blood flow to his hind legs. At the time, we were told he only had a 20% chance of survival and even if he did survive, that his legs wouldn’t be the same again. Georgie proved everyone wrong and with physio and medication, he appears to be back to his normal self. When he was diagnosed we were told he would only live 6-9 months…and here we are almost a year later! He’s so strong and such a fighter.
His latest heart scan revealed little to no change which is actually amazing considering they thought it was really progressive. He’s incredible and the vets are amazed by him, we call him our little wonder cat. He is due for another scan in a couple of months and we’re hoping and praying it’ll be the same again.
Can you share any interesting stories about Georgie?
Our hamster has a habit of escaping his cage and Georgie has rescued him on 4 separate occasions! Every time the hamster would get out Gegorgie would return him to us, completely unharmed. If it wasn’t for Georgie, we would have surely lost our hamster under the floorboards.
Georgie loves it when one of us is in the bath. He will come and sit next to the tub and meow until you pour water on him! He loves water, unless he’s the one being bathed in which case he’s out of there like a flash!
Can you tell us more about Georgie’s heart condition?
Georgie has Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and he’s also in congestive heart failure. This means that the heart muscle is thickening which makes it harder for it to beat normally. If we don’t get his medication exactly right, fluid will build up in his lungs, making breathing much more difficult. He’s at high risk of blood clots (Thromboembolism) and has already had 2, one was the major one back in February and one was managed at home as it was only slight.
Does Georgie have a special diet because of his condition?
He’s not on a special diet, but we have been told to watch his salt intake. For that reason, we have to be really careful about leaving out human food and make sure to read the labels for his main meals.
Do you have any other pets or children? Does Georgie get along with them?
We adopted Georgie’s brother, Sirius, who is currently 3 years old. Sirius is another rescue cat, and they get on amazing! We’ll find them cuddled up asleep together or washing each other all the time, and they zoom around the house together constantly. We don’t have any children yet, but we do have little nephews. Although Georgie is very timid around them and watches from a distance, when we’ve looked after them he will sleep next to their cot or wherever they’re sleeping and alert us if they stir.
Have you got any plans for Georgie for the future?
We vowed to make his life the best it can possibly be because we’re not sure how long he has left. We’ve always spoiled our pets, but now they’re really spoiled! We’re also using his Instagram and his story to raise awareness for heart disease in cats. It’s known as the silent killer and we’re hoping that if we keep raising awareness it may help someone spot it sooner than we did and hopefully save another kitty’s life.
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