Cat in the car

Last week wasn’t Rayhana’s week at all. It started with her having to visit the vet for a dental check. Rayhana’s mother has bad teeth that had to be removed and Rayhana shared the same genes. I took an appointment for her the following week to remove a few of her rotten teeth.

After taking her back home, I left the house to do some grocery shopping. When I came back, I gave the keys to the helper to get the grocery out of the car. It was a hot day of 40 degrees, and while the helper got busy getting the bags out, Rayhana decided to slip into the cool car without being seen. In the afternoon while feeding the cats, I didn’t notice Rayhana’s disappearance as I got busy medicating a few sick ones.

At six o’clock in the morning of the next day, I got an insistent knock on my door. It was the helper telling me that she had found Rayhana sitting on the dashboard inside my car. Do I have the car keys with me to let her out? I jumped out of the bed – heart beating fast-and ran down the stairs. Luckily enough, Rayhana wasn’t dead despite being locked in for almost 15 hours straight with no food or water. Once I opened the door and took her out, Rayhana staggered and headed straight away to the water tub where she sat for almost ten minutes drinking water. I took her in as she was suffering from shock: shaking badly and clearly disorientated. I left her in my room -drinking more water- and went back to check the state of my car.

Rayhana had urinated all over the carpets and the leather seats. It took me an hour to wash the car thoroughly, before going back to check on her. To be on the safe side, I decided to take her to the vet again for a quick check on her temperature and hydration state. Rayhana was lucky to be alive as the car was in the shade and the windows were tinted that made the car cool and stopped her from suffocating.

The vet suggested her having an IV drip to help her rehydrate and get rid of the jitters she was suffering from. By the evening, Rayhana was doing well but was still walking funny. The next day, Rayhana wasn’t moving at all and had developed flu-like symptoms – runny nose and no voice- and had to go back to the vet! I shared her story with the other vet who noticed her funny gait. There was no coordination between her front and back legs. When suddenly stopping, it would take a few seconds for her back legs to halt. This was the neurological effects of heat stroke, the vet declared.

There’s no cure for it, but in some cases, it gets better with time. For now, the flu had to be treated and Rayhana was to be observed to see if she develops any other symptoms related to heatstroke. She was put on a week of antibiotics. For the first two days, I had to carry her in to eat. But by the third day, she recuperated and started moving around in her new clumsy manner. After a week of the antibiotics, Rayhana had to go back for her teeth extraction. She wasn’t really happy being in and out of the vet for so many days. Now she’s back to her old happy self. Nowadays I check my car before locking it especially on hot days. Not every cat shares Rayhana’s lucky streak!