Romeo: a cat and curcumin story…

Before I begin, let me assure you that what I’m going to write today isn’t, er, fake news.  🙄

Mostly, I will be giving you more details of a story that I told here back in December of 2014, which is the story of how we adopted our seventh cat, Pammy. And I have a good reason for giving you these details…it has to do with curcumin, as you might have figured out from the post’s title…

So this isn’t just another cat story that has no other purpose than entertainment. It actually has a point. An interesting one, methinks. Therefore, please bear with me until the end…But first, I must introduce you to Romeo…

Romeo (see photo below) is a un-neutered male cat who has been living on our back terrace for more than two years now. He was born in a neighboring garden in 2007 (I actually wrote a post about him: he was the “lonely kitten,” the one in a litter of three that wasn’t picked to be adopted, probably because he has a stumpy tail, see: ).

Our neighbors (two houses down from ours) fed him until the summer of 2014. Romeo has always been an outside cat. He wasn’t allowed into the neighbors’ house. And, until I came along, I don’t think that he had ever been petted or loved by any human being. He is scared of humans. He now occasionally lets me come near him, slowly, and pet him, but then the next time he’ll run out of my reach. Go figure. Poor kitty. I never insist, by the way. If he doesn’t want to be petted, fine. I talk to him soothingly and let him know that he’s safe on our terrace.

Back to those neighbors. About 5-6 years ago, the wife died, and her husband put their house on the market, eventually selling it…in 2014. He moved to another city in Northern Italy and told my next door neighbor that he’d come back for one of the cats, the friendliest one. But he never came back. In fact, he never even called her to see how the three cats were doing. He never worried about how/if they’d survive.

You can imagine what we all thought of his behavior. But…no further comment.

At first, my next door neighbor fed the three cats. Then, after we returned from our summer holiday, I began feeding them, too. But she was concerned because of her two un-neutered male golden retrievers that absolutely HATE cats and might even be cat killers (we never want to find out! In fact, that is one of the main reasons I could never let my cats outside). She was afraid that, if she kept feeding those kitties, something awful might happen on their terrace. So was I.

So I took over. I became the main provider for the cats and set up winter (outside, but comfy) shelters for two of them, the two that were too “wild” to come inside to live with us and our other cats.

The third cat, the above-mentioned friendliest one, is our Pammy. Yep. You may remember that back in December of 2014 I wrote a post about Pammy, about how we adopted her. At that time, I decided to leave out the other two cats. Why I decided to do that…well, I don’t know. I guess at the time I thought it might just distract from the focal point of my story: Pammy, that is. Anyway, whatever.

The other two cats were: 1) Romeo, of course, and 2) his mother (who happened to be Piccolo and Pammy’s mother, too, incidentally). The mother was an elderly cat…at least 15 or 16 years old at the time these cats were abandoned. Like her son, Romeo, she was quite “wild” and wouldn’t let me go near her…And she disappeared rather suddenly last summer, unfortunately…made me very sad. I hope she found a better place… 🙁

Anyway, back to Romeo. After a cold spell here in Florence (back in January), a few weeks ago I noticed that his eyes were almost shut. You know when you wake up in the morning with your eyes all crusty and sort of stuck together? Well, that is what it looked like. Then I saw quite a bit of discharge, and when he tried to open his eyes to look at me, the corner of his left eye was red, really red. I mean, really. Clearly, there was a bad infection going on…IMG_6611

I was quite distraught. I went to read about cat eye problems on the Internet, but…how could I possibly deal with this? How could I catch Romeo and take him to the vet? And even if I succeeded in doing that, I knew that he would never let me put drops into his eyes every day. So…what could I do? When Stefano got home from work, he said “well, why don’t you put some curcumin in his food?”

Ah. Hadn’t thought of that.

Well, it certainly couldn’t hurt.

So that’s exactly what I did.

Every morning, after feeding my inside cats, I’d  mix some of my curcumin powder with Romeo’s wet food. And he just lapped it up. 🙂  I checked his eyes as carefully as I could, at a distance, for days. At first, I didn’t notice any improvement. But then, after about four days, his eyes were fully open. No more discharge. In fact, I just saw him before writing this post, and the redness is GONE. If you look carefully at his left eye, you can still see something in the corner (near his nose), but it’s no longer fiery red. It’s pale. I don’t know what it is…But it’s not red!

Now, the fact that his eyes have healed, completely healed, might have happened anyway. I have no proof that it was the curcumin. But the fact is that Romeo’s eyes were worsening before Stefano suggested giving him curcumin.

Anyway, the main thing is: Romeo is fine now. Back to his former, skittish self.  🙂

And this is my story of the day. Again, it’s not a fake one, I promise. 🙄 I only wish I’d taken a photo of his infected eyes. But at the time my only concern was how to deal with this problem and make him well again. I never thought I’d be writing a story about it! I was surprised, too.

So all I have is the photo I took of him this morning, and his eyes look fine, right?

Anyway, whether it was the curcumin (as I suspect) or not, this is how it went…For me, the main thing is that Romeo is well again…

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