We just brought Li'l Ralphie home from the veterinary opthalmalogist. I'm glad to report that Li'l Ralphie does not have a cataract but has a condition, whose name I can't remember, that is, essentially, bad tissue growing over his cornea. It's caused by a herpes virus and is common in cats. The eye underneath the filmy covering looks good, said the doctor. He also said that since Li'l Ralphie has his other good eye, we wouldn't have to do anything because he gets along fine, but that, if we wanted him to, he could operate, cutting away that growthy stuff over his cornea.
I nodded and said that I'd like Li'l Ralphie to be able to have the opportunity to see normally out of that eye.
He said he would gladly operate but that he wanted to wait a few months so that Li'l Ralphie's eye would be fully grown. We should call back and have the eye re-evaluated in June.
I'm very pleased--for Li'l Ralphie. At least we can try to make up for his first owners discarding him onto the highway. And I still am impressed by the state-of-the-art veterinary medicine that we all have within our reaches.
I remember being similarly astounded when Edgar was in his last year in vet school in 1979. As I peeked into the operating room where the students and surgeons were operating on a horse's leg, I thought to myself how professional it all looked: just like an operating room for humans, with big white lights, elevated surgery table, surgeon gowns, instruments, anesthesia machine, and technical monitoring devices. What these doctors can do these days is nothing short of miraculous. And the cost? Very reasonable, compared to an equivalent human surgery, yet nothing is left to chance simply because the patient is an animal, not a human.
I'm really happy for Li'l Ralphie and can't wait until he's able to get that nasty, thickened "blue" eyeball made right. And I'm thankful for all the dedicated veterinary surgeons and medicine men and women who can make our sick animals better.