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    Keeping an "Eye" on Sam

    It must have been during the latter part of October when I noticed something odd about Sam, my adorable feline, specifically in his left eye. There was a growth of some type that looked just awful. So, I called the vet and explained the problem. They wanted to see him, so we made an appointment and took him in. Once there, we were referred to a veterinarian ophthalmologist. My aide, Robin and I drove down to Pattersonville, NY- which is about 45 minutes south of Fulton County. That is where the "Veterinarian Specialist Clinic" is located. I first, though, had Herman take a digital picture of Sam’s eye and emailed it to my cousin, Larry, who is a leading eye surgeon (for people) in Michigan. I told him that I knew it was a fairly unusual request, but to please look at the picture and give me his best diagnoses.

    He got back to me almost immediately, saying it looked to him like a ptygerium, which is a non-cancerous growth. I immediately went on the Internet and did a search for this and found a whole bunch of information. Turns out that it is very common in felines, and is usually caused by exposure to the sun. I found this both funny and odd, in that I am a sunshine lover, but when Sam goes on the screened in front porch, he isn’t exposed to much sunshine. Anyway, I went armed with all this information to the veterinarian in Pattersonville.

    Once there, I found myself in a quagmire. Here it was a mild sunny day, and I wanted to wait outside, but I was really worried about Sam, my adorable feline. So, inside we went. I have to say what a perfect trooper Sam was the entire day! He was patient, not fussy at all, and really was mature about hanging out in his kitty carrier for most of the morning. He really showed up the rest of the animals waiting for their appointments, as most were whining.

    When we were finally called in, we met a Dr. Nancy Cottrill. She immediately began talking to Sam, and took him out of his carrier with his blanket, commenting to him "you don’t want to sit on cold stainless steel, do you?" Then the lights went off and she gave him a good long examination. When done, she continued to pet him, then turned to me and said "Sam does not need an operation. He has feline herpes. Probably his mother passed it on to him, and he has carried the virus since he was a kitten, and it has appeared now. She gave me a regimen of eye drops to give him, plus asked me to go to a pharmacy to get a bottle of l-lysine, 500 mg., and to give him two a day.

    The good news is that his eye has totally cleared up. Now, giving a cat a pill is another story. I must say that Herman is getting very good at mixing pills in yogurt. Let’s just hope that Sam never stops liking yogurt, since on his prescription it says "forever". Okeedokee, then.

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"