Jonah (aka “Wink”) the Stray Cat and his Eye Tumor

As pet owners, we take the responsibility of caring for our furry friends seriously. Sometimes, however, caring for a pet extends beyond our individual capacity. A group effort is needed…

A couple Sundays ago, Joey Coverdale, a Bothell Pet Hospital client, turned the last corner on her morning jog. She was steps away from her house when a cat came bounding out of the bushes, bringing Joey to a halt. He appeared to be well-mannered – allowing Joey to give him some love. Joey knew the neighborhood well and this cat was not part of it.

To her chagrin, the cat lacked ownership identifiers, and even more of a concern, he had a grotesque, bulging left eye. Joey thought it might be an abscess, stemming from infection. She decided she’d bring the cat to Bothell Pet Hospital the following morning for examination.

Once at home, Joey told her landlady about the cat, and together, they immediately went out to give him some much appreciated food and water. Joey gave him something else, too — a name, Jonah.

The next morning when Joey got her cat carrier and went outside to get Jonah, he wasn’t there. Apparently, he’d decided to skip breakfast.

Later that day, Joey told her co-workers about finding Jonah and her hope that he would be at her house when she got home. He was. Not wanting to take any chances, Joey got him into her carrier and took him to a friend’s house, where he spent the night in the safe confines of the basement.

Joey dropped Jonah off at Bothell Pet Hospital the following morning. She and a co-worker (who hadn’t yet seen the cat) had agreed to split the cost of saving Jonah if the diagnosis wasn’t life-ending.

Dr. Shannon Smith examined Jonah and ran blood work. She determined that unfortunately, Jonah had a tumor on his left eyelid. In order to remove the tumor successfully, the eye would also have to be removed in what’s called an “enucleation” procedure. The cost of the surgery, including anesthesia and aftercare, was estimated at $1300.

Over the next few days, Joey, her landlady, co-workers and friends took up the cause for Jonah. They had numerous conference calls and discussions with Dr. Smith and Dr. Lesley Kovar on treatment options. The doctors outlined the medical findings and explained that except for the tumor, Jonah was a healthy cat with many lives left to live. Ultimately, the options came down to euthanasia or surgery. Joey and her group of six concerned individuals opted for surgery, and all pitched in to cover the cost.

Almost a week after Joey’s “street rescue” of Jonah, Dr. Kovar performed the enucleation surgery. Within hours of waking up, Jonah, now nicknamed “Wink,” was nuzzling Dr. Kovar’s hand. The surgery was a success!

The question now was who would adopt Wink? Joey did not feel like she was in a position to keep Wink since she already had a dog and cat of her own. Thankfully, one of the other benefactors was able to adopt the one-eyed cat.

Wink’s simple act of jumping in Joey’s path on that Sunday morning ended on a positive note: by bringing a whole group of people together to save his life. Initially it took someone (Joey) to stop and care, but ultimately it took a team of caregivers to provide for Wink’s well-being. “There was fantastic teamwork among all the parties involved over the two-week period,” said Joey. “Bothell Pet Hospital was great and Wink touched everyone!”

All of us at Bothell Pet Hospital are happy for the opportunity we had to help Wink, and we’re glad that he’s now doing well in his new home. But we’d like to applaud the efforts of Joey and “her team” that banded together to save Wink’s life. Well done!


About Bothell Pet Hospital

Since 1954, Bothell Pet Hospital has been operating as an independent small animal hospital, providing primary veterinary care to cats and dogs in Bothell, Lake City, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Woodinville, Mill Creek, Kirkland, Brier, and other surrounding neighborhoods.
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