Do you see that pink tongue? It’s my ultimate joy. This chap came a long, long way since I grabbed him on February 21st.
He lived in a strip of a horrible 6-lanes road that never fell quiet. Crossing the street is futile, and those who tried their luck never return on their feet. There was nothing on his side but a single gas station (with no store), car workshop, blacksmith workshops. There are probably sewer rats that he somehow can catch with that severe cross eye, but when I saw him, he was crispy thin – literally, with dirt and grease mud all over him; his saliva dripping as he walked as fast as he can on that smeltering hot asphalt and concrete that paved the roadside.
Lifetime malnourishment had cut his system wide open for calicivirus, that gave him painful blisters everywhere in his mouth. His tongue cracked and bleeding, he can’t stop salivating.
Yet he lives. Though he has to walk miles and miles to find bits and scraps, he lives. Though he had to lick from metal tap that burn the dripping water in that gas station, he drinks.
When I first gave him food, he jumped and grabbed my hand, with claw stretched. He gulped his share, and followed me with round eyes for more. When it’s time for more, he will slap, claw, bite everyone to get all the food he can stuff in his mouth. It hurt him and his savage ways made his mouth bleed worse than ever, but he lived without food for the rest of his life. Should I expect a gentleman?
His name is Jerry, but his attitude and traits earned him his nickname.
It’s so difficult giving him medicine. If he thinks I have food, he will grab and claw my hand until he is convinced otherwise. If he thinks I have harmful objects (like bottles) he will attack me, thinking I will throw it to him to push him away. Most of the time I just mix his medicine with his food, but once he is better and can taste, he will kick his plate upside down until I gave him food without medicine.
Cleaning his stuffy nose is a challenge on its own. I have to wrestle him, wrap him in a towel or blanket, clean his crusty nose, and throw him into the nebuliser box, and then let him scratch and bang his crate when the steam fills in the crate. The more he moves, the more he went mad, the more he breathes, the more medicine is inhaled into his lungs.
Nowadays, he barely suffocates anymore. He still claws, he still bites, he draws blood from us time after time, but all the cracks and blisters in his mouth are healing. He eats better, he is healthier faster. I learned many new tricks: from mixing his medicine with syrup, wrapping a pinch of powdered pills into balls of meat, to give him a bowl of broth, call him to look the other way and switch his bowl. Whatever works.
Jerry still drools on everything because he no longer has teeth except for two fangs, but he is all right in every other way.
And he still hates our noisy compressor nebuliser, but hopefully we can get him that ultrasonic nebuliser soon, so his ears can rest easy.
One day he will stop being Zombie. One of these days, he will be one heck of a handsome Jerry
PS: picture is from the newest to the oldest.