Leland the Christmas Angel

One stray cat gets his sight for Christmas…

In his plastic halo collar, Leland makes a pretty good Christmas angel and a fitting representative of animals in need in our community.
Leland the cat wearing a cone with his octopus toy

Leland came to our veterinary clinic through the caring hands of staff at the Quinte Humane Society when they found he needed reconstructive surgery to save his sight. At about one-year-old, the charming tabby cat had probably been peering through cloudy eyes all his life. His eyelids were badly curled inwards, causing hair to rub ulcers into his corneas.

As part of Hillcrest’s monthly pledge to the shelter, Leland was neutered and had the first stage of his eye surgery a few weeks ago. Although further corrections may be needed, he can now open both eyes and the ulcers are healed. The way he tosses catnip mice around, even in his halo, you’d never know he had a problem.
Leland the cat lying down with his octopus toy

Leland’s one of the lucky ones. No doubt he’ll get to shed his crazy collar soon and go to a loving home, if we can bear to give him up. But he has been a daily reminder to me of all the needy, discarded or lost pets in our midst.

At this festive time of year, when many of us treat ourselves and our pets to more than we really need, remembering the Lelands of the world helps keep things in perspective.

For those brave souls at the Belleville animal shelter and people like Darlene Quincey who devotes so much time to her Fixed Fur Life program, Lelands are everywhere, everyday. There are so many Lelands the shelters can’t house them all and rescue groups have sprung up to help do their part.

Since “needy” doesn’t necessarily mean homeless, there are also organizations like the Farley Foundation dedicated to subsidizing the costs of veterinary bills for certain groups of pet owners facing financial difficulties.
 Leland the cat wearing a cone with his octopus toy

Whatever animal welfare group you support or whatever strays you help in your own backyard, thanks to all of you out there who saved even one Leland this year. His happy purr says it all.

Dr. Fiona Gilchrist
Hillcrest Animal Hospital – Trenton/Quinte West
December 2012