Felicity is a black and white female spayed feral cat approximately 10 years old. She is rescued by a very kind lady who runs a privately funded rescue centre in Wales. )
The following is a resume of our Email exchanges:
“Felicity is a very mild, gentle natured cat. She is slender and fine boned. When we found her, she was stuck up a tree with a crisp bag stuck over her head. Whereas most ferals would go berserk if you tried to rescue them from that situation, Felicity merely wet herself. She has never liked being picked up but will happily be stroked as long as she is on a high surface; if she is low down she tends to panic and moves away, though not hysterically. Whereas the other ferals will run away if a stranger comes into the house, Felicity is happy to stay around as long as they don’t try to touch her. She is gentle natured with the other animals (dogs and cats) and never shows any malice even to new cats who move in. She rarely moves away from the close confines of the house and tends to spend a lot of time indoors.
Looks-wise she is very plain but she has an aura about her that makes her very distinctive. If you imagine a cartoon cat that has been drawn to look very sexy and feminine, then you have a picture of Felicity. She spends most of her time sitting, treading and purring, while delicately, slowly and sexily batting her eyelids. She just OOZES sex appeal. I have never seen a cat spend so much time treading and purring.
She has always been slightly snuffly and has had several bouts of tonsillitis. Her last bout was about two months ago. The last bout was treated with homoeopathy (local prescription), the previous ones with antibiotics. The tonsillitis always takes the same form: she starts off becoming slightly more snuffly and then the glands in her throat (just under her jaw) start to swell (left one always swells to twice the size of the right one), she then gets a lot of phlegm in her throat that she can’t seem to hawk up. She is better for warmth (warm room but doesn’t hug the fire) and worse for cold food. She has no thirst when it is at it’s worst and drinking seems to make her gag. She never seems to have a runny nose.
She is just starting with another bout. She started to become snuffly again last night and this morning was off her food. The glands in her neck are starting to swell.
She has never had any other health problems, has never been vaccinated and has only had vet treatment for spay and dental.
When ill she alternates between sitting looking depressed and withdrawn and her normal treading behaviour. The glands feel hard but it is difficult to know whether she moves away when I touch them because she is in pain, or just because I am being overly familiar. She is happy to be stroked along the back and the top of the head but if you touch anywhere else she gets panicky. She tends to go off her food (raw) and only wants to eat tinned, even that has to be soft and mushy; her appetite slowly diminishes until she doesn’t want to eat at all. She also doesn’t drink. Sometimes she goes to the food and then doesn’t want it, at other times she shows no interest in food.”
Based on a repertorisation, I prescribed Lachesis which did not have the required effect.
“The Lachesis has only made Flis more depressed and there has been no improvement. She is going to food but doesn’t want to eat. The left hand gland is swelling more.
When the problem occurs she seems to have phlegm stuck in her throat that won’t seem to go up or down and she does a lot of hawking. I can’t get to look in her throat as she gets upset and goes slightly demented if I confine her in anyway; if I try to wrap her in a towel to do it she goes even more demented. She is happy to be stroked if she is in control. She sounds nasal but has no discharge; she sounds as though she is breathing through a blocked nose. From the amount of swelling on the left hand side, you would anticipate the gland to be far more swollen than it is.”
I make a clumsy prescription of Phosphorus and a few weeks later:
“Felicity is going worse. She has what I can only describe as suffocating catarrh. She has no nasal discharge of any kind but she seems to have a lot of catarrh in her throat; when she tries to clear the catarrh, she struggles to breath and her eyes go wide with fear. She doesn’t seem to be able to hawk the catarrh up. Her appetite has gone and she is huddled up looking very depressed and unhappy.”
Based on ‘respiration impeded when swallowing’ I presribe Bromium 12C 3x per day for 3 days:
“I gave her two doses over about a six hour period. She had no more hawking of flem until the next morning and her appetite returned. She received another dose the next day as she seemed to slip back.
This lunchtime when I took the dogs for their walk, Flis started to follow us down the lane, this is something that she has never, ever done in all of the years that I have had her. I chased her back to the house and set off again, but again she started purposefully following us. Once again I chased and back and made sure that she didn’t get chance to follow and then went on the walk. I came back from the same direction that I had left and found Flis half way down the lane, sat in the middle of the lane, staring in our direction. As soon as I arrived she was happy to come back to the house.
She didn’t seem anxious or happy just blank, sort of robot like.”
This last comment did not announce anything good, so one month later after the first dose of Bromium:
“Felicity is really struggling. She is full of mucous and looks really distressed. She looks particularly distressed when she tries to clear the mucous from her throat. She has discharged a little bit of catarrh from her nose that is yellow in colour but the mucous just seems to be clogging up her insides. Felicity is now off her food and drinking a lot. She tends to drink small amounts often.”
I gave pulsatilla 9C 3x per day and ordered Lac-humanum 30.
The Pulsatilla did not make much difference but Felicity improved very quickly after her dose of Lac Humanum.
2 months later.
“Felicity’s improvement has ground to a halt: she has had no recurrence of the tonsillitis though her glands in her neck are very slightly swollen. Her coat still doesn’t look good and a couple of times a day, she tries to clear phlegm from her throat. She is eating well and seems content but tends to hang round the water bowls, though she doesn’t necessarily drink when she hangs round them. I have tried giving her another dose but that hasn’t made any difference.
I think the change is sort of borderline between important difference and perhaps not.”
Felicity is given one dose of Lac Humanum 200.
Six months later
“Felicity is doing really well. All the swelling from her glands went and hasn’t recurred. She still has the odd episode of clearing catarrh from her throat but this doesn’t happen often. She still sounds slightly nasal but always has, so I don’t think that will go. Behaviour-wise, she is slightly less flighty than she was but only slightly. I can pick her up much more easily now and she doesn’t shy away so much when I go to stroke her. All in all very good progress.”
The way I selected the remedy is, at the least, hazardous but this system has helped me several times in the past. In cases where nothing seems to fit and several remedies failed, I have the tendency to look in very small rubrics of the repertory for ideas. I found Lac-h mentioned under: External throat, swelling, cervical glands, left. (This fits my lazy nature: only one remedy!) When I checked in previous repertorisations, I found out that the same remedy also was mentioned under: Throat, Tenacious mucous.
Again, with the same article of Tinus Smits in my mind, this seemed a cat that did not have its place. First she is born out of a ‘crisp bag’. She is not close to her owners, she does not run away, she doesn’t run off from strangers, you can stroke her when she is on a height, she tolerates stroking much less when she is on the floor. The only way she seems to express herself is through her oozing sex appeal, but then like a cartoon character. Has this cat an identity? (Lack of identity is mentioned in Tinus Smits’ article.)
What counts is that the remedy made a huge difference in physical symptoms and brought some relaxation in this cat’s behaviour and this for at least six months (equivalent to approximate 2 years in a person) without the need for repetition of the remedy.
The reasons why I presented these cases are the following:
One could easily think that Lac Humanum should be replaced in cats with Lac Felinum for the sake of helping a feline patient to find its identity. Tinus Smits explains in his article how the mother’s milk is one of the substances that helps a baby in the process of finding its identity in the outside world. He writes: “The main focus of this remedy proved to be incarnation in current life. The process of incarnation that takes place during pregnancy is surely not complete at birth and the mother’s milk helps the baby come down gradually.”
(It was my feeling that in both these cases the patients were not really there.)
Logic seems to dictate that for kittens the queen’s milk should fill this role. These cases indicate that such logic may not apply.
In general I find that logic does not apply very well to Homeopathy. Results of provings, results of documented and honestly represented cases, the importance of ‘as if’ situations/symptoms and good reviews of remedies are much more useful.
It is also important in homeopathy to be creative and not to stick to stiff concepts. As long as we use the principle that what is ‘strange, unusual, striking and bizarre’ is the basis for deciding on the appropriateness of a remedy for the patient, we have to (can) go outside our comfort zones and look further than the remedies or their indications we are used to. In the second case, the presence of one remedy in a very restrictive rubric brought my attention to the remedy. In hindsight, I can justify the use of this remedy by pointing out that the owner mentioned several times in her mails how the left gland was more swollen than the right. When in consultations or other homeopathic exchanges certain symptoms are repeated, they may be the indication of the importance of this symptom and it is always worth looking into this symptom as a thread to a successful remedy.
Another message I cannot repeat enough is that veterinarians can only progress if they study what human homeopathy does. In my opinion, there is no such thing as veterinary homeopathy. There is only homeopathy and the experience one has to treat one or more species. I am sure that, without being over confident, our colleagues that deal with humans can learn a thing or two from our cases as well.
The message that is contained in a homeopathic remedy is universal.
Instead of talking about veterinary homeopathy, let’s call it homeopathy for animals.
I will be looking forward to comments from you, the readers of the E-zine.