An Unusual Case In a Cat

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By: Cyril H. Boynes, D.V.M.

On November 16, 1992, I examined Gizmo, a 3-month old female mixed breed cat, weighing 3 pounds, emaciated, with pale mucous membranes. There were no ear mites nor ear infections, and her tempera­ture was normal. The stool, which was of a semi-moist nature, was negative for worms.

Gizmo, the runt of a litter of four, had been ill for the past two months. The illness began with a distaste for dry cat food and a preference for canned meat. She had developed a ravenous appetite, yet re­mained in an emaciated state. The main complaint was that, since the onset of the illness, Gizmo would periodically rush to the floor, take a position with her head to the floor, turned to either the left or right side, her forelegs lowered and both hind legs slightly elevated, with her body lean­ing to the same side as her head. Then she would defecate a pale-yellowish semi-moist stool. Since becoming ill, this abnormal position was the only way in which Gizmo would defecate, six to eight times per hour, soiling her owner's carpet. She performed her act most frequently during the first hour after awakening in the morning. She went to sleep peacefully at night.

Gizmo had previously been examined for this condition by three other veterinar­ians. One had treated her with antibiotics and worm medication, another gave the owner an ointment to rub around Gizmo's rectum, and the third recommended euthanization.

During the examination, Gizmo per­formed her unusual act on my examining table and nearly fell off the table. When I placed her on the floor, I was able to ob­serve her abnormal behavior three addi­tional times. It was a frightening experi­ence. I had never seen such a performance in my 22 years of practice. "What do you think? Should she be euthanized?", the owner asked me.

"I think that I can help Gizmo", I re­plied. I told her that I felt there was an imbalance most likely caused by an over-activity in the metabolic system. This reasoning came about through consider­ing the four lower bodies, or systems, described by Dr. R. Steiner, and also his threefold approach in man and in animals.

In the four lower bodies we have the ego which through the element of warmth, works more in human consciousness, but it is yoked into the astral body in the animal. This astral body with the ego in the animal, works through the element of air in the experiencing of life, allowing the animal to interact with its surroundings. Next, we have the etheric body, which is really the life body, and works through the element of water. The physical body works through the minerals.

In the threefold approach there is the nerve-sense pole which predominates in the head and senses, then, the metabolic-limb pole which predominates in the diges­tive system and limbs, and which is op­posed to the nerve-sense pole. Breathing (lungs) and circulation (blood) are two systems operating as one, and this rhyth­mic system serves to keep the balance between the nerve-sense (upper) pole and the metabolic-limb (lower) pole.

We must mention here that in the ani­mal Dr. Steiner considered the rhythmic system as merging into both the nerve-sense pole and the metabolic-limb pole and thus in the animal there is really a two­foldness. But, for all practical purposes the reasoning of threefoldness can still be used to work out the remedy, and to view the wholeness of the animal.

In my practice 'alternative approach' cases are generally scheduled separately to allow a longer time than a standard appointment. However, Gizmo's case had been scheduled as an ordinary diarrhea condition, during normal office hours, so I had to deal promptly with the case as presented. In attempting to arrive at a rem­edy, I saw two important factors in the history of the cat that I had to quickly digest. These two factors were: the raven­ous appetite for canned meat foods and, the aggravation of the abnormal behavior and defecation during the first hour after awakening.

Keeping in mind these two factors and looking at the four lower bodies and the threefold, or twofold system approach, I became aware that the astral (sentient) forces were either not strong enough to control the etheric or life forces which were flowing from the metabolic or lower pole, or they were not directed in the right way. With the first factor, Gizmo was trying to grasp astral forces from the protein she was consuming, or trying to make the astral or animal body stronger, really supporting her own astral or form forces.

In anthroposophy the astral body is associated with illness and the etheric body is associated with health or healing. There­fore I began to see the illness as due to insufficient or weak astral forces flowing in the wrong direction, rendering the animal unable to experience life properly, Once I saw this I became aware of the remedy Arsenicum album, which anthroposophy equates as synonymous with astralization.

This similarity is mentioned in the text Anthroposophical Spiritual Science and Medical Therapy, by Dr. Steiner. The text contains nine lectures from the second medical course which he gave to physicians and medical students at Dornach, Switzer­land on April 11-13, 1921. In one lecture he spoke a great deal about arsenic and its process. He showed when to use arsenic as a remedy, where the effect of the astral body is too weak, or as Dr. Steiner put it, "becoming too lazy", thus allowing the etheric body to prevail. Below, I quote Dr. Steiner's words concerning the outer astrality (synonymous, as we said, with arsenization) in the environment. This words are very appropriate for the case of Gizmo: “You see, the 'arsenizing' (or ‘astralizing') process observed in the hu­man being ... which makes the physical or­ganism brittle, is basically the same pro­cess as that which takes place when the earth forms rocks. Wherever rocks are in process of formation, the earth is, in a sense, poisoned by arsenic, or in the early stages of poisoning. Imagine, on the other hand, that the outer astrality that surrounds the earth everywhere ... (were to succeed in) avoiding the surface of the earth and to combine directly with water. Imagine that it (were to avoid) playing its part in bringing forth the blossoms, the growth and the emergence of the plants from the earth into the atmosphere. The outer astrality (penetrating below the ground through the water would give the earth a kind of dysen­tery.)”

This is the quote which I recalled, and which helped me to see the remedy, or remedies in this case, based on what pro­cess was taking place with the cat. When I was looking at Gizmo with her transformed image, due to her illness, and trying to see the background of the image of the cosmos that had the possibility of healing her, this above quote stood as a confidence builder. I have read the above cited text so many times that I was able to actually visualize the pages on arsenic. Then, linking up what I saw, the emaciation of Gizmo, the pale mucous membranes, and the extraordinary behavior, two remedies formed in my mind: arsenic and iron.

The full remedy, I felt, should be Ferrum arsenicate, but I pondered on my lack of experience and chose to take it step by step, one thing at a time. I chose to give Arsenicum album decoct. 12X, three times daily for seven days.

On November 30, 1992 Gizmo returned for a check-up. Her owner was much hap­pier than the first time I met her, and I was able to feel some success. Gizmo's weight was up to 4 1/2 pounds. She was now playing, and was performing her strange act only 3 or 4 times a day, a marked decrease in the 14 days since her first visit. I began the second remedy, Ferrum met. 12X, three times daily for 12 days.

Five days later, her owner reported that Gizmo was normal, and I advised her to stop the remedy. A very pleasing post­script to the case history is that, on January 3, 1994, a now plump Gizmo returned to my office to be declawed, and weighed in at 8 1/2 pounds.

In conclusion, it is most important, as Dr. P.P. Incao, MD told the young medical doctors in anthroposophical studies, to have a good understanding of both pro­cess and activity. Here we are concerned with process. In the previously cited text by Dr. Steiner, he says: "What in the outer world comes to a certain state of rest in a substance manifests its true nature when it unfolds its activity in the human being. Only then can one see what is still living in it. Regarding it from outside, one sees only what has condensed out of a process of becoming. Therefore one never really knows something as substance when it is observed in the outer world without know­ing at the same time what it does within the human organism.” This case history exemplifies another quote from Dr. Steiner "The process in which a substance lives must be captured in another process."

Dr. Cyril H. Boynes is an Afro-West Indian from Trinidad and Tobago. He holds a BS degree in Chemistry from Howard University, where he also did graduate studies in Biochemistry. He re­ceived his DVM degree and a BS degree in Agriculture from Tuskegee University . Dr. Boynes has been practicing veteri­nary medicine in Clayton, NJ for the past 22 years, beginning his holistic career in Herbology soon after graduating from veterinary school. Dr. Boynes has studied extensively the works of Steiner, Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, J.G. Bennett, Maurice Nicoll, Joel Gold­smith, Vernon Howard, and, most particu­larly, J Krishnamurti, as well as the teach­ings of the African, Yoruba. In all these teachings he has seen the same threads running through Anthroposophy.


This article has been reprinted with kind permission of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.

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