How I Became A Cat Person # 3
How I Got Stucky
In our little town...or should i say village, we have a very small store, owned by a cousin of mine who loves animals. she has had several dog houses put up around the store for the local strays and she puts dog food out for them and when there is no water from rain she provides that as well. one day as i was leaving her store she stopped me and asked if i would take some rags and dog food to a house that was on my way, as there was a dog with pups under the porch there and being it was the middle of winter and the owner was stuck in a wheelchair and could not get outside atm (her kids were gone for the weekend) my cousin was concerned for the dogs. So anyway, on another day i went to the store to get some ice, (summer now) and as i was walking in i heard a cat meowing. i looked all around but saw no cat. i asked the guys standing near the door where the cat was and they pointed up a nearby tree.
I looked up in the tree and way up near the top was a pretty orange cat. right away i forgot why i was going in the store, my attention was for the cat only. i stated talking to it. "Hey Kitty, how did you get up there?" "Meow, Meow, Meow." "Well, we need to get you down then, dont we..." by this time i was standing at the base of the tree, looking up at him. you could tell he really wanted to come down.
now...what i am about to relate is the absolute truth, no lying or exaggerating.
he was facing me in a head down tail up position on the main trunk, and i told him he needed to turn around and come down backwards...and he did. he turned around and started working his way down inch by inch in response to my encouragement. then he came to a fork in the tree. he got nervouse and started to go back up and i told him no, you cant go up, you have to keep coming down...and he stopped and came back down as far as the fork, where he jumped to the other branch and turned to face me again. but he was still to high for me. by this time the guys and the cashier were all standing around watching as were several kids. the cashier went in and came back out with a stick of beef jerky. she handed it to me and i offered it to the cat. the cat ignored it. so i told him he was doing good but he still had to come down some more because i could not reach him yet. so he moved back to the original trunk and started inching backwards down the trunk again. finally he was within reach and i plucked him off the tree. he greeted me with many meow's. i asked everyone who the owner was. i got the same reply from everyone...take him home with you. i figured they knew something i did not (namely that the cat had a bad owner, which is common here) and so i did not argue. i put him in the truck and went in the store and got my ice and then got in the truck to...i was pleased to see the cat didnt have a problem with my dog. we went home and i introduced him to the rest of the cats. no problems there either. i decided to call him Stuck-Up...or Stucky for short, as i had found him stuck up in a tree.
he is a beautiful, loving, intelligent cat. he has taken on the role of supervisor, he makes sure the other cats dont get out of line or when i am carrying something heavy he chases them away from my feet and where i am walking so i dont trip. every once in awhile he attempts to assert his role of boss over me as well, and i must remind him i am boss over all. i do this in his language, with staring, growling and hissing. he gets the message and all is well. if only i knew how to tell him not to be so bossy with the others. :o)
How Patches Came to me
I also got Patches from my cousins store. my mom and i had gone to the store on a cold windy winters day. i told mom i would stay in the truck as the wind was playing havoc with my hair. so she went in alone. it wasnt long though before she came back out, empty handed. she opened the truck door and told me i should come in, i would get free cat food and litter if i did...i wouldnt regret it. that intrigued and puzzled me, so i went in. when i went in the door, i was even more puzzled, because i didnt see anyone at first, then i saw someone at the back of the store, so i went back there. i asked if she knew where mom was and she pointed towards a stand up freezer (there were two freezers standing against the back wall, a deep freezer and a stand up freezer). then i could make out mom talking in a soothing sing-song voice. then i also heard a cat meowing. i leaned over the deep freezer and saw a cat between it and the wall. somehow i knew it would not be afraid of me, and i pulled the deep freezer away from the wall and reached down and picked him up. as i swung him up towards me he reached towards me and gripped me with his claws and pulled me towards himself..he never stopped meowing. i have since learned that Patches is a talker. as soon as he sees you he starts talking...non stop.
when we got him home we examined him. he was extremely dehydrated and nothing but a bag of bones. i gently extracted a piece of bark out of his right nostril. the only thing i could think of was that some kid had shoved it up there, and it made me angry. he had a good appetite and drank willingly, so it was just a matter of time before he returned to normal. later as we were relaxing, i was laying on my back and he was laying on my chest, he yawned, and i thought, man, his breath stinks. so the next time he yawned i looked for bad teeth or whatever might be the cause of the bad breath. i was most surprised to discover the dime sized hole on the right side of the roof of his mouth. i thought that must be why he is in the condition he is in. and i also realized that as he eats food must go up the hole and have to be sneezed out...which would explain how the piece of bark got lodged in his nostril. part of my reasoning was flawed. i placed him at between 5 and 8 yrs old. he lived at least some time with this thing, so it couldnt have been the problem.
anyway, i called my vet and told him about the hole and asked what it might be. i thought maybe a cleft palette. he thought it more likely that it had been caused by being poked by something sharp like a bone, then getting infected, the infection then eating through the bone. he told me if the cat lived this long with it, he would most likely live for some time to come. and he was right. it has been 7-8 yrs now. a few weeks ago he suddenly became severely dehydrated and lost a huge amount of weight...almost overnight. i took him to the vets and tested him for kidney failure. his kidneys and liver were functioning normally, but he had a UTI...and a very high white blood cell count. the vet said he had never seen a high white blood cell count with a UTI before. he gave him a anti biotic that is injected and given in 2 doses a week apart. he said it should take care of both infections. it did. Patches is on a wet food only diet now to make sure he gets as much fluid as he can...he doesnt drink water as much as he should. i truly dont know how much longer the old man will be with me...but i will cherish every day that he is. and i will cherish every conversation i have with him.
- How I Became A Cat Person # 4
this is about how i got Nala and Wolfie.
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