I Am Not Ready To Say Good-bye
Anyone who has read my cat hubs, knows who Convict is, but for those who haven't yet...Convict, AKA Connie Boy, AKA Snuggle Bear, is the boy in these pictures.Delta found him and his litter mates and mother when she was a couple of months over one year old, in the spring of 2003. When Convict was a year old, I decided to thin out the cats, I would find homes for any cat that did not seem to attached to me. I mistook his joy of life for aloofness and added him to the short list. I understood my mistake while I was sitting with the cats waiting for folks to look our way. A couple of cats had already been chosen, and I began to get the very strong sense that Convict knew exactly what was happening and was scared to death. This feeling was strengthened as I saw him sitting hunched up in the middle of the cage and trembling. He would not respond to people making overtures of friendship towards him. I finally just told folks I changed my mind and decided to keep him. After that day, Convict stuck to me like glue. I do not know if he understood the reason I had chosen him to go somehow, or if he was just so grateful to be home again that e was thanking me in the only way he knew how.
Over the years the bond between Convict and I just got stronger. When mom went in the hospital and we had to stay in Rapid City for 4 months, I had to make a 180 mile round trip every other day to make sure the animals had plenty of food and water. This separation Convict took hard. He lost weight and began to roam. Then shortly after we came home I made a trip to Los Angeles that lasted 6 weeks. This was even harder for him, and even though mom and dad were here to care for him he ran away, coming home every couple of weeks. He was not home when I came home. The annual spay/neuter/vaccination came to town and he was still missing. A week later he showed up. He was severely underweight and dehydrated.
My step dad doesn't do well with changes. We have a set number of cats in the house and he doesn't like it if I want to bring in another, even for only a few days. But sitting on the porch with Convict I had a very strong feeling he would die if I did not bring him in. I talked with mom first and got her go ahead. Then I prayed, then I went to dad. Amazingly he said OK right off the bat. Having gotten him in the house I then got him to a vet. He came back swiftly, and was soon playing like a kitten. However, he would become highly upset when I had to leave the house for anything. He would go from one end of the trailer to the other calling me until I returned home. Then he would snuggle with me as if I had been gone years and if he let me out of sight I might never return.
Convict suffers allergies, but we haven't figured out what he is allergic to. Last summer he went the whole summer breathing clear and easy, then come colder weather it showed up again. I think it has something to do with running the furnace. He also has an abscess in his right ear. It was treated with anti-biotics but has returned.
A couple of days ago, Convict gave me a huge scare. I had just opened the window and he got up and started walking towards the window and suddenly lost his balance. The way he laid at the window also told me something was wrong. I turned his face towards me and saw that one nostril was completely sealed and the other partially sealed. I quickly cleaned his nose out, and he lay at the window breathing heavily. A few minutes later, he got down to use the cat box, and while trying to pass a stool, suddenly flipped onto his side. I didn't know what else to do so I took him outside for better air. For awhile he lay in my arms, drooling, panting and yowling occasionally. Finally though, he quit panting and yowling and his breathing slowed to normal.
I thought he was dying, and for all I know, he was. I prayed and asked GOD if it pleased HIM to let Convict get better and stay with me a little while longer. It was after that he began to do better. That night I was afraid to go to sleep, afraid it would happen again. I stayed awake and every time he sneezed I would wipe his nose. I tried to show him how very much I love him. The next day is when I discovered his abscess was back. His ear was filled with pus. I cleaned it all out, and I could see he was in pain with it. That night, I flushed it out with peroxide and put a few drops of iodine in it. This morning I called my vet and asked him to please send me some amoxidrops. He told me he would but if it is an abscess, he did not feel they would be much help. His assistant told me not to use peroxide, he said it kills the good bacteria along with the bad. However, I felt in this case that the good bacteria was losing the battle, so I called another vet for a second opinion. She told me that they use both peroxide and iodine all the time and she did not think it would hurt, and it would surely help. So now it is a wait and see thing to see if we can beat this thing.
I just lost my dog of ten years in January, one day before my birthday. I love Convict more than I can say. He is so much like the son I never had, he IS my child. Should GOD say his time is up, I will accept it, and I know GOD will give me the strength to cope, but in my heart I pray that day is still far away, because I am just not ready to say good-bye to Convict. I think about him not being in my life and suddenly I can't think. As I told a cousin, he has an uncanny knack for sneezing in my face, but I would far rather he sneeze in my face than not be here at all. He sleeps snuggled up next to me, often draping an arm across my neck in a hug. I get a nightly grooming session. When I am at the computer he jumps up in my lap and insists I take time for snuggles. He will flip his head upside down inviting me to scratch his chin and throat. At the dinner table he stands on his hind legs with his front paws on my knee, just like a human toddler might. He plays with a toy then calls for me to come and join him, if I am to busy I will return his call and he will stop everything and race to where i am and jump in my lap for snuggles. All these things I would be lost without. He is my little baby and I can't imagine life without him in it.
I am not ready to say good-bye.