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Adopting throw away pets: Tommy the Tomcat.
Tommy the Tom Cat
Our pets are family members and are loved and missed as much as a person.
The is the story of my beloved cat Tommy. It is a celebration of his short life with us. My little miracle. It can be as difficult handling grief when losing a pet as it is when losing a child.
Tommy: Born 2000 AD. Died 2009 AD.
Tommy was a special little soul. He was gentle, loving curious and playful. He loved people.
Anyone visiting would soon find a friend sitting on their lap purring. Everyone who met little Tommy fell in love with him instantly.
How I met Tommy
I was working evening shift at that time (year 2000) and always traveled the same route back and forth from work to home.
It was a 31 mile drive from my home in the country, to my work place in the city.
A pleasant drive most days.
Beautiful scenery along the way, my chance to unwind before reaching my home after work.
I never took any personal "baggage'' from one place to the other.
I remember well, the first time i saw little Tommy.
There was road construction going on about 6 miles from my home. They were building a new road to make a 4 lane freeway connecting the city of Ocala, Florida to the state capital in Tallahassee, Florida that would be approximately 80 miles long.
The grassy medium was approximately 2 lanes wide between the north and south bound lanes. I was traveling south on my way to work when i spotted something in the middle of the road going north.
As i approached i realized it was a kitten lying in the middle of road, looking upward, and not moving.
To my horror, there were 4 huge freight trucks heading toward that little figure in the road. My heart sank and all i could picture was one of those big trucks squashing him like a bug.
My stomach rolled over and i felt nauseous.
When i came to a cross over where i could make a U-turn to go north, i was compelled to reverse my direction to learn the fate of that little figure in the middle of the road. I knew if i didn't, that horrible vision would haunt me for weeks.
When i approached the spot where i saw that little kitten, i was amazed at what i saw.
Completely missed by those big trucks, he was laying there, completely still, and looking up like a frozen little statue.
I pulled into the center of the 2 lanes, put on my emergency flashing lights and stopped just short of the kitten.
As the traffic behind me came to a halt, i got out to investigate. There was this precious little animal, lying frozen, staring upward, eyes glazed and in total shock.
His little body was contorted sideways so he could not get up and move to safety on his own. I picked him up as gently as possible and placed him on the back of my pickup, close to the cab as there is a small pocket there with calm air to protect him from being blown off the back. He was much too bloody to put inside the cab..
Then i found the next cross over to return to the south bound lane and rushed him to the closest veterinary several miles away.
When i took him inside, at first the receptionist refused to take him in. I placed his little body on the counter top in front of her while she protested, saying you can't leave it here, who will pay for this?
I was mortified that her main concern was that i might abandon him and they would somehow not make any money off taking care of him.
I took out a credit card and placed it in front of her, jotted down my name, address and phone number.
I said: " do what you have to do. I am on my way to work and don't have time to argue with you. I am a registered nurse and work at (telling her my place of employment). I will return tomorrow morning before i go to work to settle on the bill. Just take care of him", and i left to continue on my way to work.
After i got to work, i called the vet the first opportunity i had.
It had been about 3 hours since i dropped him off. Half expecting her to tell me he died, she said the vet wants to talk to you, so she put him on the phone.
He said he just put him in an empty cage in the back because i did not specify what i wanted them to do.
I could not believe my ears.
So i asked: - 'what kind of people are you?" " Don't just let him lay there and suffer. I left my credit card, so you won't lose a precious penny. I will stop by there tomorrow morning and if he is still alive i will take him to another vet that actually 'cares' about animals", and hung up on him. I was extremely upset, stunned and saddened by their callousness.
The next morning i drove to the vet with the expectation of finding he had expired.
I would just pay my bill and tell that vet to his face exactly what i thought about the lousy attitudes of him and his staff.
As a nurse of many many years, maybe i was over re-acting but i was still quite angry when i went into that office to pay that bill.
Tommy's road to recovery
Tommy"s period of Recovery - a true Miracle
To my amazement, i found that the little guy was actually awake and alert and looking around.
The vet seemed kinder this time. He said that the kitten was less than a year old and obviously struck by a car.
He had a displaced fracture of one of his hind legs, and deep scrapes to his abdomen and side, and was in total shock when i brought him in. So they had given him some I.V. fluids, antibiotics and pain medication. And now he was actually drinking some water and took a little food by mouth.
When he heard my voice, he immediately looked at me and perked up as if he recognized me. I was moved. He stole my heart in that second.
I asked if they could keep him for another day. I was going to be off the next two days and i could transport him to the vet i usually use, about 10 miles away.
The vet apologized for their seemingly cold and uncaring manner and assured me that they would take care of him appropriately.
Because the little guy still couldn't walk, i decided to leave him there for treatment, or until he died.
After a couple of days the vet suggested i take him to the University of Florida, Veterinarian School to have him examined. They would either have to remove the hind leg or do re-constructive surgery on him.
I had much experience over the years with "student doctors" and was not about to bankroll their learning process at the expense of this little animal's life. So i said, no. When he was well enough i would either take him home or to my own vet for further treatment.
I visited him every day so he would not forget me, and again, to my surprise he started standing on 3 legs and dragging the other one along when he walked.
After a week or so (and a huge charge on my credit card) i finally brought him home.
Tommy's big life
Tommy's big life with us
I kept him isolated from the other cats, for his own safety and slept with him at night, in one of the spare bedrooms.
I had set up his own litter box with one end cut down so he could get in and out easily, along with a food dish and water bowl.
Before long he was playing and starting to put some weight on that damaged leg.
He was walking with a limp for a few months and after several more months, miraculously healed completely. Like nothing ever happened to him at all. He was my little miracle angel.
After he was completely healed and all his hair had grown back i took him back to visit that original vet so he could see how well the little guy was doing.
Again, to my amazement, the vet, or his staff, did not remember me, or the cat. I left there knowing that with their uncaring attitudes, this was truly a miracle.
Tommy lived a happy and healthy life for the next 9 years, until he succumbed to kidney failure and died.
I have posted several pictures of him that i took over the years to chronicle and celebrate the life of this beautiful little kitten. Truly a God-send to my life. I still miss him and will always remember the short life he shared with me. He will always live in my memory, and this small tribute will ensure he lives on forever somewhere out there in cyberspace.
I create musical slide shows and put them on DVDs - family pictures, weddings, etc.., for family and friends, and i have all of my animals preserved on a DVD for me to look at from time to time when i think about one of them and miss having them around.
Thanks for sharing it with me.
by: d.william 09/14/10
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© 2010 d.william