Aug 24, 2008

Nine Lives?

It's been a very trying time lately.

You know how bitchy I get. How much annoyed I was with my dear hooman. Biting her and all that. I really was cranky, but I was so lonely when she wasn't at home. I cried a lot when I was here by myself. And I missed my old buddies, Beau and BooBoo. I hadn't realized how much until lately. I think it was because Elizabeth has had to spend a lot more time away at doctor appointments and such.

Then she went away for that whole week and it nearly sent me off my rocker. After that, I didn't let her forget about it. I yowled at her day and night just to prove to her how much it hurt me to be left alone like that. It doesn't matter that Esther and Liz came to visit me everyday. They are nice enough people. But, just don't understand me. And I just didn't get enough loving.

So, Elizabeth really had to make it up to me, you know? And we had all those forest fires and I had to stay inside all the time and not get to my favorite plants, or in the sunshine or underneath the sprinkler. Sure, she gave me the dried catnip, but you know it's not the same.

Also, because of the fires, we heard about the pets that were found, some of them in serious condition, that the local animal shelters were rescuing. Some were able to be returned to their homes, but some were not. The young ones were placed up for adoption. The older ones.... well nobody wants an older cat!

It was about this time that Elizabeth figured out that part of my loneliness might be alleviated if I had a friend. I mean I do have a friend. Cinnamon comes over once in a while and hangs out in my yard. I always smell her scent when I go out. And sometimes we hang out together in the yard, too. But, like I said, I couldn't go outside because of the fires... well the toxicity of the smoke and ashes everywhere, that is.

Anyhow, so Elizabeth decided to find me a friend who could keep me company. She remembered how much more I liked having a male companion, so that was her first criteria. Then, of course, I ain't interested in having no kitten!!! They are too active and would drive me nuts!

So Good Old E went to the shelter and looked at a ton of cats. I could smell them on her when she came home. I didn't like any of them! I didn't realize it at that time, but she was intuitive enough to know that. So she put in a request to the shelter for an older male, not just a couple years old, but OLDER, like me.
I am going to have my 19th birthday on the 29th of this month.

The shelter said they didn't have any older cats, they had all been euthanized. I hope they never do that to me!

But, then one of the volunteers remembered one kitty way up there in Scotts Valley shelter, who might be the one. But, we had to wait a whole weekend before we heard from her if that kitty was not euthanised. What an ugly word!!!

So, a few more days went by and Elizabeth thought, well that was it. Too late for that poor boy. But, then the hooman, Tara was her name, called a few more days later. What took her so long? And the message was that he was alive and they would hold them if she was interested. That was another Friday later, and she asked if they would wait until Monday. But, no, he was scheduled to be E*^@^!% on that day. So, Miss EBlest got in the car and drove over there, even though she was sick and after an interminable wait. more waiting.... Why was that day like glue in January? it was in the nineties for heaven's sake!

She got to view "Charley" in his cage. He had to be there alone, not because he was mean or anything, but because he was such a big cat, there wasn't any room for any others. It's not that he is big, like in fat. It's just that he is very long! Alligator long.

Then, she had to meet him in the guest room, and get acquainted. He was not all that interested in her. He knew the shelter volunteer and was more familiar with her. But, eventually he paid her the honor of his manners and let her pet him on her lap.

Fortunately there are Benefactors who help out financially to adopt a pet from that shelter, and all of the expenses were covered including a free vet visit. Now, the trick to that was that the vet visit had to be done within 72 hours! But, Eblest is no dummy. She got on her cell phone as she was driving away with my new future companion, and called the one closest to our home, found out she had just enough time to get there before they closed and got squeezed in for the appointment. It was a disappointment appointment as all they did was squezze his belly and generally pet him. The vet did a surprising thing. He took a rag and jammed it into that poor cats ears and twisted out some of the dirt, when Ebest asked if they could be cleaned. Then, to add insult to injury, they gave her a bill of $85!!! She had to remind them of the papers she gave them that said it was a free check up. Well, she won't go there again!

So, she brings him in the house and hides him away in the other bedroom for a few days. I am no dummy! I knew there was a guy in there from the get go. We sniffed each other through the door. I could hear him crying at night. He's been through HELL, surviving the fires!

So, then finally one day, about a week later we were introduced. It went well. I was outside hanging out and came back to the screen door and there he was. We nosed each other through the screen and that was it.

We are not the best of friends but we do get along. We changed his name to Jeffery, but now it seems he likes to be called Jet Lee much better.

The problem is that there must have been a virulent bug that he picked up on the way here, because in a couple of days I got very very sick. I lost a lot of weight right away. My behind was so swollen, it hurt soooo bad, and I couldn't even clean myself. Ebest was very worried. I got to the point where I didn't worry about anything. I just felt so sick, I could barely walk at all, I kept stepping on my pouch. I had to be lifted from the bed to the floor.

Jeffery didn't feel very good either. As I mentioned before he is not at all fat. Being a long fellow, 37 inches from nose tip to tail tip, he is skinny as a rail. Like he was Abe Lincoln or something. His fur didn't look all that good, and I know his hind legs and lumbar spine hurt him a LOT. Whenever Miss E would pet him there he would whimper, or flinch.

So, as sick as I was, E put me in the guest room, set up litter box and food for me. She put boxes next to the bed all piled up to make a staircase. That's much better, My Dear! And I got to rest inside my little blue tent with a heating pad over the whole bed. I do admit I made a mess from my not being able to wash myself. I had some discharge. So E got out the scissors and cut off all the fur from back there and washed me clean to make it easier on me. It sure helped and I didn't stink so bad. But, like I said, I couldn't bath myself, and my fur got so ratty. I have never looked worse in my life.

Miss E came into see me quite often to pet me and love me, and encouraged me to eat a bite at a time. I never knew she could be so patient with me. But, she tells me there was a time when I was a kitten when I had pneumonia or something and she nursed me then, too. Can you imagine me in a bathroom with a vaporizer going, she and I curled up in a blanket? Those were the days, huh? I don't remember! Good thing too. Being this sick I don't want to remember, either.

Then, the day came when I all but gave up the ghost. I thought, "I'll never make it to my 19th birthday." But, really, I was so sick I didn't care. I guess I scared the hell out of my Eblesst, because she tells me she took look in my eyes and I wasn't in there. She held me close and looked again.... Nobody Home. She just cried and cried like I haven't heard her cry in years. I could do nothing. I couldn't console her. I couldn't do anything but stay how I was. And truly, I'm not sure I was inside myself or not.

After she had called around to all the vets to find out how much it would cost to treat me.... about 450 to 800 dollars she despaired. That's her whole months income. How would she afford it? She could put it on her credit card and then pay double as the interest climbs. She called her son and he helped her to make some decisions. Even putting me to sleep and disposing of my body costs quite a bit of money. Can you believe it?

So, the decision was to dig a hole in the backyard. A deep one... just in case... only just in case, you see. That way I could still be here in my own yard, and not at some gas chamber to be "You than I zd" Okay so they give you a shot. Same thing to me. In strangers hands, in a strange place, stressed out. Let me die in peace please. Leave me alone!

So, that was the first decision.

Second decision was for her to treat me with all the herbal and nutritional know how she has (pllus one little hooman prescription that is good for cats, too, that has been prescribed for one of her conditions)

The next day, I was shining out of my eyes. Not well, of course, but at least "somebody's home".

It has taken me a couple weeks of treatment to get to the point now where I might be back up to my normal weight. I am no longer huddling in the hospital room, and most definitely feeling fine enough to give E a well deserved bite. Well, okay, I mean a threat of a bite. I am nibbling fiercely now, to get her to do what I want. And I do have to say she obeys much quicker now. Being sick has it's advantages. Eh?

Well, anyways, Jet Lee is doing much better too. Putting a little meat on his bones, which don't hurt him so much anymore. She can pet him without his cringing, and he fully has taken over on getting attention. But, now he knows I am well enough and I am in charge, so even though he likes to curl up on the bed with Miss E, all I got to do is look at him and he will leave. But, we do enjoy dining together.

Oh my... I just felt a little earthquake. I think I will go investigate and see what's going on.

Later, Alligator...

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