Everyone should have a pet.
Both my parents hated cats.
We had to give him away.
The military would not pay to move a pet, and the amount of time and money we would have to pay to keep him in quarantine–my father would have none of it. My father has only ever considered animals as just that–animals. They have their purpose but it’s never a part of the family. Mom, well, she just sees more of a mess she has to clean up. Me, my heart always attached to them. Dusty was really the first one. I hated leaving him behind with one of my father’s friends. And spending 4 years without a pet ended up being lonely.
Maybe it’s because I am an only child I grow attached to them so easily.
When we got back to the states again, my parents decided to get a Cocker Spaniel AND a Cockatiel. Again, our dog was a tool. She was sent out for breeding purposes. But at least she was allowed in the house now; although Mom confined her to a certain part of the house. And, again I went out of my way to include her in my life.
The bird, was just a bird. He remained in the cage most of the time, with occasional outs. But I think he grew on my parents more than any of our previous pets. After I left home, my parents gave away the dog but kept the bird.
He lasted nearly 20 years.
As for me, the day I moved out of my parents house, my husband and I went to the SPCA and got our first pet–an 8 week old kitten!
GoofyKat was our first child (he had the wrong name nearly the whole time, until our son renamed him). We saved him a couple of days after we were married. We happened to go to the SPCA and just as we did, someone brought in a box of kittens. Jamie wandered over and took a peek. She opened up the door, and the first one to wander out was the one we took home. Jamie said he was the bravest of them all. Boy, were we surprised! StupidKat is black with a white belly and all four paws. So, his name started out to be Mittens. But, as time progressed and he did all the silly little things a kitten did, we kept saying “Man, what a stupid cat!” And it just stuck. He will NOT answer to mittens. He only comes when we call him by his name–StupidKat. He learned to play fetch. He loved to climb up people. But the silliest thing of all–he played, what we called puss-n-boots. StupidKat has foam golf balls. He used to put them in Anthony’s Army boots. Then he would stick his head all the way in the boots and bat at the out side of the boot like he was playing with the ball. Then, he would pull his head out and put his paw in the boot. And the whole process would repeat. Every time we witnessed this all we could hear was StupidKat saying to himself “I can see the ball, but can’t feel it. Then, I can feel it and not see it. What’s going on!” You tell me that’s not a stupid cat!
After a couple years, we decided he needed a “friend”. We went back to the SPCA and brought home another cat we completely fell in love with.
MikeyKat got his name in about an hour from the time we got him home! It was about lunch time and Anthony made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The grey cat just looked at him crooked and begged. So, Anthony offered it to him. The grey cat not only sniffed and nibbled it; but, once he caught a whiff of that peanut butter, he snatched the entire sandwich out of Anthony’s hand and RAN! About an hour later, we had chocolate cake and the cat did the same thing. So we set up an experiment to see what he DID NOT eat. Wasn’t much! He seems to like peanut butter the best, then chocolate. He eats vegetable oil, pickles and coffee grounds (found one morning when the trash was knocked over and the grounds were nearly gone), he practically eats everything (hence the name–Mikey) We discovered he will not eat anything he cannot smell–i.e. plain yogurt and sour cream. So, needless to say, he has gained quite a few pounds since we first got him.
Jan 16 2006, we took our oldest cat (GoofyKat, 16) to the vet. His insulin will be discontinued and we wanted to get a new prescription. Well, before the blood work came back, the vet offered us a new insulin along with a diet of prescription food (much like the Atkins diet). We would have to make the transition over the next couple of months. After the blood work came back, however, things didn’t look so good. His blood sugar levels were actually quite good (212). But there were about 5 or 6 different things that came back very wrong in his blood. He had kidney failure. The vet gave us some options, but had little hope. Because he’s diabetic most of the treatment for liver failure would actually end up hurting his sugar levels. And, if we continued with the new insulin and diet, it could aggravate and speed up his kidney failure. We could also do dialysis and clean out his kidney. Nothing is guaranteed and the added diabetes complicates things even more. The vet also said we could just take him home, change nothing, and spoil the heck out of him these next few months. He’s 16. He was our first baby. We got him a few days after we got married. This is so hard. It’s going to be even harder when he gets so sick we cannot help him and will have to put him down.
GoofyKat passed over the Rainbow Bridge, 19 Apr 2006 at 2:30pm.
He crashed hard on that Monday. He refused to eat or drink. He couldn’t walk anymore. He had been hiding. And when he did come out, he would not move, raise his head or anything. We knew it was time. We tried everything that night to bring him back. We’ve had him refuse to eat before and brought him back with canned tuna, salmon and chicken. But not this time. This time he refused all the good stuff. We knew. We went to go take him in to end his suffering, but it was after-hours and it was an additional $100. Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford this so we tried to make him as comfortable as possible on Monday night. We stayed up with him most of the night. We had to break the needle off his insulin needles to force water in his mouth. He was so dehydrated. I had to go to work, which was really hard being up most of the night. I had a hard time driving. DH, took a nap. And then, later, he took GoofyKat to our Vet, who agreed it was time.
When I came home from work, there Anthony sat on the couch, next to the cat carrier. GoofyKat was inside, wrapped in his quilt I made him when he was a kitten. He is buried in that too. It is so sad. We had him for 16.5 years. He was our first baby. And Joshua didn’t understand. How can you expect a 3 year old to understand?! Though, he did try to comfort us. The words out of his mouth last night were amazing. “It’s ok. He’s safe with God now”.
It wasn’t even a year later when it was Mikey’s turn.
Within 3 weeks, MikeyKat went from 17 lbs to 11lbs. He wasn’t eating, he couldn’t walk. He was sleeping too much, hiding and such. At first we contributed it to his hearing loss. But, when he stopped eating….and Mikey never turned down food….that’s when we knew something was horribly wrong. When I took him to the vet yesterday, his temp was 96 and the vet did the blood work. His test came back renal failure. The vet said with his temperature the way it was and how he was acting, he didn’t have much longer. I brought him home and spent one last night with him….my MikeyKat….and now, I don’t have him anymore. He loved everyone, unconditionally.
To this day, I still call out for him. On occasion, I call one of my other cat’s his name, sort of a Freudian slip. Little things Theo does reminds me of him. I still cry for him.
|Theo-Katus Ear Non-Foldus|
We got her in March, and she was so skittish–worse than Theo. Poor baby! It has taken her from March until now to finally warming up to us. Sometimes she will tolerate the others. But there are times she will hiss at them still. I am not certain if she will ever completely accept them, even though Theo and Sofie attempt to play with her from time to time. But, she is safe from the bully cats. And she is well loved.
We love all of our cats. And they are a part of the family. Not tools. Not animals left outside.