Good Monday morning. I hope everyone had a good weekend and are raring for the week work to start. Some of us rare, the rest of us whimper.
My weekend was less than stellar. For a little over 24 hours I thought I had a new kitty. The story of this little kitty starts over three months ago when a man in the neighborhood, who had more cats than ten people might need to be considered a cat hoarder, died suddenly. Family members had animal control pick up as many of the cats as they could, but there were/are still about ten strays wandering between the now abandoned house and a few others. One of the cats looked like it had a lot of Ragdoll in its ancestry.
One of my other neighbors was feeding the cats, with help from donations of cat food from the rest of us who live nearby. My neighbor told me this cat was very friendly and had those gorgeous blue eyes. “She’s so pretty,” Lucy said. “do you want to take her in? I’d hate for her to go to the shelter.”
Over a period of several weeks, I debated and talked with my neighbor, finally saying that I’d see if the cat would get along with the two I still have, and if she would, I’d consider keeping her. My son and his wife have a ragdoll cat that I’ve come to love and always have such fun playing with him when I visit. Ragdolls are known for being affectionate, very easy to handle for brushing etc, and all-around sweeter kitties than some of the other domestic breeds. Plus, they can be striking in markings.
So, my day with Frankie started early Saturday, when the neighbor was able to bring Frankie over. Of course she was scared. My other two cats were scared and furious. I didn’t see either one of them for several hours. The interloper settled down quickly and was eager to eat and get some attention. I satisfied both needs as best I could. She even let me brush her a little bit, and that’s when I noticed how full her belly seemed to be. Not her tummy where chows had settled, but the part of her abdomen where babies tend to grow.
Great! The last thing I need is a litter of kittens.
At that point, part of me wished I’d never brought her into the house, but another part couldn’t be heartless and toss her back out to fend for herself and a potential family. So, she stayed.
Overnight, I noticed that she was restless and bathing herself a lot in her nether-regions, so I wondered if she might be ready to have her babies. By early Sunday morning, the bathing had increased, and I saw there had been spots around of something that didn’t look like water.
I called my daughter, Dany, who came over and helped me determine that what was going on with this kitty wasn’t normal. So, off we went to the emergency veterinarian clinic. Turned out, Frankie had a severe infection in her uterus. The liquid in there was so thick, unlike the normal clear liquid, the doctor couldn’t even tell if there were any babies. He didn’t think there were, and he thought her uterus was just engorged with this infectious material. That was not the news I was hoping for. I just wanted a determination if she was pregnant, and maybe all we were seeing was a normal preparation for birth.
Anyway, the doctor said that Frankie’s uterus could rupture at any time and poison spread through her body. She needed surgery as soon as possible at a cost of $2,500. That on top of the $500 just to walk her through the clinic door for assessment.
For most of Sunday afternoon my heart and my head did battle over the wisdom of spending that kind of money on a cat I’d just met. Even one of my sons pointed out that I could get another cat for a lot less money. He wasn’t being cold-hearted. He and his wife have four cats and are both animal lovers to the core. He was just thinking of my limited income and the vet bills I’d encountered since January with Sammy and Harry, my two guys were were sick for so long.
So, I understood what my son was saying. I was saying a lot of the same things myself, but logic had a hard time beating back my heart.
I’ve been an animal lover since I was a child, and there have been many dogs and cats who have graced my life for a time. When they passed on, the passing on was always so hard.
It still is.
When I was a child, we were poor, so there was no money for veterinarians. We nursed sick or injured animals as best we could, and I was always devastated when our ministrations failed.
Once, in desperation, I carried a sick cat almost two miles to a veterinarian, asking if he could help. I had two dollars I’d been saving to buy some ceramic horses at the thrift shop on the corner of our street, but I told the doctor I’d pay him those two dollars if he could fix my cat.
I was about nine years old.
Unfortunately, the cat was too sick for any hope of recovery, so I carried her and my two dollars back home. She later died, and I buried her in the back yard.
It’s easier when our pets go naturally, and we don’t have to make that one final tough decision. And yesterday was another tough one for me, following so closely on having Harry put to sleep a couple of weeks ago.
It might have been easier if I hadn’t named this kitty, I now think of as my 24-hour-pet. While I’d been considering Frankie as her name because of her blue eyes, I’d not yet called her by name. When we do that, we’ve claimed the pet. At least that’s what I think, and I’m sticking to it.
However, at the clinic, they asked for a name, so I told them Frankie. I was glad that she was inside my house for her last 24 hours. Eating good food and having someone love on her. Maybe it was the best day of her life.
RIP sweet kitty.