And Then There Were Two

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The deed is done. We have a new cat.

Thanks to the extremely generous contributions that our friends have so graciously provided to us, we were able to get Stormy Cat to the vet and get his leg looked at. The most challenging part of getting him in the carrier was getting the thing to shut (we set him down in it and put the top half of the carrier down over him and the door easily enough, but then struggled to get all the latches and bolts that secure it into place) and he was singing us the song of his people loudly all the way to the vet. They got him in and gave him a once over, and gave us the results – no broken bones! He had instead suffered a bite of some sort that had apparently gotten very infected, to the point that he couldn’t bear to put any weight on his leg at all. So they shaved the site of the wound, gave him a very strong, long-lasting, one-dose antibiotic, tested him for fleas and worms (yes to the fleas, no to the worms), treated him for the fleas, gave him his rabies vaccine, and did a couple of other diagnostic things to check him out. We also got him chipped, so if he does manage to get out of the house and someone picks him up he’ll have an owner of record. He still needs to get his distemper and feline leukemia shots but it was recommended that we bring him back for those once he’d healed up. He was amazing at the vet’s office, hardly giving them any trouble at all throughout the whole procedure. At the end of the visit, it turned out that we’d manage to raise enough to cover his vet bill, thankfully.

He weighs about what Two Socks, our other cat, weighs, despite being about half again as big – he’s pretty lean, where Two Socks is a little on the chubby side. They estimate he’s about 4 years old, which is about a year ahead of Two Socks.

We got him home and had planned on having him stay in the spare bedroom for the day to give him a chance to recover, but the first time that we opened the door to get out he shot out and went under the bed. That was this morning, and he’s still under there at the time of this writing, so we hope he’ll come around tomorrow and come out for some food and water.

I’ll keep you posted on his progress as time passes, and as we make the attempt to convert him from being an outdoor to an indoor cat. I think that urge to go outside is going to be a very strong one for him, since he’s lived outside for the close to three years we’ve been in this complex, and he’s surely going to want to return to familiar territory.

Because we’ve met our objective without reaching our fundraising goal, we shut down the campaign. Thank you again to those that donated and helped spread the word about Stormy Cat.

And just like that, our little family has grown by one.

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Ocular Migraines and Cats

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Today is going to be quick and dirty, since I’m trying to recover from an ocular migraine that snuck in early this afternoon. The medication is s-l-o-w-l-y working to alleviate the symptoms, but not fast enough for my tastes, so WYSIWYG when it comes to today’s post. Sorry about that. Tomorrow is going to be longer, I promise. (I hope. I was planning to prep tomorrow’s post today, and that’s gone out the window now, so we’ll see.)

We may be taking the outdoor kitty to the vet, which will more or less officially make him ours. He’s got some sort of swelling in his right front leg, and he’s barely putting any weight on it at all, so we’re awfully concerned about what’s going on. We’re going to keep an eye on him over the next day or so and see if we need to take him in. If we do, we’re going to need to buy a carrier for him – he’s a fairly big cat, and he won’t fit comfortably in the one we have for Two Socks. The former downstairs neighbors might be devastated to hear that we’re laying claim to yet another cat they want, but we can’t really help that – we’re not going to halfway care for the cat if we officially adopt him, and we’re not going to let him suffer for long without doing something about it, and we certainly aren’t going to invest in getting him into the vet and giving him a thorough once over with the intent of just handing him over once they decide on coming back to claim him. Problem with that is, he’s an outdoor kitty at heart and it would be the easiest thing to just come pick him up at some point without any sort of notice, regardless of whether we’ve got him tagged or chipped or what-have-you.

Anyway, migraine says stop for now. More on the migraine and the cat tomorrow.

Feline Meditation

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This morning was a little rough, physically speaking. I woke up at 8:00 am, which is an hour earlier than my body is used to just yet (our schedule changed on Tuesday morning and it’s taken a little bit to grow accustomed to waking up an hour earlier), took my vitals, meds, and breakfast, and promptly went back to sleep around 9:10 am. I apparently needed the sleep because I was out until after 1:00 pm.

Okay, well, not quite. There were three separate times that our cat Two Socks woke me up with very insistent mewling, like she was distraught over something. She gets like this whenever my wife leaves for work sometimes, so we think it’s a separation anxiety thing: she woke up from a nap and couldn’t find her people straightaway, so she needed to call out for them.

The first two times I woke up and tried to give her scritches from the position I was in. She would inch juuuust out of reach until I rolled over enough to actually pet her. Both times I hit that threshold, she immediately rolled over onto her back and offered her belly to me, which I happily rubbed both times for a few minutes each time. Then I’d get tired again and go back to sleep.

The third time we repeated this process, only it continued on to her climbing on me and making feeties (our term for “making biscuits,” or kneading) on my belly. Finally she settled in the crook of my outstretched arm and we lay there for a few minutes, with me stroking her back until my back finally said I’d had enough of being horizontal and it was time to go make friends with the heating pad on the couch.

Shortly after the heating pad had done its magic on my back, I went outside to pet the neighborhood stray we call Stormy, who was lounging on our porch. She immediately got up and came over to the door as I walked through, hoping that maybe this time would be the one that I let her into the house. (We want to, but there are several factors preventing this, most prominent being that we’d never let her back out of the house, we’d have a second cat, and the neighborhood would miss her unless I put up a flyer with her picture stating “CLAIMED.” The downstairs neighbor seemed upset that we took Two Socks in, and I’d hate to think how she’d react if we took in the other cat that she actually lets come in the house when it’s cold or raining outside.). Stormy followed me over to the chair where I rubbed her back for several minutes. Eventually she flopped over onto her side and I continued rubbing and petting her on her flank. After a few minutes of this, she rolled over onto her back, exposing her belly, and gently pushing me away when I tried to scritch her there, then continued rolling over to her other side. We went through this process a few more times before the Texas heat had me heading back into the air conditioning.

It was a good start to the afternoon. It reminded me that sometimes the simplest pleasures are the best and that there’s always time to stop and appreciate those instances when they appear. I felt centered and grounded after my feline meditations, and that made my day that much better.