Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cat Tales

Reuters ran a story this week about a 4 year old cat in Germany who survived being walled in beneath a bathtub for seven weeks. It had dropped from 13 to 4 pounds and the vet recommended it be put down. Fortunately for that cat, the owner disagreed and nursed her back to health with watered down cat food.

After reading that story I confess to feeling more than a little justified in declining to spend the money take our then-four-year-old kitty to the vet after a similar experience. One day she simply vanished. Poof. Gone. No cat to be found.

About six weeks later, in the midst of a driving November rainstorm, I thought I heard a meow--her meow. I looked out the window, didn't see anything, opened the door to listen again and there she was, huddled under the car. Until she dashed inside, that is.

She was so, so very thin. And cold. And wet. And hungry! Fortunately, I had procrastinated on donating her left-over cat food so quickly opened a can and gave her a dishfull. She scarfed it down--and promptly vomited it back up! Oops. After that, we gave her just a little food at a time until her stomach learned to handle food again. Poor thing was so very thin that when she was curled up, she looked the size of a kitten! She couldn't stay in one position for long, though, because she didn't have any padding left on her bones so every posititon was uncomfortable.

Interestingly, early every fall, she starts eating and eating and eating; she eats more often and more food every time. It's almost like she's storing up an emergency supply of fat "just in case". Hey, by the time you get to be an old lady of 18, you've learned to be prepared!

Thinking back, we realized that she'd disappeared about the time a neighbor across the street moved out and reappeared about the time the new neighbor was moving in. We suspect that she was trapped in their garage during the intervening weeks--a suspicion reinforced by the fact that, once our garage was built and in the eight years since, she has absolutely, positively refused to set even one royal paw inside it!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd have done the exact same thing. I love how your girl prepares for all eventualities now. Maybe she's a Girl Scout.
Our cat, Abby, had surgery a few years ago to repair a broken hip, dislocated jaw and broken tail-the result of an unfortunate collison with a motor vehicle of some type. I figured if she could struggle home to us, we owed her that much. I know some would question our allocation of resources, but as my father always said, if your're going to own pets you have to be willing to take care of them.
Love your kayaking pictures.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Renna said...

Two sad stories with very happy endings!

We had a cat disappear about ten years ago which never did reappear. Many homes in our subdivisions leave their garage doors cracked partway open. I've always assumed it's to let their cats come and go. I often wondered if Tiny (said cat) hadn't slipped into someone's garage who was leaving for vacation, as it was in the summer when he disappeared. :-(

11:56 PM  

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