Today My Beloved and I dismantled the 90 pound dog cage that has sat in the middle of our very small living room for the past two weeks while we cared for our cat Blu. I am sure that the dry cat food (Whiskas meaty selections) that I was providing to our outdoor cats ended up being the kiss of death for our male cats. Jet died a terrible agonizing death last month, unable to pee and he is buried next to our front porch. When Blu started to show the same symptoms, I made an appointment with our vet and opted for an extreme, costly surgery to save his life.
I talked to my cousin yesterday about our cat situation. She is a dog person, and opined that dogs have masters and cats have staff. This is very true. Our cats have taught us to turn on the water faucet in the bathroom while we are sitting on the toilet. They jump up on the sink and butt our heads until we turn on the tap.
They launch themselves against the screen door on the front porch at 6:00 am every morning, who needs an alarm clock? Saturdays and Sundays included, making sure that they get kitty kibble at the appointed hour. And they sit on our chests and give us the ultra- powerful cat stink eye if we try to sleep in. It is impossible to sleep in with a 19 pound cat on your chest delicately exploring your eyelids.
If you are a cat lover, check out Simon’s cats in the video below.
So this morning we took off the bell collar around Blu’s neck. The sutures are healing nicely and we gave him his last liquid antibiotic a few days ago. Blu is a Siamese cat that showed up in our yard almost four years ago. He has a clipped right ear to show that he was neutered by the Feral Cat Coalition and returned to the neighborhood. I am certain that Blu was abandoned by an owner who gave him lots of pets and a warm place within his or her home. I talk to him in Spanish as well as English.
It is a heartbreaking, common phenomenon here in my neighborhood to find beautiful animals that could not be taken to a new home, for whatever reason, abandoned to the streets. We have adopted as many of them as we could. At one point we were taking care of fourteen neutered cats, which qualifies us as ‘crazy cat people’.
Over the past years our four indoor cats have had a chance to sniff Blu up through the screen door on our back porch; therefore Blu’s transition to our living room was relatively peaceful. Blu had become depressed, however. My dog loving cousin wanted to know how I knew this.
My cats and I have a relationship in which the sound of my voice alone is enough to get them purring sans contact. There was nothing I could say in Spanish or English that would get Blu purring. Epic fail. When I slipped off his collar this morning he did purr. And purr. And purr. I held him on my lap, gently stroking him, while I read through the OB Rag this morning. When we turned on the vacuum cleaner he knew we were trying to kill him and his shaved ass and hid under the bed.
I have no idea whether Blu will turn out to be an indoor cat. We have certainly had other cats who managed to jettison themselves through the screens, and all of them eventually crawled back, broken, to our porch and to die there. I truly understand the concept of “Live free or die.” That is a tough concept for cats though. I look at Blu and ask:
“Look, I saved your shaved ass from death. What more do you want?”