Felines

Descriptions of my cats, the things they do, and their relationships with me and with one another

It’s National Cat Day!

Things are definitely looking up. I am feeling pretty much normal again (thank You, God!) and there’s good news on the “cat front,” which I am celebrating on National Cat Day. Perhaps the story will be more interesting with a little background.

Back in January, when I first met Jou Jou B at Gasow, I was introduced to her two sisters as well. The three cats were strays, whom some “Good Samaritan” had had spayed and ear-tipped. When she could no longer care for these tame kitties, the “Samaritan” took them to Gasow so they could find homes. The sisters were named Jou Jou, Mimi, and Clarisse. Before I officially adopted Jou Jou B, Clarisse–the friendliest of the three–found a home.

After Calleigh duTwain crossed the Rainbow Bridge in June, I started thinking a lot about the remaining sister, Mimi, still at the vet six months later. She was very shy. Jim graciously agreed that we could adopt her. I renamed her Jolie Fille (“pretty girl”).

Fast forward to October…Patch the Pirate was unlucky enough to be “trapped” in one of the cat carriers we leave out to lull hapless cats into complacency. I took her in on a Tuesday for her overdue vaccines and learned that she needed a dentistry. She had to wait until Friday for that procedure, but I did not dare bring her home. I would never have been able to “catch” her again. Although Patch never came out of her carrier or showed any appreciation for my efforts, I visited her every day except the day she had the dentistry (seven more teeth removed…darned cervical neck lesions!).

When I came in that Saturday, Dr. R. mentioned to me that the third sister, Clarisse, had been returned two days earlier by her adopters. She was being picked on by one of their other cats, who had more seniority in the household. One of the cat-loving ladies behind the desk told me that the poor cat looked completely traumatized when she arrived, but was doing better now that she was no longer being tormented.

If you know me at all, you will not be surprised to learn that I immediately began imagining the addition of the third and final sister to our feline family. Jim’s initial response was an emphatic “NO!” I continued to talk about her at home and visit her at Gasow on my trips to visit Patch, who finally came home after a week.

I decided to take a different approach with Jim: “Let’s Make a Deal.” What would he like that I could agree to if he would agree to let me adopt Clarisse? Surprisingly, this method worked; Jim might be interested in joining a fitness club. I introduced Jim to Clarisse on October 23, and we officially adopted her that evening. I chose a name for her that sounded similar to “Clarisse” (pronounced “Clarice,” not “Clarissa”) but started with a ‘J.’ Her new name is Jenise.

Praise Where Praise Is Due

It occurs to me, belatedly, that I omitted the most important part of the story about Jolie Fille and her paw: the praise I owe God for the way He worked out all the circumstances for me to be able to get her to the veterinary hospital, see the right vet for the circumstances, and get prompt treatment for her condition. Without Him working out the details, this could not have been accomplished.

First came the problem of getting Jolie into a carrier. Having been bitten the first (and last) time I forced her to go where she did not want to go, I had no idea how I could manage it. I got the idea to move the carrier into a more accessible location in the area where Jolie and two other kitties spend their time. I put comfortable bedding inside. Then another thought occurred to me: sprinkle catnip on the bedding in the carrier. I did that Thursday afternoon after work. I figured I had a one-in-three chance of luring the right cat into the carrier.

Before heading upstairs for dinner I peeked in and discovered Jolie in the carrier. Even more amazing was the fact that she was still there when I returned. Too late she realized that I was going to close the door on her…and so I was able to transport her to the vet.

Upon arriving at the veterinary hospital, I requested Dr. T, a vet whom I like and the only one I knew was there on Thursday evenings. Jolie and I were shown to an exam room, where we waited quite some time. Another vet I know and like–Dr. L–passed by and greeted me. When I overheard one of the women on staff tell another client that Dr. T would be tied up for a while yet, I told her that I would be happy to see Dr. L instead.

God worked in that circumstance also. It turned out that Jolie needed surgery on her paw. I asked if Jolie could have the surgery the following day, because I knew I would never get her back in the carrier any time soon. The vet who usually does surgery on Fridays (Dr. R) had taken the Labor Day weekend off, and was not available (as she had told me herself the previous Tuesday). Remarkably Dr. L said she would step off the floor Friday afternoon to do the surgery. Had I seen Dr. T as I had initially asked, this would not have been possible since she does not work on Fridays.

All weekend I felt guilty about Jolie, thinking that something in my home had caused or allowed Jolie’s injury to occur. I worried about her coming home; would she be hurt again? When I took another one of my cats in on Tuesday, I learned the probable cause from Dr. R . . . and it had nothing to do with anything in my home environment. I had hoped to consult Dr. L about when it would be best to bring Jolie home, but she was having a much-needed day off after working the holiday weekend. I posed the question to Dr. R, who said that Jolie was doing well enough to come home any time, per Dr. L; but because I was so concerned about Jolie’s safe recovery, it might be good to wait until Friday.

I am so grateful to Dr. L for doing the surgery and caring for Jolie so well. Even more, I am grateful to God, who worked out every detail so that Jolie could get the treatment she needed. To adapt a well-known refrain:

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on my kitty, and I know He watches me.

Changes

The last ten days have held some interesting surprises, two in particular. The first of the changes concerns Pawscar Awesome, my orange polydactyl, who (at age 7) was adopted in January 2013. He reacted so badly to my efforts to safely introduce him to the other cats that he has lived apart in our kitchen/bathroom area. After some time, he would occasionally come in, check out the food bowls, and leave.

Suddenly, on Sunday afternoon, August 24, while Jim was at work, Pawscar howled to come in. Instead of following his usual pattern, he responded to my attempts at communication and hung around with me for a couple of hours. He leaped into the window that used to be Purrin’Dot’s favorite escape from the vacuum (and had a little trouble jumping down), sat on my computer desk and on my lap, and in general checked things out calmly. Since that day, he has spent time with us nearly every day.

“What changed?” you ask. I have absolutely no idea. I do have a renewed hope that someday he will join the rest of the family full-time.

The second, not so pleasant, surprise, concerns my latest addition to the feline family, Jolie Fille. A day or two after Pawscar’s about-face, she started sitting with her left front paw in the air. At first I chalked it up to a cute mannerism, but when it persisted for three days and was always the same paw I became concerned. I noticed that she was favoring the paw when walking, too. She went to the vet last Thursday evening, and ended up staying for some reparative surgery the next day. I have been visiting her daily (except for Labor Day, when the veterinary hospital was closed), and she seems better. I am told that she will probably be coming home Friday.

Today my sister Melissa and I each took kitties to the vet (her Choo Choo Charley and my Revelly). During the visit, I learned that sisters Jou Jou B and Jolie Fille had come to the vet as candidates for adoption in May 2013. Poor Jou Jou B was there for eight months, and Jolie six months longer. How glad I am that I was able to adopt them both!