Joined: 05 Mar 2017
|Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:03 am Post subject: The Cat Who Saves My Life (Cat owner? True - you MUST read!)
She whimpers in her sleep. I didn't know cats could do that until I owned Miss Priss.
After twenty-two years, I finally ended my marriage: one more coal on a bonfire of grief. Don't ask--it's private. Does Prissy feel it? My sadness, I mean.
The night she was brought to me to adopt, she got her name because she grumbled in protest when I disturbed her sleep to put her down. Feisty, wee thing.
She fit into the palm of one hand.
She has idiosyncrasies that make living with her a challenge. I am convinced, however, that they manifest themselves because she's empathizing with me. I have stomach problems--Miss Priss needs special foods. I am too serious most of the time; Prissy rarely plays, didn't, even as a kitten--never purred until she was over a year old, or meowed, either. (Now she makes all kinds of sounds.)
This is a cat that NEVER wakes me up, just sleeps with me, and I have NO ROUTINE. Five o'clock in the morning might find me still up from the night before, eleven o'clock at night, time for breakfast.
She won't allow me to pick her up--she's overweight, mostly from a lack of exercise. I probably feed her too much, but when a cat has digestive problems, I prefer they eat. Felines are notorious for giving up easily. But I am chubby too--same reasons--I suffer when I don't eat properly.
Heaven help me if Prissy got sick.
She stomps and grumbles when made to come in from the hall. Really! Plants her feet with every step. But she cuddles wonderfully when I need it, gives kisses when asked. Let's me kiss her tummy. She lies on her back, reaches up both paws, sheathing claws, to touch my face, pulls my hands down to pet her.
She knows sadness and tries to help me through it. How beautiful is that?
I can understand how cats were so highly regarded by Egyptians--I think they really do travel the spirit world, help their loved ones navigate it to improve life.
All I know is, this is one smart cat, a real lady, who pays me the highest honor by allowing me to share her mealtime. In fact, she insists on it. I wonder if that habit began when she was a kitten, and I fed her cookies (kitty kibble) one at a time...
But hey, those kitty cookies were better for her than the pudding cups she still loves (and we no longer share). (At least I THOUGHT they were...)
Wondering how Prissy saves my life? The answer is simple - she needs me. I don't know anyone who would want her if something happened to me. I haven't listed all the things she does that might make her less than desirable to the average person, like steaming one kind of fish only, for her. Like bouts of vomiting...like hissing when there's someone visiting whom she knows might not truly have my best interests at heart.
I'll not let her down, ever, not if I can help it, even if she IS grumpy sometimes. So am I. Grumpy, that is. Surrounded by insincerity at times, can we be blamed?
Oh, and grammar in my title? I refuse to use, "The Cat THAT Saves My Life". She has too much personality. She's a "who".
and now, Part Two...
I have tears in my eyes as I write this, not because of anything drastic, or overly dramatic, but because life's lessons, so often, seem to be at the expense of the innocent.
It wasn't until the odour of cat urine wafted on the air of our small bathroom that I knew something was wrong. I am fastidious, immediately cleaning Prissy's litter box right after she's used it--as I've written in other essays, we live in one, large room, a bachelorette for two 'gals' on their own. Miss Priss is a big cat, seriously overweight, but never before has she missed her litter box.
Thank God she did this time. The acrid scent of urine caused me to change the litter box entirely, not merely remove the clumps. I was surprised to see she'd missed it a few times, and all within a short period of time, undoubtedly while I slept.
About ten years ago, I had to stop working, thanks to some health issues, and I'd known it was going to pose financial hardship for years to come. In Canada, to receive a full, hard-earned, government pension, one must reach the age of sixty-five. Taking it early means losing a fair portion of funds needed to combat the ever-increasing cost of living. Pensions don't even come close to keeping up. I'm sixty-five now, and finally able to collect what I paid for all those years. But after moving back to the city from a three-bedroom house in the country, one room, no matter how big, means a litter box that can't be hidden away in a basement or somewhere that rushing to scoop isn't quite as urgent.
I have always kept a large tray underneath Prissy's litter box so that any granules that scatter are caught by the tray. This time I added a cloth rag, figuring it would soak up any pee until I could get out and buy a bigger litter box for my hefty friend. (Remember--I have stomach issues too, so I have to be very careful--I had to eat before going out to shop.)
I haven't been to the store yet; a trip to the vet was far more important. The rag was soon soaked pink. Blood in her urine.
There's much more to come in this story, but right now I have to go and get that larger litter box. Prissy was pretty stressed-out after the needle used to take a urine sample, the one to administer her antibiotics, to take blood and of course, the trip itself, since she's so unaccustomed to being outside of our home.
It's my turn to do a little something for my best buddy. We are having x-rays next Tuesday. We still have to wait for the results of the culture, but the urine sample contained crystals, so every diagnostic tool available is necessary, at least as far as I am concerned. The vet agrees.
Of course, in the meantime, there's a lot to research, and if you are interested, you might want to read an article by Ron Hines entitled, "All About Oxalate Bladder And Kidney Stones In Your Cat And How To Manage Them". (I've tried to provide a link, below.) It will explain a lot about why, all the years I raised Golden Retrievers, I used kibble ONLY as a supplement when I had to be away from my dogs for any length of time. Dogs and cats on pet food of ANY kind are at severe risk--kibble is the worst, even the best kibble.
Sadly, for the first four years of her life, that's all my precious cat would eat, besides a bit of steamed fish I always cooked for her.
(Now she is on a strict diet of Royal Canin SO. It has to be exclusive. Nothing else, not even her relished cod fish. And there's more to tell, since we had the x-rays today - Thursday, not Tuesday - but we are both exhausted. More to follow in the coming days, including more about the condition... three bladder stones were revealed by Prissy's x-rays. All prayers would be greatly appreciated.)
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