Posts Tagged ‘dog’

Missing: Grey Cat with White Markings and a Massive Attitude!

May 3, 2010

Ten years ago, when Rebekah was five, we picked up a kitten. I mean that literally. It was out on the sidewalk across the street from our home in Clarkston, WA, and I heard it mewing as only young kittens can mew. I found this little fur ball, no more than about four weeks old. I asked around the neighborhood, but couldn’t locate any owner. Looked like the old story of abandonment. Bekah had been asking for a kitten, so after checking with my non-catloving husband, we brought the puff-ball into the house and introduced him. He’s been an attention-deficit pain in the tush ever since.

Kinda grows on you. But then, so does athlete’s foot.

Actually, Britches, as he came to be called, turned out to be a rather nice looking animal with a definite sense of entitlement. My lap was no longer my own. Nor was my computer keyboard. Nor was anything else that was potential for getting attention. Not that he wanted to be picked up. He didn’t like that. Only to be snuggled on his terms – and that means NOW!

Ten years of this included the occasional scare. Once, Britches came home with several puncture marks on his head and throat and a nice abscess. Some dog must have gotten hold of his head and darn near killed him. I’ve never seen Rich ready to kill a dog over a cat, but if he had known the culprit I really think he would have.

On another occasion, Britches tangled with another cat. Looked like he got caught as he was running out. There were some scratches and small punctures on his hind end. We cleaned them up and applied medicine. Didn’t think anything of it. The next day we came home to find Britches holed up in my bedroom and looking very ill. His mouth was foamy and discolored, his posture was all wrong – like he was in pain internally. Bekah took one look at him and thought he was dying. We weren’t so sure she was wrong. Honestly, I was thinking rabies.

We kept everyone out of the room and called Sue Geske, our mobile vet. Sue came over and examined Britches thoroughly.

Thank heavens, no rabies. All that was wrong was a bad tummy ache from licking the medicine (BluKote) off his wounds. Stupid us! We never thought to read the label which clearly stated “Do Not Use on Cats”. The foam was his nausea – colored purple. A day later he was just fine. Oops.
A few days ago, Bekah came home from school and said she couldn’t find Britches. He had “helped” her doing her sit-ups in the morning, but Rich hadn’t seen him when he left for work a few hours later. No one saw him all that afternoon.

This cat has spent the last couple years staking out the foot of my king-sized bed as his own. He would leave for two reasons – food going in and food coming out. That’s it. Other than that, he was curled up in my comforter snoozing. This cat could make Garfield look athletic! So, to have him missing was, to say the least, rather disconcerting.

I tried to comfort Bekah, telling her that this was the first beautiful spring day after a typically long Montana winter and Britches was probably out exploring, searching for voles, birds, prairie dogs (locally called “gophers”), etc. I said he would be in for dinner and don’t worry.

In the mean time, I worried. On my way to run some errands, I stopped and asked neighbors, scanned the fields for hunting cats, and scanned the roads and ditches for bad news.

Nothing. So, I came back home and kept silent.

When my own cat, an 18 y.o. Persian named Blue, died, I was in the navy living in another country. My mother wrote that most difficult of letters telling me that he had died in his sleep. I had known it was coming. While sad, I could accept it without terrible grief. But this would be different. Britches was only 10 and Bekah hadn’t ever experienced the death of a beloved pet. We had lost two dogs – one to a car and one to theft. But she was very young and barely remembers them. I was not looking forward to finding out that Britches had met a car or a dog he couldn’t outrun.

The good thing was, we didn’t have to. That evening, just as I had optimistically predicted, Britches leaped up onto the living room windowsill and allowed himself back into the house, quite unaware of the drama he had caused. The question of “where have you been?” was answered pretty clearly when I tried to pick him up. The last time I saw a belly that full and round was on a python. I think it had eaten a small deer. Wherever Britches had gone, the gophers had been plentiful and seasonably slow. He was one happy cat!

Somehow, the continuous, impatient, entitled demands seemed just a little sweeter that night. And today, he has been back on my bed, curled up, dreaming of mice.

Welcome home, warrior-kitty.