About Cats

like hearing about all those “dog” stories. I love dogs; have had a few (we met a family who became good friends when our German shepherd killed their chicken when I was about two or three). But my story is not about dogs but cats … one who adopted us (she was “great with children”) and two rescuees.

When I got out of the Navy my family (wife, son and daughter) and I moved to Joplin, MO. The house we rented was home to a calico cat, a real neighborhood trollop! She was READY to deliver. About a week later she had four: an orange tabby male (“Tiger”), a silver tabby female (“Flash”), a black tabby female (“Fluffy”), and a black tabby male (“Arthur”, or “Arturo Toss-a-Kitty” for obvious reasons because he was always being tossed off the bed when Mom was making it).

I went back into the Navy three years later. Shortly before we moved to Norfolk, VA., we gave Callie her shots (the female kittens were given to my folks on a farm, the males were given to a no-kill organization). When we got to Norfolk, we stayed with some friends. Wouldn’t you know: allergies to cats! She was kept in a room in the back until we could find a place to rent. When we finally got a place Callie developed a rare blood disease (so the “vet tech” said) and had to be put down. My wife was prevented from being there with Callie. AND, we had to pay $10 for the shot! (I was on the ship over in Palma, in the Med).

A few weeks later my wife got a call from a vet about a cat that had been left. Her “crime”: she had kittens! The vet, Dr. McQueen, said that she had heard that we had had our cat put down, and maybe we would be interested in another cat … a calico. My wife was interested, went out to see and fell in love with her. The lady who brought her in said that she would pay for part of the cat’s shots. My wife called the cat Sassafras because that’s the only tea I will drink. “Sassy” adequately described her.

We had Sassy for 18 1/2 of her 19 1/2 years. Poor baby, her last year was very bad for her, tho she really tried to be her old sweet self. She injured her back just forward of her hips so she could barely walk and it got worse as time went on. Her kidneys were going. She ate and drank well, but kept losing weight. She got up to 18 pounds until we finally got her down to 11, and then she maintained for a long time, then lost weight that last year.

A couple times Sassy tried to hide behind our back refrigerator. Our son said she was trying to find a place to die. I kept her from it twice. Finally, in January 2006 we decided that Wednesday the 18th, would be her last day. She was fading fast. She gave us the look, “Mommie, I hurt. I’m tired of hurting. Please do something to help me.”

When we got to the vet, Dr. Martha Broda, she was ready. She told us that she agreed with our decision. Often people want to put their pets down for very poor reasons, but our reasons were very good. She gave us some time with Sassy alone. We petted her and loved her. She was obviously nervous. She knew she was going to do something she had never done before. But she knew she would be better soon. Eventually she gave us permission to do what we needed to do. At that time Dr. Broda came in with the shot. She used as small a needle as she could, but still had a hard time to find a good vein. I believe Sassy died even before the needle entered her vein, or at least before Dr. Broda finished injecting the medicine. All three of us cried. It was very emotional.

In April of 2006 my wife saw an ad in the Humane Society web site for a cat. She fell in love with this one (sound familiar?) So we went to the shelter and asked to see three cats. We saw the one in the ad, “Tinkerbell”, a tortoise shell; a gray; and an orange tabby, “Orangy”. Tinkerbell was a real love … “Oh, take me home. Please.” The gray showed almost no interest in us. Orangy was really a love. I decided on her. We made arrangements to pick her up on Saturday (this was Monday). Tuesday we got a call from the shelter saying that Orangy was NOT a female awaiting spaying, but a neutered MALE! Would we still want him? NO!!! My wife wanted a female ONLY. Did they still have Tinkerbell? Yes. We went back, played with her again, and made arrangements to take her home. Benefits: she was ALREADY spayed, had an ID chip, and several other things. We had to pay another $25 processing. “NOT REALLY! YOU made the mistake, not us. YOU pay for the processing.” They agreed, so we didn’t have to pay an additional processing fee.

When we got her home we renamed her Priscilla, because we were studying about Aquilla and Priscilla in Sunday school at the time. “Tinkerbell”: not hardly! “Stinkerbell” is closer! Prissy is now three years old and is as ornery as ever. She gets along with the grandsons real well. She gets into everything, will eat ONLY the $$$ food. Prissy got my wife wrapped around her tiny paws.

With great sympathy,

Martin from Tacoma
KVI country