Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pawprints on my heart ...

Ten years ago this past spring, a tiny little black cat entered our lives. From the very start he was a fighter ~ and it's a good thing. He was rather sickly having been born with one of the cat flu bugs. Being the runt didn't help things much. His siblings were twice his size and grew like weeds. The little guy stayed little. Around the eight week mark the other two moved on to new homes, but I kept the little one.

When he was barely four months old he became critically ill. I took him to the vet, but without a lot of hope. He got several shots and I was told to take him home and hope. Well, I took him home, and I sure did hope. The next three days were a nightmare. He was pretty much comatose, except for short periods of violent flopping around. Not actual seizures, more like a child having nightmares. He was unresponsive to the sound of my voice, but he did react to my touch. I smeared Nutrical in his mouth, used a tiny dropper to get water into him, and cleaned him ~ and for three days he lay there in his box beside the bed.

The third day he woke up to a brand new world. A world without sound. My little black fuzzball was deaf. It took him quite some time to adjust to his new world. For several weeks he just tried to learn how to walk on floors that kept tilting. I finally came up with a name for him at that point. Beethoven. It seemed like a perfect name. Except ... my youngest son said he walked like a drunken sailor and began calling him Dopey. Initially I think it was just to make me make faces and complain. But ... Dopey stuck.

Dopey couldn't hear what we called him, but he knew when we were talking to him. When I would hold him and talk to him a huge, rumbling purr would start. He had the biggest purr I've ever heard, and it was more astounding coming from such a tiny little cat. And he was tiny. He was plain stunted. Starting off as the runt didn't give him much to work with, and being so sick didn't help. He remained at just under four pounds until he was two.

His purr kept getting bigger though, and he worked at it until he actually made skunk chirps along with the huge rumbles.

After his second year he did grow some ~ mostly 'out'. I hadn't bothered to neuter him because he just never matured. That didn't happen until his third year. When he did, his cheeks grew. His muscles filled out. He began to notice the girls. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), the girls had been spayed.

Over the years, Dopey remained my baby. He accepted any lap that was offered, and he played with anyone and everyone ... but he was always my baby. His favorite place was on my lap during the day, and curled around my head at night.

Two weeks ago he developed a slight respiratory and urinary infection. He was on antibiotics and seemed to be doing well. Eating, drinking, playing ...

Last week he was lying beside me, sleeping, and suddenly began convulsing and gasping. I knew those signs and I frantically rushed him to the vet ~ hoping I was wrong. Dopey took only a few last breaths after getting there. They tried, but he had had a stroke and was gone less than a minute after we arrived.

I miss him so much.
Nicole ~ thank you so much for rushing over here to watch the grandbabies for me and being there for me.

1 comment:

  1. *Hugs* Lori, you know I would do it again. You and Lawren are family and family helps one another.


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