Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month: Paws rescued from a barn
Our handsome long-haired orange tabby, who has all the markings of a Maine Coon, came to the Paws’ household as an 8-week-old kitten. Little did he know how good he’d have it, as he has become the header of Paws for Reflection, and also has become our Golden Cat, as he’s had boatloads of moola invested in his veterinary bills.
At work, Paws Mum’s boss talked about her irresponsible daughter having thrown 3 kittens out to the barn. She didn’t want them in the house anymore. The boss lady adopted one, and said she’d take 2, if she could find someone to adopt the 3rd one. So in she comes with the 2 kittens who were just the cutest. We’d never had a kitten before, and we were still heartbroken over the loss of Tubby (who came as part of the Siamese pair). That was last week’s story, as Paws for Reflection highlights our adopted cats during May – Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month.
That would bring the feline family back up to 5. Another cat, but a kitten would be different. And who can resist a kitten?
There were 2 – a long-haired orange tabby and a much darker multicolored tabby with the most handsome white bib. We had to think long and hard. We like the multicolored tabby, but he was a tad shy. And he’d be moving into a multi-cat household. We weren’t so sure, how the others would react, but we’d heard kitten would be accepted more easily. And we had to consider the much older Smokey Blue, who was getting closer to 20. The orange tabby won out, and he came home.
Night number 1, the kitten was quite scared. He came to bed with his new Mum, and slept over my neck. He wanted to snuggle into it, and was insistent upon licking his new Mummy’s neck. Perhaps, he’d been weaned from his kitty Mumma too early.
The next day, it was totally amazing. The Siamese, Linus, who had lost his brother, instantly adopted the new kitten. It was like Mutt and Jeff. The little one followed the big cats around, and Linus would give him baths, snuggle with him, and look after him. He had his brother back. This handsome boy turned into a bundle of joy. Because he was little and Yellow, we named him Little Yellow, a name that still sticks today. As the header on Paws for Reflection, we often refer to him as Paws.
My human Mom, who was sliding down the slippery slope with Alzheimer’s, always would comment about how his eyes would glisten as he meandered from the kitchen to the living room. He became our second Velcro cat, and some 7 years later, he and Linus still share their human Mom’s lap, vying for top billing.
Little Yellow has been a bundle of joy, and we’re sure he had no idea how lucky he was.
Shortly after his human’s Mom went into Residential Care for Alzheimer’s, his Mom noticed he had chewed on an Easter Lilly, she had brought him in off the deck so it wouldn’t freeze from the impending frost. The minute she saw him near the plant, her heart jumped, No! He started acting a bit strange – had he chewed on the leaves. She knew this could be deadly. He started to act strange. Was he scared, or had he actually ingested some of the plant.
Paws for Reflection wrote about this incident in ( ). It was a harrowing, scary trip down 70 miles of winding country roads to the Emergency Animal Clinic. They kept him overnight, and flushed out his system with fluids.
He recovered quite well.
Was it a year, maybe longer? We noticed the handsome boy coughing – a lot. We started hairball treatment. After all, he had very, very long hair, and my previous look-alike Coon who had passed over the Rainbow Bridge some years ago, had an issue with mats and hairballs. The coughing continued. It seemed to get worse. Then, one fateful summer day, he came up to his Mum, sat on the coffee table, and in his catlike way, said help me. He was coughing, and was starting to hyperventilate. He got onto the floor and could hardly move. He ignored the other kitties as they came up to check on their feline brother. We knew, something was very, very wrong. The tears welled up – was he dying. Another trip down winding country roads, only this time, to the regular vet. It was a very long trip. His human Mum was very scared, and afraid for his life.
An exam, x-rays, ultra-sound. He had a shadow of what appeared to be an enlarged heart. They thought he had Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. A pill regiment started, twice a day, every day. No more leaving the cats alone for a day.
The symptoms didn’t get better. They worsened. After some research it was apparent, he’d had an asthma attack. We’d seen then in humans before, and they were scarey. More pills – more visits to the veterinarian,.
His journey and or human’s Mum seemed to weirdly connect. As she’d take a downturn, so would he. We wrote about these connections how Friday, the 13th seemed to interconnect with both.
He seemed to get worse. We were concerned when our human Mom passed on that he would join her. He didn’t, but his symptoms got worse. He started loosing his hair. his whole belly and legs were going bald. More medicine, more money. We felt bad. This was too much medicine. The veterinarian seemed to agree.
We took him to a specialist, who said he didn’t have heart disease, but had a hernia where his intestines and organs had moved into his chest cavity. He probably was born with it. (We’ll share more details on this in a later post). They recommended surgery at the cost of several thousands. We agreed, as we wouldn’t do this to ourselves, we would not do this to poor Little Yellow.
The medicine was reduced. He’s done much better, and a year later he is acting like any cat. He definitely has asthma. He gets winded when he wrestles, but he can keep up with the best of them. He continues to be a joy and an inspiration. He’s taught us a lot about life and love, and what’s important in life.
In hindsight, we’ve learned that he picks up on his human Mum’s emotions. There was so much stress in the last year of her human Mom’s life, and the 6 months after she passed on, that he reacted to it. The shed collapse was even more stress. He reacted.
Now that there is a whole lot less stress, he is doing better. He’s pretty much maintaining, and as we all realize, every day is a gift. He is a gift. And who would have ever guessed that when he came to the Paws’ household after having been thrown out into a barn to fend for himself and his 2 feline siblings.
Have you adopted a cat that just was super special? Have you ever had a cat that could read your emotions? Do you believe that a cat can be a Cat Whisperer?
If so weigh in on the discussion, and share your thoughts and stories. Next Wordless, we’ll focus on the adopted black cats.