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07/07/2005 Archived Entry: "Sometimes, that's enough"

Sometimes, that's enough...

Raving reporter Thunder here.

There's a lot of bad stuff going on out there, you don't need me to point any of it out. So, I thought I'd tell you a bit about something good that is happening. Claire puts a lot of hard work and good old fashioned love into her work rescuing feral dogs. Recently, she blogged about her latest success story with Suki.

I don't normally get into a position where I can help as she does. But, here's another success story you may enjoy.....

Sunday morning was a morning like any other or so we thought.

Sunshine streaming in through the windows, Lightning and I were enjoying our breakfast of Belgian waffles. Between bites, we were discussing what our plans for the day would be, what was going on over at TCF, you know, normal chit-chat. Out of the corner of her eye, Lightning saw a cat walk across the yard.

Normally, I have an issue with cats in my yard. I don't appreciate people that don't care for their pets or respect my property rights by allowing thier pets in my yard to tear up my flower beds or stink up the place by urinating all over the place. Don't get me wrong, I like cats. And dogs. And squirrels. And ferrets and most other finned, furry or feathered creatures. (I draw the line at slugs, though.) It just irritates the crap out of me how people aren't allowed to let their dog off of a leash, but cats are allowed to go wherever the heck they please. I think that as a responsible pet owner, your responsibility shouldn't be on someone else's property without permission and that goes for dogs, cats, and children.

Well, I open the door to shoo this cat away thinking it was my neighbor's. I look down and there's the skinniest, most bedraggled, wretched-looking excuse for a feline that I've ever seen laying on my porch. It was looking away from me and didn't move when I had opened the door. I cleared my throat in an attempt to get its attention. Nothing. Assuming this cat was ignoring me as cats are so apt to do, I stepped outside to get its attention.

It takes off across the yard, gets a good distance from me, stops, turns around and lays down looking at me. Seeing that this was a stray and in dire need of some food, the ol' softie in me decided to try to help it out. Lightning fixed a bowl of her cat's dry cat food and I proceeded to walk towards it and give it something to eat. Letting out a cat howl/meow/screech that sounded like something from the inner circles of Hell or a Vincent Price movie, the cat started towards me.

I hurriedly set the bowl down and the cat proceeded to start eating. Eating is probably an understatement. It sat at the bowl and gobbled and inhaled food in a style reminiscent of Henry VIII. This was short lived however. Thinking it needed water, we decided to give it some and another bowl of canned cat food which it proceeded to wolf down as much as it could.

We watched from a distance and started to notice some things about it. It was extremely emaciated. Bones were sticking out all over the place. It looked like a skeleton with a fur coat. We also started noticing that it seemed to be completely deaf and it kept falling asleep between feasting sessions. This cat was not well off at all and was completely exhausted. Weakness from lack of food wasn't making matters any better for it, either.

We left it alone for most of the day, occasionally checking on it to see how it was doing. It slept most of the day in the shade, coming out whenever we came to check on her, eager for some petting. On one visit, Lightning was petting her and the cat (I'd named it Bill the Cat by this point) went into seizures.

Off to the vet we went! From the vets examination, we found that her vitals were darn near perfect, but she was approximately 15 yrs old and had a grand total of one and a half teeth in her head and a thyroid problem. We had an old lady on our hands.

After 2 visits to the vet and shelling out $300 for a cat we didn't even know, I'm proud to say that so far, Maxine (we changed her name when we found out it was a she. Lightning named her after the cranky old lady on the Hallmark cards) is doing well. She's not out of the woods yet, but she's gaining more and more energy each day. Her feistiness and personality are starting to come out and she's starting to groom herself again.

She's now on a litany of drugs to right her wrongs. Drontal for worms, Phenobarbitol to fight the seizures, thyroid medicine to slow her metabolism down, an iron supplement to alleviate her anemia, an antibiotic to rid any infections, flea killer to get rid of the fleas, and lots and lots of TLC to take care of everything else.

She's old. Real old. We don't know how long she's got left in this world, but we had to do what was in our ability to make sure that however long she has left, that it'd be a comfortable and loving time. Quite frankly, I'm not sure if there is much else one could ask for.

Posted by Thunder @ 10:37 AM CST

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