Monday, June 24, 2013

Why, yes, I AM a crazy cat lady

Growing up, I had a little doggie named Sam (was also called her Rags, I have no idea why).  She looked like Benji  (see Benji, from the Benji website, below).

  My uncle had found her on the side of the road while working and brought her home with him.  Through a series of events that I don’t actually remember (I think I was 4), Sam came home to live with us.  I can’t say enough about my little doggy.  She wasn’t too fond of the mailman or men in hats, but she was the perfect dog for two little girls.  She was the most tolerant creature, not once complaining or taking a nip as we dressed her in tutus or attempted to paint her little doggy nails.  My sister used to sleep with one thumb in her mouth, and the other hand over the dog’s nose because she believed if it dried out the dog would die (she says I told her that but I don’t believe ever telling her that), and Sam would stay there with her, face to face.  She never chewed our things, except for that unfortunate box of scented crayons which left rainbow chip messes in our yard for a few days (not that I blame her, I think I may have licked one or two just to see).

 I remember late one night after my mom had brought my little brother home from the hospital she had put him in his bassinet, and little Sam stood on her tippy toes, not touching it, and danced around it trying to peer in an the wiggling baby who was just beginning to fuss.  She normally slept with my mom, but if there was a sick kid she barely left your side.  I remember watching her try to climb the bars to my top bunk more than once, and there were a few nights where she woke my mom up so she could be put on my bed.

Poor Sammy lost her hearing the last few years of her life.  We suspect it was from being near an open window one July 4th for the lighting of a Piccolo Pete.  She still understood some version of sign language though.   I know that sounds crazy, but she would still dance in a circle for a treat, or would run towards the door if you did a potty dance to ask her if she had to go out. 

Sam even taught my sister’s cat a thing or two.  When we brought Angus home, Sam didn’t handle it with aggression or barking, she simply ignored him.  When we would put him in her face, she would just turn her head and look another way.  Angus later did the same to me if I came home smelling of another cat or if I went away for a few days. 

I went to college, moved to the other side of town, and got myself my own kitty friends.  Shortly after, Sammy suffered a stroke in the night.  The vet suggested that we give her a day to recuperate.  But poor Sammy couldn’t use her back legs.  My mom, my sister and I all took her to the vet.  My mom stayed with her, and my sister and I sobbed in the lobby. 

Now I have cats.  When I first moved out by myself, I’d just gone through a breakup, and I was lonely.  I had just moved out on my own and my house felt so empty.  I didn’t have any reason to come home…it wasn’t a home.  It was an apartment with hardly anything in it and I needed more.  I adopted Tyler first.  I saw his little furry face and I just fell in love.  He also had a brother who was very cute, and I had always wanted a black cat, but I was intimidated by the idea of getting 2 cats at once.  So I adopted Tyler.  He was my little love almost immediately.  He slept in my bed curled up against my chest.  Later, he began playing fetch.  He was curious about everything and for the first month of his life had terrible gas.  But he was a cutie.

My Tyler Cat, 2010

A few month later, I went to make a donation at the shelter and while I was there I peeked through the cat room as I had been thinking about getting Tyler a buddy.  I walked in an immediately saw Ryan.  Tyler’s brother.  He was still there!  I went right home and talked to my landlord about getting another cat, his first response was “Why didn’t you bring him home?”  Ryan came home the next day. 

Cuddles on the bed, 2010

I love my furry babies.  I’ve been called a cat lady quite a few times, and you know what?  I am.  I talk to my cats.  I sing to them and dance with them.  They sleep with me.  I started singing the Meow Mix song and now they come running whenever the commercial comes on.  I love them like crazy and if that makes me a crazy cat lady, I’ll wear the badge with pride.

The Meow Mix Commercial

So you can only imagine how upset I was when I noticed that Tyler cat was losing hair on his belly.  He had also developed two little bumps, one on his belly and the other under his front leg.  I took him to the vet last Friday.  It turns out that he is grooming himself and it is probably due to stress.  One bump (the larger one, thank goodness) is just a fatty cyst.  The other one, however, is a mass cell tumor.

Cue freakout.

The vet made it seem like this is no big deal.  We’ll remove it, test it and move from there.  They’re so relaxed and calm at the vet.  Then they hand me a quote.  Unfortunately, it isn’t exact because they don’t know how long the procedure will take so they gave me a range.  $600-900.  I’ve heard worse.  I’ve heard of people paying thousands for pet surgery so maybe I should just zip it.  But it’s a pretty weighty price tag for me right now.   

And then there comes the feelings about my poor, sick kitty.  What if this doesn’t “cure” him?  What if there are problems in the future?  I want to believe that everything will be ok, but the thought of having to bring home my poor little baby with stitches and give him pain medication brings me to tears.  I don’t want him hurting.  I’m trying to look on the bright side.  I’m trying to treat this like everything will be ok.  But I’m sitting here and I just want to cry, and I'm remembering the heartbreak when we had to put Sam down.  I’m just beside myself with worry and anxiety over my little buddy.  I just want to go home and snuggle my furry babies. 

 Hug your pets today, everyone.  They do so much more for us than we realize.

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