Tuesday, January 01, 2008

he's the patron saint of lost kitties

we've had a guest recently. but the story is quite sad and i didn't want to post it until after the holidays.

a couple of weeks ago, we went to the gym one morning, as we often used to do before i broke my back. randomly, it was also the same week that someone from the apartment complex's insurance came out to investigate the accident, to determine their liability. so we headed to the gym, me for the treadmill, andrew for the elliptical. the gym has a ton of video cameras, and i was sure someone in the apartment office was watching me get onto the treadmill and thinking aloud, "does she just have it out for us? is she trying to find ways to sue?" but i swear, my doctor said it would be great for me to get very extremely non impact exercise. when we returned, there was a small kitty sitting on one of the stairs leading up to our second floor apartment. i stayed on the ground while andrew tried to shoo it. the cat only seemed to want to go up the steps, closer to the door. finally on the top landing, andrew picked up the kitty, carried it down, and we went inside. a couple of hours later, when we left for work, the cat was still on the bottom step. normally people adopt cats but this one seemed to be adopting us. she was fairly small, big eyes, medium haired, brown and grey.

wednesday night
when i got home, i discovered andrew had thoughtfully set out a dish of food and water for the cat. i said "hum. we're not keeping, right?"

later wednesday night
while i'm not looking, andrew sneaks outside and builds a little shelter out of a cardboard box and some towels; you know, to protect it from the harsh las vegas winter. the cat begins to lounge. i remind andrew that we are only letting this cat stay until we find its owner. surely someone is going to put up signs soon. the cat is clearly comfortable around people and likes this area so it must have an owner. it has a collar but without name or info.

everyone in the office is congratulating me on my new cat, despite my persistence that this is just temporary. and just to further torture me, several hypothesize that this cat has shown up to have kittens. we don't actually know its a girl cat but somewhere along the way, andrew and i both decided she was a she. i think she had girl eyes. we also don't think the cat has eaten anything. andrew tries different cat foods. we never see the cat move but every time we check, she is in a different spot in her box. we've also taken to calling her the outdoor kitty, which i nervously concider just a small step away from our outdoor kitty.

one time, while going in or out, zoe happened to be sitting in the entry way and the two kitties saw each other. they both looked stunned. "you get to live inside?!?" "you get to live outside?!?"

i'm starting to worry. the kitty definitely has not eaten anything. andrew gives the cat some milk, which she drinks, and then vomits and then drinks some more. the cat still does not move except when we aren't looking.

at lunch, i announce, to no one in particular, "that cat is going to die on our doorstep." we find the number for the people that we got zoecat from and give them a ring. i explain the situation and the woman on the other end says to take the cat to such and such vet. we get out the cardboard box that the stork brought zoe home in and prepare to put the new cat inside.

this is the point in the story that my heart breaks.

andrew picked up the cat, clearly still alive, but very much like a ragdoll. he put her in the carrier and she didn't move at all. we drove a bit too quickly to the vet, couldn't find the place, did several uturns, and eventually arrived. we told them the whole story, the vet took one look inside the box, and said, "oh, no, she's in bad shape." i began to cry and proceeded to cry the whole way home.

a couple of hours later, they called to tell us how the story ended. i made andrew take the call. the best they could figure, our new outside kitty had been hit by a car. she had a lot of internal problems but also was having strokes. that explained why she seemed ok at first, but clearly was going downhill. it was also why she didn't seem to act like most injured animals, scared and snarly. she obviously was not in a whole lot of pain as she was loosing brain function, but i was right, she was going to die on our doorstep. it turns out, andrew's nest building antics, which i thought were so silly, really did make her last days as happy and comfy as possible.


  • At 10:44 PM , Blogger The Gal Herself said...

    It's not the length of life but the quality of life. How wonderful that this trusting kitty lived out her life with people worthy of her trust! Thank you for sharing such a lovely (albeit sad) story.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home