Thursday, August 7, 2008


Late Sunday night when I got home from seeing my new niece at the hospital, I was exhausted. Jamey met me out by the van and for a few minutes, we just stood there hugging. Finally, I broke away and stepped back- onto my dear cat. She screamed and scratched me good in the foot. I don't blame her. I tried to apologize to her but she wanted nothing to do with me. Again, I don't blame her- I stepped on her good.

So, my foot is fine, although it throbs when I walk. Ok, maybe it's not fine, but it's getting fine. I'm reminded often of this kitty of ours, in light of my throbbing foot, and decided I should document the story of how we almost lost her.

We're not 'pet' people, really. So we made a deliberate decision not to have any. Then one winter, Somersault (Sam named her) adopted us. First, we didn't feed her. We just gave her scraps. She was extremely gentle and very tolerant of Sam. She caught mice and other small pests and we were appreciative.

One spring evening, I noticed she was acting funny. Jamey picked her up and felt her belly and sure enough, there were kittens in there. We're not very observant. Anyway, that evening, Sam, Jamey and I watched her birth her kittens. Well, if that wasn't enough for me to start feeding her, I don't know what was. She was a nursing mother for crying out loud! She proved to be a very good mother, moving her kittens to a hiding place the next day- down in the hole of our two-seater outhouse. Don't worry it had been filled in with dirt long ago. And, after her kittens weaned and we found homes for them, we had her spayed.

Through all this, we grew (ok, I grew) more attached to her. And she to us. She never wandered far and always kept us company when we were outside.

Then she disappeared. She was gone for four days. I called the SPCA and surprised myself that I cared enough to do so. We started assuming she was gone. Then, one evening, as we were pulling out of our driveway, I saw her slowly walk onto the property. She looked terrible and it was obvious she had been in some kind of scuffle. I locked her in her shed with her food and water and we left. It wasn't until later when we could examine her that we saw she had been bit by a dog. It had her head in it's mouth. She had a tooth hole in the top of her head and two under her neck. The holes were oozing and she was listless and not eating. I called the vet to see if there was anything we could do ourselves. They said it sounded like the bites were infected and that she would develop a fever, stop eating and die. She needed antibiotics and stitches and that would be a couple hundred dollars. Oh.

Jamey and I talked things over. We really didn't have the money to take her to the vet. Jamey thinks of her as a barn cat and barn cats usually don't get too much attention or money for treatment, for that matter. I knew he was right, but felt responsible for this cat and hated to lose her. I had to go out that evening and we agreed to think about it more.

I came home to a husband with an idea. He decided that he would try to treat Somersault, seeing as though he was in pharmacy school and all. He did some research and ran out to the local chain pet store and bought fish antibiotic. Yep, I said fish. It was in powder form, to sprinkle in their tank, for the likes of fin rot, etc. Jamey diluted it in water and based on her weight, determined her dosage. With a dropper he picked up at the store, he started giving Somersault her medicine three times a day. The night he started, she wasn't eating or moving. By the next morning, with her first two doses in her, she started to perk up.

We had to go out of town for my brother's wedding. Our amazing neighbors came and fed her and gave her her medicine while we were away. We kept her locked in her shed for several weeks until she healed completely. She's as good as new. Who'd have thought I'd care so much for a cat? And that Jamey cares enough about me to save my cat? Ok, I guess I did know that.

Somersault, post treatment.
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1 comment:

  1. Wow, I really like that story. Jamey is going to be such a great Pharmacist


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