The Tale of a Cat
Let me introduce you to T.J. He is my little miracle cat. I acquired him from the vet's office after I had to put another cat to sleep. He just kind of wandered into the office one day, and my vet thought of me. I took my then three year old daughter with me to check him out — and that was 12 years ago. The vet did an exam on him and gave him to me, no charge.
Therein lay the end of my free cat. That very night he was limping in pain. I took him back, they shaved a hind leg and it burst from an infection. Right away I had to give him 10 days of antibiotics. Over the course of the next few years and many vet visits for puffy paws, I found out his little body was trying to grow back a dewclaw (he was already declawed and neutered when I got him). Surgery was needed to completely remove the dewclaw on a front paw.
A few yeara later we noticed he was losing his hair, and ended up with only his guard hairs left on him. He looked so thin now with all that hair gone that I ended up taking him to a vet dermatologist! They did skin and eyelid biopsies and found out he had got something that the vet medical book only has two lines about. They hadn't ever seen this in a cat, and only rarely in a dog. After a lot of money spent, tears and frustration we decided to put T.J. on some nasty autoimmune medicine.
Hallelujah ... T.J.'s hair ultimately grew back. They wanted me to take him back occasionally for bloodwork to make sure he's okay.
Last summer, the bloodwork didn't look good. So they wanted me to take T.J. off the medication to see if that's what was causing his red and white counts to be low. I was told he either has feline leukemia or bone marrow cancer. By this point he was doing nothing but sleeping — ALL the time, and in unusual places. Needless to say I spent three days crying. I called the vet and asked her if it was okay to put him back on the medicine and shegave me the okay.
HE IMPROVED! And improved. They didn't, and don''t understand it at all, and neither do I. But I just took T.J. back to the vet a couple weeks ago, and his bloodwork still pretty much looked the same with a bit of improvement in his anemia. So I consider T.J. my little miracle cat. I treasure his time with me every day. He does have his bad days, but so far he always gets better.
And I just love all the bad and naughty things he does. Because to me that just means he's feeling good. Now, don't get me wrong: I don't like to find him sleeping on my dining room table. But now instead of getting mad at him, I just remove him.
One of the photos I have in my shop is T.J. It's called "Keeping Watch." It was taken in my upstairs bedroom window. When I'm up there he likes to sit on the hope chest and look out the window. He sleeps next to me at night curled up under the covers. He pesters us at 5:30 in the morning for his moist food (where I hide his medicine). He has a fetish for plastic. He pretends to eat it and makes weird chewing noises making us think he's eating it, but he's not getting anything off. Plastic grocery bags are his favorite. He likes donuts (we'll give him a couple little pieces if we have one). He sits in the chair next to me at dinner and patiently waits for tiny meat offerings. He's sitting in the window next to me as I'm writing this right now.
I love my little miracle cat, T.J. and I cherish every day he's with me.