Saturday, July 30, 2011

Interview with the Devil

Devil during his interview

Interviewer: We’re here with Devil, an outside cat that sort of became stray, abandoned or whatever you’d like to call it. He’s a large red Maine Coon mix Tabby. Hi, Devil…
Devil: Puuuuurrrrrrrrrr

Interviewer: So, why the name Devil?
Devil: Well, there are several stories. Where I lived before, there was a guy, his wife and 2 kids. He called me a “little devil”, she thought the kids named me for the cartoon character Tasmanian Devil, but the daughter says neither. She says I use to have tufts of hair that resembled horns growing in from of my ears.

Interviewer: Do you like your name?
Devil: Eh, I really don’t care. These new folks tried to change it to Devon, but once you’re used to a something, it’s hard to change. I think it was harder for them to try to remember. They usually just call me Dev for short, anyway; so, it don’t matter. Really, just call me when you’re dishin’ the food!

Interviewer: Do you know how old you are?
Devil: 9, 10, 11… su’um like that. At least 9, but at the most 11.

Interviewer: Where’d you live before?
Devil: That’s a tough one. The neighbor claimed me as theirs, but they just put food out for me and a bunch of other cats. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated it! I went wherever I wanted, though. Basically, I stayed within a 3 acre or so range – the house that put food out and their neighbors on each side.

Interviewer: So, it’s rural?
Devil: Yeah.

Interviewer: Did you like it?
Devil: Well, what’s a cat to do? You can’t choose what happens to ya a lot of times. Stuff just happens. You deal. The neighbor to the east used to let me in sometimes. The neighbor to the west always showed me attention and looked out for me.

Interviewer: What happened that brought you to where you are now?
Devil: The lady who was feeding me just up and left. No idea. I’ve heard she left her husband. Took the kids, the inside cats and split. Left all us outside cats here either for the husband to tend to or to fend for ourselves. The husband works weird hours; so, feeding got real erratic. Most of the other cats left. Not me. I’m more of a homebody, I guess, always have been. Been here about 10 years, didn’t see a need to go someplace else. Born and raised right here. It’s my home. The neighbor to the west who I said always looked after me started putting food out when she saw me getting real thin looking. She even got me a dogloo. What kinda word is that? We called it the cathouse. Well, no self respecting cat would live in a dogloo, would they? Sounds like an outhouse for dogs! Anyway, she put some nice bedding in it come winter, food, water and me time. She’d sit with me for about a half hour in the morning and a half hour in the evening. Oh, how I longed for those moments each day. Hey, us cats are not the loners folks like to make us out to be. We like companionship. We get lonely! When I saw her comin’ to feed me, I ran to her.

Interviewer: Being outside like that, I imagine you’ve been in a few fights?
Devil: Oh yea. Well, you know, gotta protect the ol’ territory and the gals! Not to mention keep the youngin’s under control, teach ‘em some respect for their elders.

Interviewer: That how you got that eye injury and illness?
Devil: Yeah, it’s no big deal. The eye was a real a pain for a couple of years. Constant infections, always draining and stuff.

Interviewer: And, since these new folks have been caring for you, you’ve had a couple major surgeries?
Devil: Eh-em, yeah. I was not asked about them either!

Interviewer: So, how’s the eye?
Devil: Well, after they shaved one side of my entire face, they had to pull my lower eye lid down cuz it had rolled inward when my eye healed from that fight injury. They said the eyelashes were rubbing against my eye. Well, duh… I could’ve told ya that. Anyway, they cut some skin & sewed it back together, itchy stitches, and there ya go.

Interviewer: Like a kitty facelift?
Devil: A kitty what?

Interviewer: Never mind. Just a joke. So, how’s the neutering?
Devil: Well, how do you think?! One day, you’re a guy, feeling all big and lion like ready for a fight and a gal. You take a nap, snip snip, wake up – no more lion, just a big ol’ pussy cat! All I gotta say is, why wasn’t I involved in that conversation?!

Interviewer: Hear you were quite the ladies man; do you miss the ladies now?
Devil: To be honest, not as much as I thought I would. I mean there’s some gals here, but they’re all hissy!

Interviewer: Do you still feel the urge to fight?
Devil: hmmm… not really. I don’t think I mind that. Didn’t really like it much. I mean, some folks would say, I was quite the fighter, but no, take it or leave it. There’s another youngin’ that was out with me, Harley. He took off and came back. I chased him about outside, never really fought him cuz he’d always run off. Well, they took him in, too. Neutered his sorry self, too! Hee hee… purrrr. Sometimes, he still annoys the fur off of me. We get along better now though. We’ve played, but, dang, he can be annoying. No respect in these younger generations! There’s another guy, Punkin. No one messes with him. Of course, he’d probably just sit on them; he’s a tubby. He’s about my age, but he’s the top cat. He let me know right away, too. They say he’s usually docile – never hissed at anyone. Well, he sure hissed at me! Told me exactly, in no uncertain terms, who he was and where I stood in the house. I told him not to get his britches all matted; I had no intention of taking his position. I don’t think I could move him off of it anyway. What’s he weigh… 25 pounds! We’re alright now, though; we understand each other.

Interviewer: So, you did not assume Top Cat in the house?
Devil: Nope, and I don’t want it.

Interviewer: How do you like inside life?
Devil: Inside life is better than outside. Trust me! The AC is real cool… really. Then, there are meals at least 3 times a day, companionship from people and other cats. The dogs I could live without, seriously. I really do not like dogs, especially that new pup they just got. Can’t keep her mouth off any of us cats! Oh, and the really nice, soft places to sleep…. I cat could reeeeeally get sooo used to this life.

Interviewer: Do you miss going outside?
Devil: Not so much. Did you listen to what I just described to you? Would you want to go live outside?

Interviewer: Well is there anything you miss about being outside?
Devil: Hmmm… well, maybe roaming, ya know, come and go as I please. Nah, not really. Being my own cat, not in comparison to the bennies of inside. Solitude, nope. I can find hidey places to get solitude if I want it inside, but trust me, if you’ve been outside as long as I have, you will not miss solitude!

Interviewer: Earlier we talked about you acquiring a major illness while outside due to the fighting. Want to talk about it?
Devil: Sure. What do you wanna know?

Interviewer: What did you get?
Devil: FIV or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. It’s like HIV in people, but they say it can’t be transmitted to people.

Interviewer: How’s does it affect you?
Devil: At the moment, it hasn’t. I live my life same as before. I don’t feel sick or nothing. Out of precaution, I am forced to stay by myself when no one is home. I don’t like it, but I guess they think they are doing right by the others in case someone ticks me off & we get in a hissy fit. Not all cats will just have FIV. Some get feline AIDS. There’s no cure and you will die from complications. They found chronic eye infections & upper respiratory infections cause a lot of cats’ demise. The problem with my eye injury always draining and getting infected is the reason they had the vet do the corrective surgery. If my FIV goes to AIDS, then my eye could, in a sense, kill me.

Interviewer: Does it affect the others?
Devil: No, not really. They’ve done some research on it. Found that I can eat, drink, play and sleep with the others. It’s mainly just fighting. Fighting males get it most. It is transferred through saliva getting into deep puncture wounds. So, fighting causing injury deep puncture wounds with fangs can be deadly. Believe me, if playing appears to get out of hand or we start the kitty roll, they are on top of us splitting us up making sure I didn’t sink my fangs into nobody.

Interviewer: So, you like your life now; do you think it has turned out for the better?
Devil: Yessiree Jim Bob! It’s cool. People can be weird, though – they have dogs – don’t see a need for them critters, but they like ‘em. Guess I’ll have to get used to them. As long as they don’t bother me, I’m fine. I think this life, even with the dogs, is much better than what I had outside. I can curl up in a nice place and sleep, get attention whenever I want it, eat canned food not just dried up stuff riddled with fire ants and roaches. Yeah, this is the life! Every critter should have this!

Interviewer: Well, that concludes our interview with Devil. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. Thanks, Dev, for filling us in on the life of a rescued cat.
Devil: You’re welcome. Now, I am late for my nap. I gotta go. See ya!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mourning the Loss of the Guardian

My Beloved Friend & Guardian
I haven't been on in a while. A lot of critter tribulations. First Copper became ill and passed away. Now, Maverick.

Shortly leading into May 2, 2011, Maverick's eating was noticeably changed. I brought him to the vet on May 2nd. His blood work showed elevated white blood cells, as well as some other issues.

Diagnosis: most likely a gastrointestinal cancer.

I fought the diagnosis. Could not except the youngest dog had cancer and was going to die. The inevitable was not something I could except. I tried to get him to eat. The more time progressed the less he would. I would cook for him. Every piece of food he ate I triumphed only to be let down at the next meal. I convinced myself maybe it was this or maybe it was that. No. It was nothing else.

In the wee hours of the morning, June 1st, Maverick became restless. I tried to comfort him. Thought maybe he has to go to the bathroom. I walked him outside. He attempted to go down the stairs of the deck. He collapsed on his way down only to end up in my arms at the bottom of the stairs. I screamed for him in the darkness of night. Holding him there. When family members came, I was there holding him, his eyes in an icy glaze of a stare, with me weeping uncontrollably over him.

We stayed with him for a few minutes; then, tried to get him onto a blanket to carry him back onto the deck & then into the house. Once on the deck, the glaze vanished from his eyes. He tried to stand. Wobbly, he did. He attempted to walk to the door to go inside, but he couldn't. We carried him in on the blanket.

Once again, he lay on the blanket, now in the house. Again, he tried to stand. Wobbly, he walked around the dining room table and stood there. I held him to steady him. He slowly sat down and then laid down. I laid down next to him. My arms around him. Comforting him. I told him, if it's time, you can go. I didn't want him to suffer. That was 4 a.m.

Two hours passed. I held him for 2 long hours, crying & telling him I loved him, but didn't want him to suffer. I told him to go ahead Dad was waiting for him at the Rainbow Bridge with Copper and all the other critters.

At 6:10 a.m., Maverick, my guardian, took his last breath.

Good bye my friend. I will always love you. I will always cherish you & your memory. I will never forget you.