Zoey, Part 5: The Vet Visit

I had recently become Facebook friends with a very nice guy named John.* He worked at the local SPCA, we had mutual friends, and our paths had crossed several times in the past.

I messaged John and he was swift in responding. He was free that day, and would try to get in touch with his vet friend and see if she could make time for an emergency visit. Luckily, she could!

I realized that if she was going to be admitted to a veterinary clinic, this kitten would need a name. No more Deejling, the nickname I’d given her because she so strongly resembled my late, great, cat Deej. I had scribbled a list of potential names in a notebook and I looked them over now:

Sadie, Evie, Maizie, Paislee, Gracie…

 

who me
Who do I look like?

None of them seemed to fit. She was a quirky little cat, headstrong, stubborn and very much a survivor. (That nasty throat puncture could have been fatal!) She needed a whimsical name, one that was as full of personality as she was.

I decided on “Zoey.” The name has Greek roots and actually means “life.” How appropriate; not only was this baby as lively as could be, she was lucky to be alive at all, considering the gory puncture wound on her throat. 

John drove Zoey and I to a veterinary office on the outskirts of the city. We waited outside the small building until the doctor pulled in the driveway.

Introductions were quickly made. Dr. Amy* unlocked the building and we followed her in. In the examination room, she tried her best to assess Zoey’s condition. I say this, because the kitty was hard to wrangle. She wanted to explore everything in the room, not sit still on a silly table!

 

VET
John tries to hold Zoey still

 

Dr. Amy did manage to get her weighed: a scant 5.1 lbs. The hole in her throat was, as I’d guessed, most likely caused by a dog bite. The rest of her scratches, however, were deemed self-inflicted; Zoey had been scratching herself due to a flea allergy. So, a topical flea med was applied. The doctor observed that Zoey was a bit sneezy and diagnosed her with an upper respiratory infection. I was given liquid drops to take care of that problem, plus antibacterial wipes with which to clean Zoey’s wounds.

I was feeling so relieved when we got out of there, that Zoey was going to be just fine with a little TLC, and grateful to John and Dr. Amy for their help.

But things wouldn’t stay all rosy for long….

 

*AUTHOR’S NOTE: Names of humans in this story have been changed to protect their privacy.

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Zoey, Part 4: The Kitten is Hurt!

I thought about getting a collar for the kitten. She was so tiny, though, would I be able to find one that would fit around her miniscule neck? An adult collar would look like hula hoop on her! 

As I gently stroked her fur while she ate, I thought it felt like there already was something around her neck. But not a collar; to my fingers, it felt more like a thin rope or a thick, coarse string. It was early in the morning, still dark outside, so I told myself I’d get a closer look later in the day, after I got home from my radio shift.

When I next encountered the baby kitty, I got the shock of my life. What I’d thought was a rope collar around her neck was actually multiple scratch wounds, all scabbed over. Worse than that, the kitten had a huge, raw wound on the front of  her neck! A large patch of fur was gone, exposing the pink skin underneath. And right in the middle of her throat was a deep, round hole! It was red with blood, as if it had occurred recently.  A claw from another cat? It looked a little too big to be that. More like a puncture wound, perhaps from a dog’s tooth.

 

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I was horrified, even though the little cat kept on eating and acting as if everything was normal.  I couldn’t let her stay outside like that, and risk the wound getting infected. Or have her get attacked by the same animal. The next time could be fatal! So I brought her inside and kept her away from my cats, Jinx and Milo.

But, as luck would have it, it was a Saturday. Were any vets even open on the weekend? And how was I going to get her there, considering I don’t have a car?

Then I had an idea… one with just the tiniest glimmer of hope.

 

Z2
That face… how could I not help her?

Zoey, Part Three: the Transformation

One day, I was surprised to see the Deejling waiting outside on the sidewalk when I was walking home from work. And even more astounded when the little one followed at my heels down the long driveway that led to my front door! How cute, I thought. It’s following me like a puppy dog!

I fed the baby kitty on the front stoop, as usual. From the house, my two adult cats beheld the sight with jealousy from their perch by the living room window.

 

feeding time for zoey
Nom, nom, nom!

 

It wasn’t long before the kitten trusted me enough to pick her up. I was able get a peek under its tail. The Deejling was a She! I’d have to think of a new name for her.

One morning, the little kitty tried to follow me to work. Picture this: it’s 4AM, still pitch black outside. I’m trying to walk the half-mile to the radio station, and this spunky, wee kitty chased me for a whole city block. I picked the cat up and carried her back to my yard. This scenario played itself out three times. I realized that the stubborn kitty was not giving up. What should  I do?  Should I carry her to work with me? What would she do in the studio for six hours? What about a litter box? I couldn’t leave her in the house with my two cats, who might hurt the defenseless kitten. Ultimately, I outwitted her by giving her a little more food. As soon as she started eating, I bolted!

I was very flattered by the kitten’s sudden infatuation with me. I thought about her often during my air shift. Was she a stray? Should I try to tame her and take her in? Would I be premature in coming up with a name for her? I didn’t want to get too attached, only to find she belonged to somebody.

Little did I know that I’d be forced to make some important decisions sooner than expected….

 

Zoey, Part Two: A Cat Named Snowflake

It was Snowy who brought The Deejling to my porch. Snowy, or Snowflake, is my neighbor’s cat. Fluffy, gorgeous, and affectionate, Snowy has led all sorts of felines to my doorstep. Most, it turned out, belonged to other neighbors. The funny thing is, all of the cats had initially been too timid and skittish for me to get near them… until Snowy brought them to me. It was like he told them in Cat Language that I was a safe person. Or, more importantly, a source of food!

snowy tail
Snowflake the neighbor kitty

I was so thrilled when the mini Deej first appeared with Snowy on my doorstep. I was in awe. I took pics and sent them to my ex. He agreed that the kitten was a dead ringer for Deej.

After a few visits, the little guy (or gal?) let me pet it while it was eating. I was so happy! But I shouldn’t be, I thought to myself. I have two cats already. I don’t need a third!

I wasn’t prepared for what would happen next.

zoey snowy
Snowflake watching the Deejling eat

 

 

Been Awhile/ Introducing Zoey

First of all, let me apologize for not updating my blog in such a long time. Jinx and Milo are fine.

And, there is a new arrival to our household. Her name is Zoey.

zoey morning snuggle

Zoey’s arrival is such a complicated story, I’ve decided to serialize it. Ready for Part 1?

 

Zoey, Part One

I first noticed the little kitten because it looked so much like my late cat, Deej. If not for that fact, I might not have paid as much attention, only because there are so many cats wandering my neighborhood. It’s hard to keep track of which ones are stray or feral, and which ones are cats with owners who let them go outside. But the first time I spotted this tiny kitten, it literally stopped me in my tracks. It was in a parking lot near my house. When I tried to get close to her, she darted away into the bushes.

At first I would only see the tiny cat in the wee hours… on my way home from a 4AM laundromat trip, or walking to my part-time job around the same time. That sweet little face, the spindly legs, white body, and the dark markings… all so much like Deej as a baby! I even started thinking of the animal as The Deejling… a reincarnation, somehow? A supernatural spawn??

Of course, that wasn’t the case. This kitty’s resemblance to my poor, beloved Deej was just a coincidence…

Or… more like “a sign.”

Stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon!

faraway zoey as deejling
The Deejling… mystery lookalike kitten

 

Deej Baby
My old buddy Deej, when he was a baby

A Heartwarming Petco Encounter

 

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I was in Petco today, a place where I find myself once a month, to stock up on Greenies for my bad-breath cat, Jinx, and to look at the cats available for adoption from the local SPCA. I grabbed a couple unplanned items as well… some gourmet Duck Pate canned cat food as a treat for my fur-babies, and Star Wars collar for my former cat Oliver, who now lives with my Ex.

As usual, there were a lot of dogs shopping with their humans in Petco… in fact, more than I’d ever seen in a single day! But when I actually was standing in the checkout line, I noticed the most amazing sight behind me: a young couple with a black cat in the child seat of their shopping cart! The feline wore no harness or any restraints. He was just completely chill on a blanket, while his humans checked out at the register.

“Did you just adopt him here today?” I had to ask.

“Yes!” the girl said, bubbling over with excitement. “Would you like to pet him?”

Of course I did! The newly adopted kitty was mellow and friendly as I stroked his ebony fur.

“He’s deaf,” the girl told me, without a trace of sorrow in her voice.

“Really?!?” I’d met blind cats before, but never a deaf one.

The young lady and her boyfriend proved their point by calling to the cat and snapping their fingers by his ears. No reaction from the kitty.

I was delighted to see that they were purchasing a laser toy and a cat “condo” with dangly fuzzballs on strings hanging from its upper tiers. Good visual stimulation for a deaf cat.

I thanked the couple for adopting a Special Needs Cat before I left the store. Not to mention it was a Black Cat… They have a 50% less chance of being adopted than colorful kitties.

I didn’t think to take a picture of their handsome boy, so here’s one of my black cat, Jinx, and one of my “Special Needs” boy, Milo, who has an eye disorder.

God bless this kind young couple for making a deaf black cat a new member of their family!

Happy Birthday, Milo!

Yep, I have yet another cat with an April birthday… both of my furbabies are Aries! Today, my younger kitty, Milo Cyrus, turns 3 years old! He is a loverboy, a clown, a purrbucket, and most of all, a friend. I acquired Milo when he was a 5-month-old, unwanted kitten. I did not know at the time I brought him into my home that he had “special needs”… he was born with an eye disorder requiring daily attention. He has thrived and is a healthy, big boy who loves being loved, and giving that love back tenfold to me. I’m so lucky to be Milo’s Mom! Sweet Milo