Friday, December 5, 2008

Broken Cats

When Roger and I first adopted our kittens last year, Gizmo was very sick.
We did not know it at first but by the third day she was on the brink of life or death.
Of course, we were already attached to the dear girl.
Even my husband who kept telling me they were my decision.

They were both underweight for their age but in those first few days Gizmo lost additional 4 ounces for only weighing two pounds, it was a lot.
She had a nasty bacterial infection in her GI tract that adult cats get a lot but they have the proper balance of good bacteria to fight it. Gizmo did not have that good bacteria. And considering it was extremely contagious, both cats were being treated.
And according to my dear husband, I choose broken cats.

The non-sick cat, Gadget, took her medicine like it was a treat. She followed all the rules just like me.
Gizmo would not just like Roger. She would start blowing saliva bubbles the minute we picked her up.
The orange medicine would end up all over her black face along with our bathroom walls.
Roger would take her and wash her face with a warm cloth. It was so sweet and she would let him.

She stopped eating and then stopped drinking by Saturday morning.
She was starting to get very lethargic.
We were worried.
So I took her to the vet and he instructed me how to give our poor kitty an IV for the next 48 hours three times a day.
When I brought her home and explained the whole process to Roger, I think he looked at me like I was from Mars.

It was a tag team process.
We hung the IV fluid from the upper kitchen cabinets to get gravity in our favor while we all sat on the floor.
Roger would hold poor Gizmo still while I put a needle underneath her skin.
The whole process took about five minutes. Poor Gizmo. And poor Roger was wondering what we/I had gotten us into.
But she started gaining weight and getting better.

We went away for the first weekend. We were only gone about 36 hours. We were both curious how they would do on their own.
We came home to both cats greeting us as we walked in.
I gasped when I saw poor Gizmo. She had a huge bald spot between her shoulder blades.
Great. What now.
Turns out she is allergic to the flea treatment we put on her a few weeks before but it takes that long for cats to show any signs due to the number of layers of fur and skin.
Roger exclaimed to me "You got us broken cats!"

And while our kittens were getting used to living with us, they did not play very much. I am not sure if they just didn't know how or if they were just not quite comfortable. And poor Gizmo just was too sickly. Some of their toys they seemed almost scared of. Eventually Gadget started to play with a string. However, Gizmo was still "broken."

It took a lot of patience and a lot of persistence, but eventually both cats started playing.
Roger even started pretending to train them for his own private circus he suddenly had a desire for. He trained them to jump between two stools as he spread them further and further apart. He would get so excited to see them succeed.
In this circus attempt, we tried to harness the poor cats. Roger wanted to be able to walk the cats cause that wouldn't look crazy at all.
They did not take to it. They just laid down or ran into the furniture.
At least part of the circus dream was crushed.
I was once again accused of adopting us "broken cats."

Poor Gizmo once more had a health scare.
One night she started drooling non-stop.
She had not eaten anything strange (to our knowledge) or gotten into anything but no matter what she had pools of drool where ever she sat for a few minutes.
Once more, Roger took her to the vet.
The vet checked her out with nothing but more drool. He gave her some atropine and she came home.
She was a little drugged but she was back to normal.
Normal but "broken".

But this broken cat had Roger's heart.
She sat on a stool next to the couch on his side of couch each evening and he would hang his hand over to pet her.
Her fur and coloring is so spontaneous much like Roger's personality.
She is affectionate but only in small doses much like Roger.
Also like Roger, she enjoyed some alone time.
She was Roger's cat.
She loved spending time with him. She would follow him upstairs for his meditation time and meow for him to open the door. (She almost never meowed at that time.)

I worried about her once I came home and he never returned.
I think both cats miss him. But I think Gizmo, the very "broken" cat, misses him even more.
She has started meowing more regularly.
The first random moment was one day when I passed her as I was walking through the family room. She was sitting on the rug and I looked down at her to ask her what was going on. She just simply looked up at me and meowed. She had food. She had water. Her litter box was clean, but suddenly she was randomly meowing.

She has fallen in love with Roger's favorite Christmas present from a few years ago. It is a laser level with a stud finder. She loves the laser part of it. Much more than the cat laser I bought for them.
She knows its beep as well as the noise it makes when I pick it up.
It now sits on my coffee table for playtime whenever I feel like it.

They never really searched the house for him, but they don't let me out of their sight much. They follow me into every room.
They both talk more.
They are both so much more affecionate.
My broken cats.

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