Do you ever wake up worried? I do too often. Most every morning, in fact, until I make sure everyone is here, everyone is OK…
In the dark of the moon light or under the yellow glow from a candle on the kitchen counter, I have to find all three of our cats whose ritual it is to wake at the same time I do, silently following me around the cabin as I build the fire (for them, of course!) fill their food and water bowls. I listen and can hear Bob’s quiet rhythmic breathing from up in the open loft, and Alan’s loud and somewhat labored snoring, usually found coming from either his dog bed in Forrest’s room or on the sofa by the front window. I look for the silhouettes of all my horses outside the kitchen window, counting as soon as there is enough light to see. And of course, I have to hear the soft and soothing breath of my sleeping child. I’ve been doing that for 16 years, and still I worry…
The other morning I woke up and saw one of the cats, Malakitty, only briefly. He did not join us for breakfast. No, I don’t spoil them so much that they eat with us… but pretty close. This one likes to sit with us at breakfast. It’s his bonding time. Everyone needs bonding time.
But no Malakitty that morning. I mentioned to the boys that I was worried. Silly me.
As you all know, it’s always something.
After breakfast, as Forrest remained at the table to work on school, Malakitty came to pay him a visit. Forrest immediately saw the problem: an open wound around the upper part of his leg about four inches long. That’s pretty big for a cat whose legs are only about 8 inches long stretched out. I don’t want to gross anyone out here, but you could see inside his leg pretty well, and it looked like his leg could step right out of that hole.
Now, being the resident Animal Doctor here, but with my lack of formal training, I looked at that hole in the leg and realized this one was way beyond my abilities. Crazy Glue or a stitch or two was not going to hold this wound closed. And time was not going to heal this wound with out some serious help.
Bob took on the duty of escorting Malakitty to the vet. Can’t say Malakitty was real pleased to be in the truck. We all have a few scratches to prove our battle getting him in and keeping him in the vehicle. (Perchance a large cardboard box next time?)
An hours drive from the ranch along a gratefully open road, and as luck would have it (and every once in a while, we do have good luck) the Doctor was in. One of the finer things in life for anyone with animals is a good vet, and we are lucky to have one, Doctor Howard, on this mountain. Anyway, Doctor Howard sewed that hole up. About 4 inches of stitches with bright pink thread, and the whole area shaved. Thus the name, Frankenkitty.
Our directions were to keep Malakitty “quiet.” How? I figure either he does or he doesn’t. I haven’t taught the cats “sit” or “stay.” Fortunately (if that is the right way to put it), the cat is feeling so poorly that he does not want to do much more than sleep and snuggle. Though he did bring in a mouse on his first night back, so he doesn’t feel that bad. He’s our resident killer cat, no doubt. Talk about paying your rent.
They say you shouldn’t get too attached to your cats living in the country. Way too late for that. The two girls we’ve had for 13 years, and Malakitty perhaps 9 or 10. They’ve all have had their close calls throughout the years, but every morning, they still show up. I worry just the same. Imagine I always will.