Saturday, May 14, 2011

Caturday May 14

A Tail of Two Kitties:

Yes, I meant "tail," not tale.  (I'm trying to be cute, bear with me.)
Today's post was supposed to be about one cat only but Miranda, never one to be outdone by anybody, had to create some drama this week.

Click photo for larger image
Miranda helped herself to a lovely spot of sun to lounge in on Tuesday of this past week.  I thought it'd be a prime opportunity to get some decent stock photos for future Caturday posts.  Upon closer inspection after I took many photos, I noticed something poking out of her mouth. That "something" is visible in the photo to the left (just beneath the white patch of fur beneath her nose).  It was her bottom right fang sticking straight out, in the process of breaking/falling out.  This was news to us and needless to say, I rushed to the phone for the veterinarian.  Of course they couldn't get her in same day and while I went out for food less than an hour after that phone call, the tooth came out.
We took her to the vet nonetheless and got some unexpected news:  heart murmur, ear infection, dehydration.    On the bright side (and something the vet refused to comment on), she'd gained weight from her last vet visit.  This vet (who I'm currently feeling quite iffy about returning her to for many reasons I'm not mentioning here)
was loathe to do anything about the missing tooth which apparently broke off and didn't actually fall out.  I figured there'd need to be an extraction and she didn't want to put kitty under any anesthetic, not even for a tooth cleaning.
We left the vet's office $160 poorer and feeling like our cat was about to drop dead before we made it back home.  Yes, she's old (14, our best guess?) but she's not deteriorating the way the vet was having us believe.
Currently, Miranda (less half of one fang) is sitting on my lap and feeling quite smug for taking over this Caturday post.  She's had some aggravations the last few days (cleaner and drops for her ears, antibiotics for her tooth and a bath after she messed herself in the carrier on the way back from the office visit) but she's also had a lot of pampering and treats including a new water fountain and Catsip.  *cough*AndCheese*cough*

Click photo for larger image
Without further ado, I'd like to introduce Phobos.  Phobos was Miranda's brother.  They came as a package deal (literally, two-for-one) from an animal shelter in Orange County.  We went to countless places to find just the perfect addition to our family back in 2004 and traveled 160 miles round trip once we found the cat for us.  Except it wasn't cat, singular.
I was wary about taking two cats in when we were only interested in one but we fell in love with these two and they became His-And-Hers companions.
Phobos was a very affectionate (if not incredibly shy) cat whose life ended a year ago today.  We were preparing to move and he'd been soiling the carpet for quite some time for no physical health reason we could discover.  As the move approached, his health deteriorated suddenly and rapidly and I found myself having to make the decision -- unmatched in difficulty -- to make an appointment for euthanasia.  Knowing it was the humane thing to do didn't make it easier.  The earliest they could fit us in didn't seem quite soon enough and I was certain he wouldn't make it to his appointment.  When we took him in and they weighed him, the towel DH carried him in weighed more than he did (and he'd always been larger than Miranda by almost twice her weight).
I had DS with us (at that point not even 17 months old) and kept him entertained by looking at the kitties up for adoption while DH kept Phobos company through his last breath.
I felt cold and callous, everything I chose to do up until that point very methodical and sterile.
It was on the way home that I completely broke down and sobbed the whole half hour drive.  And would have random break-downs for several weeks later.  (And Phobos wasn't really ever "my" cat.)

In the days immediately following, DH did the best thing he could do to help his grieving process.  He put together a touching video memorial for his cat.  It would honor us if you would watch the video he made in Phobos's memory; it's only a little over 6 minutes long.

And now you know our secret identities. . .  (I think it was worth it.) :)
I hope everyone has a nice (drama-free) weekend.  I look forward to sharing fun stuff with you next week!


JelliDonut said...

Lovely! Don't know what cracked me up more--Phobos knocking over the treat jar, or Phobos getting a bath. Thanks for sharing this.

writerdahling said...

What beautiful cats. If it's any consolation, you may not have to have the tooth removed immediately. Our cat had his tooth broken a few years ago and we just now had to get it removed. It depends on how deteriorated it is though.

Paula Tadeu said...

Sorry my english.
I'm sorry for your loss
I know what you feel
The video is beautiful and full of love
Best regards from Portugal

Contessa said...

I just wanted to thank you three ladies for your comments on this entry, they all really meant a LOT to me. :)

@Jelli: Thank you so much for watching the video. It's always a bittersweet thing for us to watch and those parts still make me smile, too.

@writerdahling: Thank you so much, especially for your comment about your cat's broken tooth. It gives me hope then that ultimately we actually won't ever have to do anything with Miranda's tooth. I imagine it has to hurt but it doesn't seem to stop her from eating and drinking! (And we're giving her a course of antibiotics preemptively.)

@Paula: No need to apologize! I really appreciate your comment, thank you so much. I wanted to let you know I visited your blog and enjoyed looking through the pictures. I don't know any Portuguese but knitting, yarn and kitties are all universal languages. :)

Viv said...

So sorry to hear of your loss :( Beautiful cats!

Contessa said...

Thank you very much, @Viv, I really appreciate your comment.

Tink said...

what a wonderful tribute to a beautiful cat. such a gorgeous voice he had as well.

what breed are they, do you know? their colouring (particularly Miranda's) is so similar to a kitten I used to have, and the same voice too!

my current cat has part of a fang missing, broken off before we got him. It's never done him any harm, so I'm sure Miranda will be ok with hers.

Contessa said...

@Tink: Thank you so, so much. :) We got these two from a shelter so best guess (what they told us) is that they're Himalayans. Phobos looked more like the (now) coveted "flat-face" variety and Miranda looks more like the original Himalayans. They're known for being quite vocal, which Miranda definitely is. (We have to run a fan in our bedroom at night to drown out her howling. That sounds terrible.)
I'd love to see any photos of your kitten if you have any!
Also, thanks so much for telling me about your current cat's situation. It's reassuring to know others who have the experience -- and that everything turned out just fine regardless!