Although Herself, aka Little Miss Mayhem, dominates the hacienda, we have another kitty who has been with us for thirteen years. We call him Mr Tom and he is another gray, but long-haired, very long-haired.
Mr Tom early on decided he was exclusively an outdoor cat, making the garage home base after we installed a kitty door. He spends his time wandering the paddocks and the barn, hunting or… more usually, observing the hordes of rabbits doing what rabbits do. He liked to bring the baby bunnies inside (alive and unharmed, but terrified, of course) and place them next to the rabbit hutch (back when we had a lop-eared pet). He’d give us a look, a mix of pride and serious disdain for our caretaker skills.
Earlier this week Firstborn came rushing in to tell me Tom had collapsed, urinating onto the floor. He was caterwauling in pain. And just like that he was up and moving around, not well, but moving. I called the vet first thing in the morning, she said come right over, so I stuffed him in the carrier (always an adventure requiring chain mail and sturdy leather gloves) and off we went.
Tom is not fond of car rides. He’s okay at the vet’s because the vet tech gives him smoochies and coos in his ear. He’s definitely a lady’s man. After a thorough exam, Dr. P pronounced his lungs fine (you could hear him yodeling in the next county!), heart good, temp normal, teeth excellent for his age, 15 1/2 lbs, and no ticks.
Diagnosis: stroke or minor heart attack.
Treatment: thousands of dollars with specialists or half a baby aspirin every other day to thin the blood and help with any joint pain. Um, lemme think…
With help, I packed up Pavaroti, wrote a check, tucked the thanks-for-visiting mousie in my purse and drove home, wishing to high heavens I had my sound deadening earphones.
We’ve been keeping him locked in the garage at night as a precaution. His lung capacity is amazing. I’m against declawing because yo it’s amputation assholes! but I might look into de-yowling…
Dr. P reassured me he can have many more years with us. I hope so. He’s been our sentinel, our primary hunter extraordinaire and all around cool dude for a very long time.
Mr Tom is doing fine, he’s back to snoozing on Deere John, leaving mounds of gray fur on the seat, and he follows us to the barn to supervise. All’s well.
Dividing baby aspirin required a new skill set and a really sharp knife, but I now have enough on hand for a couple weeks. The half pill is teensy and, coated with butter, it hasn’t been difficult to shove down his throat… IF Firstborn holds him so all I need to do is deal with fangs. Easy peasy.
Here he is in all his glory (including some rare indoor poses):