I'm back and have a new family member


Meet RegisFor many, many weeks I’ve been absent from my own blog, mostly due to family issues and school. But now I’m ready to blog again. I will begin with a story. A few weeks ago, in October, our cat, Ralph, passed away. His demise was planned, as he had a serious case of heartworm and was beginning to lose his life by degrees. He had a persistent cough and was unable to eat; his body was covered with sores, and he was beginning to look the way he did when he first came to live with us two years ago. It was obvious that he would not survive, so my husband Larry put him down, gently. Then we took Ralph to the family pet graveyard and gently laid him there on the hillside.
Two weeks later I was really feeling sorry for myself. I love cats. Ralph was not my favorite, as he was an outdoor cat and I’m terribly allergic to cats who are outside. To keep from suffering from a bad asthma attack I had to wash carefully after handling him, and make sure to use my inhaler. But I digress. That morning I raised my arms out by the barn, and said to the earth: bring me another cat.
That afternoon I had to be on duty at the real estate office, and while there, one of our agents came in all upset. A cat had crawled up inside her car and wouldn’t come out; she had driven all the way to Neosho from Fairview with the cat inside her engine compartment and now couldn’t extricate the critter. The broker tried running water inside the engine area, but the little thing wouldn’t budge. I came out into the hall, and said, “let me try.”
I went outside, and found that the cat had crawled up inside her fender well behind her tire and was actually inside the hubcap area and wouldn’t come out. I spoke to the cat in cat language, and he answered. “Call animal control and see if they can help,” I said. In about 10 minutes, here came animal control, and in about five seconds he had the cat in his hand. It was a baby kitten with his eyes barely open, probably about 4 weeks old. The officer said because of the kitten’s age, he would need special care that the animal shelter couldn’t provide and they would have to have the animal destroyed.
“No, let me take him,” I said.
The cat took to me immediately, and clung to my chest. I took it inside and washed it off with detergent – it was covered, unbelievably, in blood. Apparently another cat had also been with it and had been crushed. He was dehydrated and very hungry, so after I warmed him up, I put him in a box and took him to the animal hospital. They took a look, said he had fleas, and showed me what food to get to feed this little critter, who had not been weaned. I also bought a cat carrier so I could transport him more safely. Then I went to Wal-Mart and bought litter, a tiny litter box, and a cat dish.
When the cat and I arrived home that night, I knew I was in for a fight. Larry had never allowed an animal indoors. I had always had my cats inside before we married 32 years ago. In fact, I brought my cat here when we married and Larry’s boys let him outside and he was scared by the dog. The last time I saw Aristide, he was running hell bent for leather across our field, toward the hill.
To Larry’s credit, he was kind. He could see it was a baby kitten and allowed me to nurse it back to health. Now he is so taken with the cat he wouldn’t put it outside for anything. I even let him name him. The cat’s name is Regis. He is very health, and has gained weight dramatically. In the first week he put on six ounces, and ever since it has been 3.5 ounces a week. When we got him, he weighed 13 ounces. Today Regis tipped the scales at 2 pounds, 5.5 ounces. He has also grown in length and is very strong.
Cats are great. We are learning about playtime and how to keep him from scratching us to death. This morning Larry trimmed his needle-like claws, because I’m starting to look like a victim of abuse. Regis is very attached to me, and likes to sleep on my chest, up by my neck. Next we have to get him his shots and his worming done, even though there are no signs now. I have removed the fleas using water, and he has no fleas. He gets a bath every five days, because of my allergies. I can tell when it is time – I begin to sneeze and my throat closes up when he needs bathing. Regis hates water, but I’m trying to slowly get him used to it.


Regis plays with my camera strap when I take his picture

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