Andy’s first day with me

Andy's first day with me

Look at me! I’m showing “grandma pictures” of my cats now. This is a forgotten photo taken the day I picked up Andy in September 2011 and brought him home with me.

call me crazy

Sometimes I forget about this blog. Months pass, I don’t update it. I wonder why but fail to type something in this block. I guess I don’t expect anyone to read it anyway, the classic blogger’s nagging doubt!

Hmm. So why haven’t I written since September? New kittens.

Andy was a sick with diarrhea, as were his litter mates. Apparently they got into a bad grasshopper or two, became infected with an amoebic disease that caused diarrhea (most distressingly!). He appeared better by the time I picked him up.

In the week or so after I first took Andy home, however, he lost ground. I called the lady who gave him to me, telling her about his continuing diarrhea and apparent decline. I was afraid I was going to lose another cat, a kitten, if he didn’t have medical care!

She took Andy that night, and put him in the veterinarian clinic for observation and determination of the specific cause of his illness. Probiotics and antibiotics helped. A week later, he seemed on the mend again, and was released to me.

I placed Andy in the carrier, a cathedral-sized one meant for a Louie-sized cat, and waited for the bill. The technician came out with another kitten, a kitten from Andy’s litter that’d become his best play buddy that previous week.

Would I be interested in another kitten, she wondered, noting Andy and this little guy’d played so well together. She knew my plan was to find a companion cat for Andy at the pound. The issues of finding a cat Andy liked and played with came up earlier, and this little brother looked like a good deal!

Yes! I’ll take the kitten, I told her.

These kittens are pedigreed or pure bred. I never can keep the distinction clear in my mind…one of the two! They were mostly black when I got them, and, at a little over five months in December, show the handsome coloration of smoke Persians. Andy in particular has the lovely silver and black combination, though Dougy shows the colors in a darker shade.

Oh! I hadn’t mentioned the new kitten’s name yet!

Andy is named after the patron saint of Scotland, St. Andrew, since I have significant Scottish ancestry. The second kitten, I felt, should have a good, Scottish name as well.

I posed the question on Daily Booth, where several people who follow me are Scottish. What should I name this second male kitten? Archibald. Angus. Murdoch. And so on. Then it occurred to me my own name, Douglas, is about as Scottish as you can get! To stave off suggestions I am egotistical, I settled for Doogie, the Scottish diminutive of Douglas.

I started out calling the new kitten Doogie. I no time, it gravitated toward the easier, friendlier Dougy. To hell with it. I named one of my kittens after me! The more ornery one, it turns out! Judge me if you wish, world! Ha!

Videos? Yeah, I made videos and posted them on YouTube. They are a hoot to watch.

Diarrhea and normal kitty problems managing to keep themselves cleaned up continued to plague the kittens and me. I never had to give Louie a bath, yet the kittens needed them practically daily! Whew! I called the veterinarian to determine if the kittens should go back in for further work.

Andy, in particular, seemed worse off, and I sent him to the clinic first. He was there eight days, then I took Dougy in. He wasn’t as bad off, but he just wasn’t right. I couldn’t see continuing with more of the same. If one was sicker, both were sick with the same thing. Dougy needed to be there for treatment, too.

I missed the hubbub of kittens, but I didn’t miss the diarrhea and the sense that the kittens were more than I could handle after the death of Louie. They, their health issues, definitely weren’t lightening my mood.

Kitten poop. Kitten baths. Long stays at the veterinarian’s and long examinations of whether it was crazy to keep the kittens or not: That’s the summation of three months past.

Someone said “There is no such thing as a free cat.” The two kittens given me, pet quality smoke Persians, can retail between $500-$1000, per one internet source. I don’t know. I’ve never had such fancy pets, let alone for nothing. I’ve never asked the lady at the clinic why she chose to give them to me. It seems if someone does something nice for you, you should graciously accept that good deed and not worry about motivation.

The veterinarian bills so far hover near $1000. That includes routine vaccinations, of course, but largely is for kenneling and treatment of the root cause of the diarrhea. The kittens are well-known to the staff, and have spent more time in the clinic than at home, I think, but that’s starting to turn around.

Now, the kittens and I are bonded for life. Often, when I fall asleep in my recliner, one or both will be sleeping on my lap when I wake up. I find one or both in bed with me when I wake up. I suspect it is so they can monitor me until it is time to wake me up to feed them.

Call me crazy, but I’m keeping them!