Tuesday, August 9, 2016

thank you, Joanna, for this cat

Johnny Karate is a scroungy little bastard, but I love him. He started out among the horde in a hoarder's house and wound up looking at me through the bars of a cage, ready for rescue. I'd just lost my evil familiar Bagheera, the most amazingly violent cat ever hatched, an elegant villain in a black and white tux. I missed her and wanted an orange male or something equally unlike her.


Instead I picked up this scrawny baby, curled him into a ball on his back, and tucked him into the crook of my arm. He accepted it, calmly meeping, and so it was done. He had hernia surgery - he's not a healthy boy - and came home to papa. Look how pitiful, poor little guy.

Took me about two weeks to figure out that my cat was broken. Sweet as sugar, friendly as you could hope for, and so sick that I first named him Humbert Humbert. This is gross, but he pooped constantly. All the time. On everything. Runny, horrible poop. For a while, I just gave up having anyone over. We suffered through six months before I figured out, through trial and error, that if I fed him gluten-free food he'd be okay. You have no idea, the sheer relief when he started to get better and I realized I wouldn't have to put him down. I replaced all my cloth-covered furniture, ruined and stained. I moved into a new apartment. I invited friends to hang out.

During those six dark months of poop, my little guy also survived a fever that scrambled his brain. He's not bright, but who cares? He's a cat, he was never going to write a best seller. He's still tiny, at almost three, and probably always will be. He doesn't meow - doesn't seem to know how - still only emits tiny meeps when he wants to make a point. He still prefers to sleep on his back in my arms like a baby. His fangs hang out of his lips, his claws never quite retreat into his paws and he sometimes gets hung up and limps for a few days. Every so often he forgets how to eat and I have to syringe feed him for a day or two before he remembers. His favorite game is kick-it-off. His breath is just foul. The boy ain't right.

But he's at my hip or in my arms all day. He'll walk on a leash and you can't freak him out. He's not smart, but he's good company. I'm glad of him.

15 comments:

  1. I'm glad he is your cat and you are there to care for him. I had a bat crazy Italian greyhound, she had a lot of issues ! Pets are like family , we love them regardless of their habits and issues . My friend had a black cat called Sid Viscous, he was one crazy cat ,?

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    1. All cats are at least a little crazy.

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  2. "He's a cat. He was never going to write a best-seller."
    JK provides all that a cat needs to provide and you are the best papa he could ever have. As I write this, Old Jack (when he appeared at the house, I was reading a book with a character in it named "Old Jack" and Old Jack this cat shall forever be, even though now he is young) is cuddled up behind me on my chair, having forgiven me for having his balls removed yesterday. What would we do without our familiars? Why did I have dogs all of those years?

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    1. I think you had dogs for the kids. Plus, dogs are pretty good. Smiling pit bulls and all that. Glad Jack has forgiven you.

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  3. Lucky cat, lucky you.
    Someone dumped a cat at my house once. It took me more that a week to figure this out, I am sad to say. He hated EVERYONE, except me. Would chase people away and always viciously attacked the mailman until he said he would pepper spray him if he didn't stop, so I had to hold him whenever the guy came by. Even if he was stalking another cat and got within attack range he would let me pick him up and carry him away while kissing his head.
    He ended in a terrible way but was given an honorable funeral and his ashes will be buried with me. No one ever protected me like him.
    You are such a good papa to protect him like you do. You must be the world to him. And sleeping in your arms, Hank, is a good place to be.

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    1. I'll have to tell the stories of my psycho cat some time. She would trap people in the kitchen if they came to visit.

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  4. A post for cat lovers! I had a cat, Angus. He would attack my kids. He wold stalk them. It was actually hilarious but not. My kids had to walk through the house with couch cushions. But he loved me! And I loved him. He was a cool cat with so much personality. Sadly, I had to find him a new home because me kids were in constant fear and getting scratched and bitten.

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    1. We had a cat named Jagger that would tear our feet up when we sat at the table. No one ever considered rehoming him, though, because he was otherwise an excellent cat.

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  5. We adopted a cat found in an abandoned barn in the middle of winter. Half frozen, frostbitten and nearly dead. Brought him back to life. He thanked me by stalking and biting me on a regular basis. What can I say...still loved that cat. Named him Bill Underfoot. Had him 16 years. I still miss that crazy cat. Your wee minx is beautiful and a lucky girl. X

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  6. He sounds just perfect to me. Like our HopeCat, who almost died twice before her eyes were even opened (she was orphaned and had to be bottle raised). She was "special" and would get lost in the upstairs landing of our house, not knowing where to go, so we just kept her in one bedroom. She liked that better, no more wandering around unable to find her way.

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    1. Aw, HopeCat. Johnny's not quite that special, but close.

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