The Kitchener’s Tail: Part 5 of The Caterbuddy Tails

Luanne: Felix, please tell your story to my friends. They have heard from Pear Blossom and Tiger and Sloopy Anne and Perry. But you and Kana have not yet told your stories. I need to coach Kana a bit on how to tell a public story, but you should be fine. Just tell it how you remember it. How you know it.

Felix: Mom! Stop! You tell it. I can’t.

Luanne: Sure you can, Fefe.

Felix: Aw shucks.

Luanne: You’re so big and strong. Why are you afraid to talk about yourself?

Felix: It’s embarrassing. People might look at me.

Luanne: OK, you tell me the story. I’ll write it down and then I’ll share it that way. Nobody will ever see you. We’ll negotiate photos later on.

Felix: Um, ok.

***

From Luanne: What follows is the story that Felix told me about his life. This story was being planned when Felix suddenly became ill last Wednesday. I was out of town for work in California, and when the pet sitter was watching him (thank goodness this happened when she was at the house). After he ate dinner, he threw up ten times, began panting, and made frantic runs to the litter box. She mistakenly thought he was constipated. I have made this mistake myself in the past when Pear started having UTIs. Rather than wait until my daughter could take Felix to the vet, I had the pet sitter drop him off at the vet as she left my house. It was a good thing that I didn’t decide to wait, thinking it was only constipation.

And a good thing that my vet decided to examine him before my daughter could get there. His bladder was the size of a grapefruit. He had a urinary blockage, which is a common emergency in (particularly) male cats, and fatal if not treated in time. It ended up that my daughter took him from the vet to the hospital because after they catheterize him he would need 24 hour care. He was in the hospital for three days. Now he is home, and I am watching him round the clock because there is a high possibility that he could re-obstruct within two weeks after the initial blockage. Felix is never any trouble except when he’s sick. In the past, it’s been parasite issues that stemmed from his life on the streets. This was the biggest emergency I’ve had with my cats, except for Mac’s end of life issues. And I wasn’t even home with Felix. The nurse who checked him out said that he was “famous” at the hospital for being sweet and soooo affectionate.

***

People think I’m scared, but I just don’t like confrontation. When I lived out there, you know, I tried to stay away from cats and other animals that wanted to fight me. I’m a lover, not a fighter. Remember when I ate in your front yard every day, Mom? You knew I didn’t have a home and you and Dad were giving me food so I didn’t starve! Then I started hanging around with your dog Sandy in the backyard because he was a lover, not a fighter, too. He told me all the stories about his good life in your house. So I began to stick close to your yard, hoping you’d bring me inside, but not wanting to make a mistake in case Sandy was wrong. What if you didn’t like cats?

Then I saw Mac in the window. I knew you liked cats, but would Mac like me?

I let you trap me in your garage using that silly “pull the string and the kennel door will shut” so-called trick. It never fooled me, but so be it.

You brought me to your friend, the emergency vet. That’s when we lived in California. Remember, Mom? She told her staff to be careful when they opened my kennel because I might be feral and mean. When she put her hand in my kennel herself (she doesn’t take her own advice), I rubbed against her hand. I’m a sucker for pets and rubs and scratches.

What? Oh, you want to know what my life was life before I came to live with you? It was kind of hard, especially when it was over 100 degrees in the summer. I got dumped by the people who fed my cat mother. There were too many of us, they said.

When you brought me into the house you let me live in the bedroom upstairs with the TV for two months. I didn’t meet my human sister for a couple of months because she had just started college and you and dad were what you called empty nesters. So you two watched TV with me every night while I was in that room. We had fun, and I didn’t have to meet Mac or Pear.

After I met them and moved into the rest of the house, Mac was kind of mean. Sometimes it irritated my good nature, and we would have tussles, even pull out each other’s fur. Pear was fine. She just ignored me. But a few weeks later, we all moved to Arizona. I was so scared. I wouldn’t eat for three days, and you had to give me special medicine because. Remember, Mom?  Huh? Remember? But after that, Mac and I were friends. Mac, Pear, and I were all close from that time on. We slept on 3 beds on the kitchen counter like three little kittens. The ones who lost their mittens. But we hadn’t lost anything. We had found each other. Mac was my hero.

That was the start of my kitchen life. Once I moved into this kitchen with the long counter I never wanted to go anywhere else. The only times I’ve moved into the closet upstairs is when your dad would visit. Remember Mom? He had such a loud voice? I couldn’t listen, so I lived on the shelf in the closet while he was here. He never comes any more, but when Grandma comes now by herself I stay in the kitchen and she calls me “Mr. Big Eyes.”

You and Dad and my human siblings call me Fefe. And, Mom, you call me Feeferelli and Mr. Scoobydooby Man. You call me The Kitchen Cat. You call me Feef a lot. I love to crawl into your lap when you’re at your laptop at the kitchen desk.

But I don’t watch TV with you and Dad and the other cats. I like my basket in the kitchen. I have a window to the beautiful yard Dad created, and a nice cool sink to lie in for a change. I’m also very close to the food. When the other cats are done eating their breakfasts and dinners, I like to finish up their food. I eat a lot, but I really am a big boy with lots of muscles. And lots of love. I’m not shy. I just don’t like confrontation. I’m a lover, not a fighter.

Love,

Felix

 

51 Comments

Filed under #writerlife, #writerslife, Cats and Other Animals, Memoir, Nonfiction, Writing

51 responses to “The Kitchener’s Tail: Part 5 of The Caterbuddy Tails

  1. Oh, what a sweet story! Funny how you kitties always wind up with multiple names 😉 I’m hoping and praying you don’t get blocked again, Felix. How frightening for you and your parents and the sitter! Stay strong and get well ❤️

  2. You rarely talk about Felix! What an interesting story. I hope his siblings found their way to good homes too. So you have a kitchen counter for cats? We do too. They like to lay on the cool granite top in a sunspot. So glad Felix fit in! ❤

    • Of course! The kitchen counter is theirs. haha As is the kitchen floor, the table, the desk, and the cat trees. Then there are the other rooms ;). Those three were so tight–like the 3 musketeers. Pear almost died from heartbreak from Mac died. Felix was so so sad.

      • Morgan missed Hazel when she passed but I don’t think anyone missed Jake. By the time he went, he was a cranky old man. Another cat couldn’t get within 2′ of him without a scolding.

  3. Just absolutely tooooooo sweet, Luanne. Felix is a lover – not a fighter.
    Bless his sweet big heart. And bless you and your husband for being the people you are to care for these fur babies. Back in Texas, we called people like you the salt of the earth. I’ll go with that today.

    • Oh, thank you, Sheila. That is a HUGE compliment, gosh!!!! Felix is so affectionate and so strong that when he headbutts us for love he about knocks us over haha. Praying that he doesn’t reobstruct!!!

  4. Felix is very beautiful, with a very moving story. I’m glad he’s found his place in the kitchen and your hearts. Wishing him all the best that he recovers from the blockage without any repeats of it.

    • Thank you, Andrea. he is so beautiful. When he was a stray in our yard I remember saying he looked like a beautiful wild African or Scottish cat of some kind. We have had Felix longer than any of our other cats except Pear Blossom. Thank you for your strong and healing wishes for his recovery. I would have for him to go through this again–or if people are not around to help him!!!!

  5. Terrific story Luanne. Felix is a beauty

  6. I think Felix and Orlando would be pals Luanne. He’s a lover not a fighter too and loves his kitchen bench top and his kitchen window……. Like all your kitties Felix showed wisdom in choosing his home and especial cleverness in allowing you to trap him 😀 I hope his health stays. I have not heard of that condition before. He is very handsome. xoxo for Felix

    • Pauline, I’m glad you mention that “trapping.” hahahaha. We didn’t want to use a cat trap because Felix is a very long cat, and we were afraid he would get hurt in it. I’m sure he would have, in fact. So we rigged up a kennel in the garage with a string. It was ridiculous, but we were hopeful. And it worked because Felix wanted it to work ;)!
      So apparently the urinary blockage is a very common emergency for male cats that is fatal if they don’t get care right away. If this ever happened to Orlando he needs to be seen by a doctor right away who will sedate and go in and remove the blockage. It’s not surgery, per se, but a procedure. A lot of people see the vomiting and notice something “off” but don’t know what it is and wait too long, usually because of the cost of the vet.

    • I was still typing, but apparently WP thought I said enough. However, I wasn’t done haha. Felix and Orlando would definitely be pals. Felix does like male cats a lot. He thinks too many girls live in this house ;).
      Thank you for your compliment on his extreme handsomeness and for your wishes for his good health!!! xo

  7. Love your story Fefe! Please tell him, Luanne, what a sweet kitty I think he is! That must’ve been a scary ordeal and I’m glad the pet sitter caught it in time. I hope he’s on the mend and stays in the mend! How’s Perry doing?

    • I told him! He dipped his head. He’s bashful! Thank you. So anxious it will happen again. Perry seems fine, but he does get these bouts of very fast breathing. No accounting for it.

  8. Oh the poor kitty. A urinary blockage is a big deal for a cat. One of my cats when through that, and after a big $$$$ operation $$$$ he was able to live a relatively normal life, but yes, he would have died. Thank goodness for people like you, Luanne!

    • Thanks so much, Anneli! This hospital visit was very expensive. That gets tricky when you have six cats. But we couldn’t not do it! I hope he will be ok.

      • I know!!!!!$$ There goes your retirement!

        • Right?!!!! I was so worried he was blocked again this morning because he tore up the room and ran to the litter box and couldn’t go. Crazy acting. It is not another blockage, but he still doesn’t feel well and we got more meds. Another $124 which now looks like a small amount of money after last week!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Our cat went from being a Tom, to being a Timmy when he was neutered and then a Tammy when he was changed to a girl (having everything removed so he would pee like a girl). So Tom, to Tim, to Tam. The most traumatic was the last operation but it saved his life. He lived to be 13 and a half.

            • I actually have never heard of a sex change operation for a cat! Or at least a new peeing process! Poor guy, but I’m glad it worked for him.

              • I hadn’t either, but it worked for him. Lots of stitches, lots of money, and then he was okay peeing without that long tract to plug up. I’ve read that the trace minerals in catfood contribute to the “ash” deposits that plug them up. I had thought that Purina was a good catfood but it was one of the worst for plugging up urinary tracts in cats. I have no scientific proof – just what I’d read at the time (a LONG time ago now) – like about 30 years ago.

              • Interesting. I don’t know, but they “make” you switch them to a prescription diet after they have a blockage. Luckily, he doesn’t mind the Hill’s brand, but this is my 2nd cat on a script diet, so very expensive and hard to keep straight. I will have to do some research, I guess.

              • Definitely the vets’ recommended brands are hugely expensive.

  9. What a sweet story! I’m so glad you rescued this adorable boy. And glad his medical emergency had a happy outcome.

  10. I’m glad the Fefe sitter got him to the vet in time. My Ricky has similar coloring, and he definitely has big eyes. Felix sounds like a sweetie.

  11. Awww FELIX! so sweet. My Felix, RIP, came from my front-yard ferral colony, in the same way his sister Ferrah did – enticed through my open sunroom window – but gratefully egged on by their well nourished tortoise tabby “Mama Cat”. They were baby softies. TNR made certain they were the last of her glorious line. She lived contentedly in outdoor splendor for over a decade, proud that she had provided them a warm place in winter.

  12. I could see from the very first picture that he’s a lover – what a sweet boy! Thank you for sharing his story. And wish him a speedy recovery from me. 🙂

  13. I love good stories about cats and dogs and those that rescue them. I wish you all continued good health. You can tell so much about people by how they care for their fur family. I miss having a fur baby but the cost of care and my age make it illogical to do anything but love on any furry creature I come by. Let’s hope Felix is completely mended now.

    • Marlene, I really respect your decision. Being a volunteer at the shelter shows me a lot of bad decisions people make about animals. One of my annoyances to say the least is when older people purposefully adopt kittens and puppies. It’s likely that many of those baby animals will end up without a home eventually. I was very worried when I got Perry that he was too young for me but of course even the shelter didn’t want him and my daughter will take him when I can no longer take care of him. As a senior I think it’s my duty to mainly adopt seniors if I’m going to have animals. Then there is that big subject of cost. I really want every animal to have a good home but if we can’t provide financially for them are we really giving them a good home. It’s quite the dilemma. In Phoenix we have a very low-cost spay neuter clinic that will do other health care. But of course you have to be able to get there and it’s a big city. Another thing is a lot of shelters need temporary foster carers and the shelter pays all the expenses. I mention that not just if it ever appeals to you but in case someone else reads this and thinks it is right for them. Thank you for being so responsible.

      • I’ve thought about fostering often. It’s still a possibility. I live on the edge with SS and rent from my daughter who is here to help me. But fuzzy love is important. My last dog, ( my mother’s actually) came from a Phoenix breeder. We lived in Pinetop for 12 years. Turns out, not a very reputable one but we couldn’t leave the dog there. Mom got a puppy and only lived a year. I knew I would be responsible afterward. I couldn’t say no to her. I’m terminal as well so a pet is just not wise. So far I’ve gone past my sell by date so who knows. 😉 I just want to think about the animals needs above my own. Our Schatzie never stopped missing mom or looking for her. Hopefully, they are together again.

  14. Poor Felix! What a frightening experience. Our cat never had an obstruction, so this was new to me. I’m glad he got to the vet right away. I hope all’s well now. I wonder how long you have to watch him and worry about another obstruction. I hope it isn’t much longer.

  15. You are beautiful and a fine storyteller, Felix.
    I’m sorry you got sick.
    Get well soon!

  16. Pingback: The Boss’s Tail: Part 6 of The Caterbuddy Tails | Luanne Castle's Writer Site

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