Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cry Like a River

There's been stress here lately.  The car, mainly.  Then the work, replacing part of the floor, that has been quite painful on my body.  My finger joints are currently swollen up like grapes.  That's what you get with over use and age.

The car is in the shop again today and I should get a call to say its done any minute now.  I hope.  The guy was renting some tool, to make it easier and safer on the car and him, to pull out the transaxle and replace the damaged inner seal.

I open my e-mail to find an update from a very kind woman who adopted a kitty treasure---old Valentino, the big orange guy from 34th street in Albany, who, the person over the phone declared, must be rabid because he was drooling.  His name is now Ziggy and he lives in Portland.

The last thing I needed at the time was another cat, like always, or more expenses, like always.

I took him to be neutered, but had told the caller he'd have to go back, once fixed.  He was a mess.  There was grease ground into his fur, huge fleas crawling his body.  His ears were matted closed in ear mite debris. He had burns on two legs.  His long hair was matted.  And he drooled pus from a mouth full of bad teeth.

I took him to Wilsonville to be fixed.  The vet called me while he was under anesthesia and said he was a total wreck, and about all his bad teeth.  I had a few dollars extra with me, but not more than $20.  I asked the vet if he could pull the worst teeth or tooth, for the money I had.  He refused, urged me to turn him out, once he was back in Albany, that he wouldn't live long, with a mouth that bad, and that I'd done my duty getting him fixed.  I pretended I would do this, when talking to the vet, but it is not in me to do such a thing to a cat.

I made three videos of Valentino.  I spent money I didn't have on repeat dentals, to get his mouth fixed.  In the end, I heard about a vet in the Turner area and called her. I had no money left.  I found her website.  On it, she mentioned someone I knew very well, Vince, a retired three star army colonel I used to trap cats with in the Salem area.   I called him St. Vince.  I got Electra from St. Vince, who trapped her in a Silverton colony.  Vince had died. This vet had also been his friend.  I mentioned Vince in the e-mail I sent her.  I didn't really expect a reply, but she replied immediately and told me to bring Valentino up.

She checked him out in her home and charged me nothing.  She gave me some medicines for him too.  She told me she has now limited her practice because of health issues but responded to me because I had also known Vince.

Valentino was here a year when the Portland woman, connected with a rescue I knew, wanted to adopt him.  I knew this was his chance, that she would be perfect for him.  Off he went.

That's been two years is it now?  I can't remember.

Today, I got the e-mail update.  I thought she was going to say he died.  He'd tested positive for FIV in the end, after one test said he was negative.  I braced for the news.

But it was far from a death notice e-mail.  She described how much she loves him, how he's her favorite cat, her constant companion.  She said he wears a T-shirt to protect his skin when he scratches at himself, since his skin is dry from FIV.  She described how he bonded with her favorite cat, who was dying from illness and old age, and laid by him and with him, kept him warm, as he faded.  She said he accepts all the other cats there, and even two fosters who were returned after several years in a home.

I reread that e-mail, my emotions bubbling over into tears.  Finally I gave in and blubbered openly.

Here is the original video I made after taking in Valentino.  Watch it.  Then consider this boy, thrown out here, now lives a life of light and love.

I complain I ruined my car helping out people and their cats.  It's true.  I did ruin my car doing that.  My car has heart to perform as it did the last years, despite its mileage and not being a car made to do the things I called upon my car to do.

But when it comes back to me, in my face, like today, the after stories of my days as a cat wrangler, was it worth it?

Yes it was.

I'd do it all again, if my car was willing, and I could find the funding.

I'd do it all again.

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