One of the interlopers mentioned in the previous post was a tiny dark haired cat that arrived on the scene not long after Dodo did. Dodo tolerated her presence maybe because it was a female or maybe because she was still a kitten. This is not to say that Dodo welcomed the kitten with open arms. I have no idea where this cat came from. The cat, like Dodo, was brought into our house and seemed to do well. She slept in my mom’s room and seemed closer to my mom than Dodo was. I didn’t much care for the cat. Its behavior was erratic and spastic. The kitten didn’t walk or run around the house. Instead it sort of jumped and hopped from one place to another. This may be why Andy, too, didn’t like the kitten. There were a couple of times when we came over for a visit when he tried to chase and corner the cat. One time he did have the cat trapped in a corner. Andy’s brow was furrowed and his body tense in a belligerent posture. I had seen that look on him before in the time he tried to kill a neighbor’s cat at my dad’s house. I called Andy off and the kitten flitted away unaware of the potential harm it had faced.
Abby and the kitten did not interact with each other at all. Dodo put up with the kitten and had surprising patience with it considering his past history with fighting neighborhood cats and his ironfisted rule of his new domain. However, when Dodo was pushed to the limit such as when the kitten became too playful or frisky, Dodo would hiss at her and swat at her too. This cat did push Dodo a little too far at times and would jump on Dodo and engage in play-fighting. Dodo wanted nothing to do with her, but he was never mean or vicious to her. One quirk about Dodo was that he didn’t want to be in the house at the same time as the kitten. If the kitten was in the house, Dodo would patiently wait outside on the back porch until the kitten was let out and then he would go inside.
We didn’t have the cat long, maybe a month or so. One day my mom called me to tell me that the kitten was sick and losing weight. She was throwing up and had diarrhea. My mom suspected she may have had worms so she wanted me to take her to the vet. I suspected that my mom thought it was worse. She let it be known that if the kitten were too sick that it could have to be put down. My mom scheduled an afternoon appointment. I came over to my mom’s, put the kitten in a cat travel cage provided for us by my cousin, who has a couple of very pretty Maine Coon cats, and took the cat to the vet. Dr. Kahdy was the vet during this appointment. The vet tech took the cat out of the cage and brought it to the back while I stayed in the examination room. I was somewhat confused because most of the examinations of the dogs are done in the examination rooms with the owners being present. About 10 minutes later, the vet tech, the vet and the kitten all arrived in the examination room. The kitten was very sick with feline leukemia. The treatment was expensive and unlikely to work for a cat so sick. The vet broached the subject of euthanizing. I knew my mom had a hunch this cat was terminally ill so I gave the vet the nod to put the cat down. I petted the kitten and told her I was sorry. I took the empty cage and went back to my mom’s. This life-or-death decision would be one of many in the next year and a half that I would have to make concerning cats, dogs and even a person.
As I was driving home, I realized a couple of things. The cat never had a name, and we never took any pictures of the cat either. Other than a few fleeting memories we have, it was if this cat never existed. Even though I had not bonded with this kitten, later in the day, I developed a headhache from having to deal with the stress of the situation. Regardless of how I felt about this cat, it was still a life or death judgment. As I age, I don't handle death as well. It physically hurts more and more.