Monday, December 19, 2005
The official role call... Part 2
The second cat we obtained (Once again we had not yet learned the truth about pet stores) was under strange circumstances. My wife was looking for a dress to wear to my brother's upcoming wedding. She had dragged me to at least ten dress stores in at least four different malls. Each possibility had been dismissed with the excuse of wrong colour, too fancy, not fancy enough, too small, too large, and my all time favourite - my a$$ looks too fat.
I had reached my shopping limit when we walked by a pet shop inside the mall. They had a cage of five kittens out in the mall with a big sale sticker on the cage - "Kittens - $49". We came over to look at the kittens and we were entranced by a tabby kitten that was so confident. He purred for my wife,but wasn't as quick to attach as our first cat, Magoo. I told my wife that we might want a less dominant cat, because of Magoo (our soldier).
There was a little black kitten who was all cuddled up in the corner of the cage. He seemed to want nothing to do with anyone. We took this as a sign of a less dominant personality, we couldn't have been more wrong. It was the sign of a kitten that had given up the will to live. We found out afterwards that he was slated to be rotated to the backroom where he was to be given a chance to recover from what they call "Store Stress". What do you expect after days of being poked by unsupervised children. Now kids want to see kittens playing and not sleeping, so here was a poor little kitten that had been prodded for hours on end.
We took Smudge home weighing 2 lbs 14 ounces; within four days he was down to 2 lbs 3 ounces (First vet visit after adopting). He wouldn't eat, even though we bought the same food the pet store was feeding him. He lost four more ounces when we took him back to vet because he would not eat. This is when we found out about "Store Stress." They had to shave his throat because they couldn't find a vein large enough to take the IV. The Vet told us that he might not make it. He said that some animals just give up. After a night of subcutaneous fluids, Smudge started to make a comeback. All the staff loved this little black fella; one of them gave him a little bandanna to cover his shaved throat where they inserted the IV. He was on food that they give to terminal or catastrophically injured cats to make them eat. It was on that night our Smudge almost died.
But this tale has a happy ending, we picked him from the Vet and he buried himself in my Wife's neck almost to say "Never let that happen to me again!" We found out afterwards how he had been treated in the cage. He is now eight years old and the purring picture of help. He is the Lover of our foursome.