Monday, April 09, 2007

Extended Family

This is Goldie. He came to us two years ago in the dead of winter, not long after we moved into the place. We guessed he was about a year old at that time. He’s very friendly and seemed to like us, but like any tomcat, he was prone to wandering. He’d stay with us for several days and then be gone for several days. At one point he stayed away for three weeks in the bitter cold and we thought we’d seen the last of him. One morning I found him in the barn looking forlorn, bedraggled and thin, but his eyes brightened up when he saw me and he gave a weak little meow in greeting. I reached out to pet him and then I saw his right front leg – it was swollen to at least three times its normal size. So now what to do? It’s one thing to feed a friendly stray, but running up a vet bill on him didn’t seem like a good idea. We decided to give him a couple of days to recover on his own and see what happened.
Well he got thinner and his leg got bigger. It looked bleak for Goldie and I didn’t like the idea of just watching him die, so Emily took him to the vet, who threatened amputation, neutered him, vaccinated him, hospitalized him and got control of whatever infection had gotten into his leg. When Goldie came back to our place, we had to keep him locked in the garage, away from other cats and give him medicine daily for three weeks. I figured after a couple of days of sitting all alone in a cold garage, he’d be darting for the door whenever it opened and take off in a dash for freedom. But to my amazement, whenever someone went to see him, he immediately started his lawnmower-like purr, strolled across the floor, meowed a couple times and did the cat rub around our legs. A very likable fellow, but we already had three housecats and I declared that was two too many and no way was Goldie going to become a housecat!
One last check up at the vet and $202.00 later, Goldie’s confinement was over. We opened the garage door wide and he sauntered out. And promptly disappeared for a week. When he finally turned up in the barn again one frosty morning, he became the 4th housecat.
well, my goodness, you can't just let a 202 dollar cat wander off, can you?

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