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Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 3: I'm thankful for...

Welcome to day 3 of my ongoing attempt to focus on one thing I'm thankful for in my life every day for 1 year. Why? Because I'm a grumpy-ass curmudgeon who finds great pleasure in grousing. I fixate on what's wrong when I have so very many things that are right in my life. So, I thought I'd try looking on the sunny side for a change!

Today, I'm thankful for our senior cat, Spooky. I'm thankful for all of our babies: Muggle, Spooky, and Minerva. They each have wonderful stories and fabulous personalities. They each came to us when we needed them. And they each make our lives fuller and richer than they'd be without our furry family members. But for today, I'm especially thankful for my old boy.

Spooky, our gray domestic short hair cat, is somewhere between 10 and 14. He found me in the NOAA CSC parking lot. At first, he went home with Sean Dennis because Matt put his foot down about another pet (we had Spike and Jaguar at the time). Sean and Julia named him Lump because his favorite thing to do is lie around like a lump and not move. It still is. The Dennises fostered Lump until Matt went out of town on a work trip and I brought him home. That's when Matt learned the important and invaluable lesson that "pets happen." Sometimes, they just come into your lives and your home and there's nothing you can do about it.

Spooky fit in easily with the rest of the clan. He loved Spike, and got along well with Jaguar. Both cats were pretty happy to share their house and people, so we never had any territorial marking or caat fights. Spooky kept to himself and let Jaguar be the alpha until she died, then he moved into the role.

Despite Spooky's rather, well, spooky appearance, he's a lover. He's perfectly content to curl up in a lap and "groom" your clothing. His favorite place to sleep is on my chest or curled up with Minerva. He's also accident prone. This is our cat with allergies-fleas, pollen, flea medicine. You name it, it probably makes his hair fall out. He's the cat who fell out of a tree and broke his leg in Germany--to the tune of about $3000 in vet bills! Within a few weeks of returning to SC, a spider bit him in the ear and it swelled and got infected. Nasty, stinky stuff! Then, within a month of getting Minerva - the petite, declawed little girl-cat managed to bite or claw him in the side, resulting in an abscess that had to be slit and drained.  Lucky for us, he's pretty meek and mild-mannered about taking medicine, getting his boo-boos cleaned up, and being fussed over.

This week, Spooky was diagnosed with feline chronic renal failure (CRF). His kidney's are shutting down. The only thing to do is reduce the stress on his kidneys as much as possible by restricting his protein intake, and giving him meds to prevent the amino acids from being absorbed by his intestines so his kidneys won't  have to work so hard to filter them. My guy is still pretty perky and lovable. He's always been a snuggler.

Photo 1: Spooky and Minerva - not the shaved spot where he had the abscess.
Photo 2: Posing to show his hansomeness.
Photo 3: Curled up in my lap.

I am so very thankful for the years we've had Spooky, and for however much more time we have with him. He's been a wonderful companion, a fun sibling to his dogs, Spike and Muggle, and a good brother to his cats, Jaguar and Minerva. We'll keep him as comfortable and happy as we can for as long as we can. It'll break my heart when the time comes--and I hope it won't  be soon--but for now, I'll just be thankful that Spooky came into our lives.


  1. This is so sweet, Lynne. Yes, pets DO happen, and sometimes it takes a while for our partners to "get" it :) Happy yours did; mine did, too, after the fourth stray dog. So much so, in fact, that it was his idea to get a cat from the shelter. Yeah... he's a good man :)

    Thanks for sharing, and I really like this "focus on gratitude for a year" thing. I actually blogged about that on Thanksgiving evening... Synergy :)

    Have a lovely weekend!

  2. Thanks, Guilie! How wonderful that your guy is suggesting the pet adoptions now!! That's a good man!