Sitting at the computer this evening, my cat, Gray, joined me. Usually, she sits on my right and snoozes. For some reason, the cursor in the email I was answering drew her attention.
She went on the hunt. Her head appeared to elongate as she stretched her twitching nose toward the screen. With the practice of an experienced hunter, she rose and had her nose on the computer screen without appearing to move. Gray froze in place for at least 30 seconds, sniffing and staring at the blinking cursor. Satisfied that the cursor wasn't anything of true interest or something good to eat, she lost interest and jumped down in search of some real food.
The research I've done indicates, Gray is either descended from a Russian Blue or British shorthair. Her eyes are green, although not bright or deep green. Her parents were a female tuxedo and a solid black male. She was born in our yard to the set of feral cats that appeared full-grown one day. My mother insisted we feed the pair. We did, and they stuck around, Little Mama blessing us with litter after litter.
My sister, Krissy, began to catch the kittens and give them away. Gray was from one of the early litters and was too feral to catch. Our mother worked her magic on both Gray and her mother, though.
Mama would go sit on the front porch several times a day and talk with the outdoor cats. Gray decided the lady with the sweet, soft voice was trustworthy. One day when Mama came into the house, Gray entered ahead of her. She plopped down on the carpet and blinked her pretty green eyes at us while we talked to her. After a while she walked back to the front door and stared at us. I opened the door and let her out. Within a week, Gray sat on the couch and let us pet her.
She located the indoor cat's food in the house and would eat and drink. She always let us know when she was ready to return to the wild. We managed to get Gray spayed so she only had two litters herself. She started bringing us presents--birds, mice, squirrels. I think we got a couple of lizards, but thankfully she never brought us any snakes.
About three years ago, I noticed Gray constantly drinking from our water glasses in the living room. It was either keep a lid on the water or have to get a clean one. Several weeks later, I noticed her fur became nappy and sticky and lost its shine. Then the sweet gray lady lost half her weight in a matter of a few weeks.
After some brief discussion one evening, Krissy took Gray to our regular vet who immediately sent the two of them to a specialist in the next town. The vet there drew her blood and came up with the diagnosis - diabetes.
How do you give a diabetic cat treatment? You buy syringes and insulin and try to figure out how to get the shot into her twice a day. God blessed us. The once-feral, now self-domesticated, sweet baby comes to us to tell us it's time for her shots.
Since her initial diagnosis, she has stopped spending much time outside, ruling the yard. We're not sure whether it's because she prefers the more stable temperature inside the air-conditioned house, or because she's realized she can't move as quickly any longer to defend herself.
One problem has occurred though, someone has to be at home to give her the shots twice a day. It doesn't matter. We love her.
Last August, my brother-in-law, Keith, was on the road and couldn't be home (he and my sister Katrina live with me) to give Gray her insulin when Katrina and I went to Nashville for five days for the ACFW conference. We had to put Gray in the kennel for the time we were gone. Poor baby was traumatized by the time we got home. So I knew we couldn't go away for that long again.
A few weeks ago we all needed to go to Dallas for a family gathering that meant we would be gone from Saturday morning until Sunday evening. Being diabetic myself, I knew Gray wouldn't die if she missed her nightly dose or the dose the next morning, since we would be home to give her insulin Sunday evening. But, we also needed Katrina and Keith's dog, Tool, to be fed while we were gone.
Our friend Sam agreed to stay at the house overnight and feed Tool. He also agreed to try to give Gray her shots. My poor nephew got bit trying to give Gray a shot two years ago and ended up in the ER. Sam is over at the house more often than my nephew is and Gray will crawl up in his lap. The plan worked, and Sam didn't get bit. Now we have a cat-sitter if we have to all be away from home for a few days.
Sweet Gray is at least 12 years old, so I don't know how much longer we'll be blessed with her. All I know is when she crawls up on my stomach while I have my feet up in the recliner working on my laptop, I have to let her sleep there no matter how much work I need to do.
Author, editor, quilter.
New Kindle Release
December 21, 2017
The Bridesmaid Got Waylaid
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Trying Out For Love
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Murder In Maggie Valley
Book 1 of the KEPS Kozy Mystery Series from White Bird Publishing