Sunday, January 29, 2012

Amicus, I will miss you

Fourteen years ago a little gray kitten wandered onto our property. Torn up dirty and looking pitiful she engendered sympathy from 2 unlikely sources; my husband and his son.

I seem to remember getting a glimpse of her as I was leaving early that morning for a day of service in Yuba City, but I really gave it little more thought than cute kitten, I wonder who it belongs too? I had a 40 minute drive and a full day ahead of me.

I got home late to “There is an itty bitty kitty here and she is all torn up. What are you going to do?” Tired, hungry and in a dress I picked the poor thing up. Something had torn a hole in her. It was about a half an inch in diameter located at the base of the spine at the point where the tail joins the body.

 As most cats do when attacked, she had defecated and release a noxious secretion. While cute she was definitely not cuddly at that point. So I filled the bathroom sink with warm water and got ready for the proverbial cats claws sinking into my arm while I tried to bathe her while she tried to evade bathing. 

Nothing happened.

She sat calmly in the water as I cleaned her. Then I dried her and the affected area hoping to be able to bandage it. No such luck. Precariously position in the most unfortunate of spots the wounds location did not allow for a bandage. Obviously in need of something as I could see her tail bone through the hole I grabbed the Neosporin, packed in into every spot visible within the wound, set her down and figured she would live or get an infection and die. With my husband, a vet was not an option.

She lived, and several years later we repeated the scenario when she intersected with a snake. He left front leg swelled considerably with pus from the infected bite. Again I cleaned it, gently massage as mush of the noxious content out and applied Neo Sporin. I did this daily for some time while she laid up on a trunk within the protection of a box. I gave her fresh water daily and food. She did not eat for almost a month. She drank and move very little. Then one day she was up and hunting again.

Although a proficient huntress, she would sit on the porch rail calmly while a Mockingbird would swoop down and snatched little tufts of hair from her head. Later, maybe a day or so there would be a small pile of feathers, no bones, legs or beak just feathers.

During the summer it became a habit of mine to daily check her little house that my husband built for her. She was such an adept hunter it was not unusual to find part of a baby jack rabbit.

When it rained she was allowed in the house and stayed, for the most part on the little towel we had set out for her by the fire. It was a source of pride for my husband that she listened so well.

One memory I will carry with a smile is one of her and the wood stove. Year after year I have taken pictures of her sitting in front of it just looking at the flames as they danced. Such a human thing. She never seemed to tire of it.

A few weeks ago she all but quit eating, but still was alert and purring.  Then a few days ago she started having great difficulty in walking so I called Tammy’s clinic and made THE appointment. Yesterday at about 4:20 she ended her earthly course.

I thought I would be able to handle everything, but I was wrong. Fortunately for me Amber was there. She drove me to and from the clinic and leant me her strength and compassion at a time I desperately needed it.

We brought Amicus home and I buried her in a spot that she frequently liked to spend time.

She was the mildest and gentlest cat I have ever owned.
I will miss her.

Goodbye Amicus Felis (Friendly Cat)