The Cat I Call My Own
The story of a cat who survived incredible circumstances and changed the life of one girl forever.
I would like to tell you about my friend, Mary. Yes she is my friend and no she is not human, but she remains special to me just the same. Two years ago my family and I had to make a hard move, one overseas. This was very difficult on me. When we moved I had to leave behind my puppy, Emma, and my two cats, Domino and Buddy, along with my family and friends. It was a rough transition. The feelings of loneliness enveloped me, even though I wasn’t alone. I asked God why we had to move. I didn’t agree with Him on this one. We moved on the first of June 2018 and by July we had our new house put together, but in no means did it feel like home to me. I felt the thousands of miles separating me from American soil every single day. I tried to ignore it but nonetheless it was there, gnawing constantly at my mind. Back home it seemed we always had pets to perk up our everyday, monotonous doings, but we had yet to acquire a pet at this house. The loneliness proceeded to bother me even though I kept myself quite busy. Eventually after another month a small peace came over me making missing my friends back home more bearable, but something else came along too. My family and I were attending a missions camp designed for the locals to hear the word of God. While there, my dad confided in me that we was planning on bringing home a kitten for us kids. There at the church were many cats and many kittens. Since the breeding of the cats were never controlled, kittens were always in abundance. As you can guess, the prospect of taking home a family pet was especially exciting to me. I went to look at all the kittens, to see which one we might take home. There were so many, poor, skinny cats everywhere. I wish I could have taken in them all. Eventually we found a small litter of kittens newly weaned. There were three of them, a white one with a small amount of orange markings, a brown and white one, and a mostly orange kitten with a white belly. I fell in love with all of them, but especially the orange one. It padded over to my lap and tussled with my clothes. Her eyes were so big and playfully, she was also the bravest kitten of the bunch. I really wanted to take her home, but my parents wanted the brown and white one. We planned to pick up the brown one on the last day of the camp, but strangely enough, two days before the camp finished the little brown kitten disappeared. We looked everywhere for it, but it was gone. Every chance I could I came down to feed the two remaining kittens and their mom. The white one had Turkish Van markings and was long haired while her sister was short haired and more pumpkin colored. Finally the last day of camp came to an end and my dad and I went to go pick up the white kitten, which was their second choice, it was a bittersweet moment. We finally are getting a new family member but I hated leaving the orange one behind. Once I scooped up the little white one, I was surprised as my dad reached down and grabbed the orange one! Turns out he and my mom decided we could take both! I was ecstatic! Together my dad and I began to walk to the missions house where we were staying for the night (since we traveled out of town for the camp). Putting the little kittens in our shirts, we shielded them from the terror of on coming cars as best we could. We brought the little fluffy bundles inside and set them on the kitchen floor to eat. My brother and two sisters were pleasantly surprised to see the kittens padding about, and even more surprised to find out they were ours! What an exciting day it was. After three days or so, we came up with suiting names for the little things. The fluffy white one was deemed Martha and the orange one, Mary. Once we washed them, they were so soft and were allowed to explore the house. Their kitten hood was both amusing and adorable. I could tell many stories that make me chuckle out loud and perhaps you would too! As the months went by, they grew into young monsters that hijacked backpacks and stole socks from every drawer, bag, and basket. (Mary also moved into stealing slippers and sponges. No one knows why.) Martha opened up more over the months but she was still more of a one person cat. She particularly liked my brother. Mary on the other hand was a bit more out going and sweeter than Martha. She was also more talkative. She told us many stories over the years, she doesn’t realize we never understood any of them. She is also extremely playful, especially at bedtime. Everyday that’s how it was, until the day she got outside. It took some weeks but as I suspected she had gotten pregnant. She never grew out a large stomach, and since this was her first litter we were only expecting one or two kittens anyways. Now, I waited. I set a box up for her to kitten in and I gave her more food like queens should have, midway through their pregnancy. Finally the day came and that afternoon the labor process began. Since there were no good vets around I read everything I could about the process. I wanted to learn everything in case something went wrong. I never expected anything to, but it did. It had been four hours of labor and not one baby had been produced. I had feared it. She was too small to have kittens. I grew nervous as two more hours rolled slowly by. I couldn’t wait any more. I told my dad that no progress was made. He took a look and confirmed she was too small for her baby. We called the local vet at around eight at night and he told us to drive over. I scooped up my baby girl and put her in a tub with some soft towels. Then we made our way to the vets. I tried not to cry but the tears began to fall. The vet took a look at her but couldn’t get the kitten out so he scheduled an appointment with the head vet in a larger city for tomorrow. There was nothing more we could do but pray. I asked God to spare my kitty. I knew if she didn’t get help or have the kitten soon we would lose her. I got home and took her out of the tub. She didn’t look good. She was trembling with exhaustion but couldn’t stop contracting. She looked up at me with pain in her eyes pleading for help. Tears trickled down my cheeks. I feared for the worst, she didn’t look as though she was going to make it. I sat there stroking her head. At eleven at night she crawled onto a towel and did what we had been waiting for. A small gray kitten finally arrived, and as I thought, the kitten did not survive. I was both happy and sad. Happy Mary had finally birthed the first kitten, but also sad it died in the process. I carried the limp, lifeless bundle outside and dug a small hole in the earth that night. There the small kitten was put to rest. Mary and I slept the rest of the night through. We still had a doctor visit planned for tomorrow in case of any more unborn kittens. When the sun rose we headed out. I put Mary back in her tub and we traveled to the larger city. Mary had to have surgery. I had to calmly caress her head as they injected her with needles to make her sleep. She gazed up at me till her eyes closed and she lay limp on the table where they shaved her stomach. There are many things more I could explain at this point but I’ll just say the surgery was very rough on her and she had one unborn kitten removed. After we brought her home she was just waking up and very delusional. Her pupils were extremely dilated and I was horrified to find one of her legs weren’t working properly. It was limp and lifeless. I figured she just was still waking up from the medication, but her foot never got better. In fact, the more it dragged, the more hair it lost, and the more bloody it became. Her vision also remained very poor. My poor baby lost her kittens, lost the use of her leg, and was losing her vision. I hurt because she hurt and I felt powerless. My mother was upset with the out come of the surgery as was I. It appeared they hit a nerve during the operation making her leg useless and her vision fading. We went back there anyways to see if they could fix what they did. The doctor prescribed vitamin pills for nerve damage and her vision and also put a cast on her leg to keep her from dragging it. After a few hours of being home I noticed through the fur that Mary’s foot had turned blue. The cast was too tight so I rushed to cut it off, she also had to wear a cone because she kept trying to lick the stitches off her stomach. She looked awful and more pitiful than any animal I had ever seen. Over a week or so she didn’t improve at all. I prayed and prayed that she would get better. Many people told me that she was suffering or just gonna die any ways and that the humane thing to do would be putting her down. I wouldn’t, I couldn’t do that. She wanted to live and so I wanted to give her every chance. After two more weeks of the vitamins and resting, she gained her old personality again though she still wasn’t well enough play. I was relieved when her eyesight slowly began to improve as well, but her leg was still useless. After lots and lots of prayer and advice from my Grandmother, I designed a body sling that supported her left hind leg keeping it coiled beneath her and off the ground. Everyday I massaged her muscles with my sister and then we applied antibacterial ointment and put her in the sling, and every night gave her vitamins. This job had to be done consistently in order for her leg to not develop atrophy or infection. I figured her wearing a sling for the rest of her life was better than amputation or being putting down. Besides, I’d didn’t think she would survive the amputation process after how bad the surgery went. Her leg wounds healed eventually and her vision returned almost to normal. Then after two or three months I took the sling off like I did every day for a few hours so she could groom and I noticed she started using her leg! I was so pleased and grateful, I thanked God immediately! We continued using the sling and she just kept getting better! By all reason she should be dead or three legged but to this day she walks normal again. Her foot is still slightly tender but it doesn’t at all prohibit her from having a good time. It it by God’s grace I still have my furball that steals my socks, eats my paper, sits on my schoolwork, and snuggles with me at night. Not a boring day comes by with Mary around. She makes the most mediocre moments extraordinary and turns every job into play. I still wake up and find my rug rolled into a ball, and sponge under my bed from who knows where, and my blanket claimed as hers, but for all this I am grateful. Life wouldn’t be the same without Mary in it. She is my girl and I am her person. The horrible circumstances that almost claimed her life, and all those sleepless nights brought us closer than I could have ever imagined. Thank you, Mary, for being my personal angel from heaven. =^.^=