We have a male cat named Cheese, one of two remaining cats in the family. Typically at the vet you register your pets with their given names and their humans’ last names. For example, our beagle was Saidee Hu. But instead of registering Cheese as “Cheese Hu-Stiles,” my husband Matty insisted registering him as “The Cheese.” This resulted in Cheese’s official file listing the cat as “CHEESE, THE.” That’s the only way you’ll find his records folder.
You may recall my cat Fitz from my earlier blogs. Friggin’ Fitz. He’s my orange tabby who likes living on the edge. Most cats live one of two ways: domestically, in which they stay inside or occassionally go outside and stay in the general home area. Or they’re feral, in which nature is their home. My cat Fitz lives in the area in between. He “runs away” for a year or so, and then surprises us by wandering back into the house through the dog door.
He’s back, for now. Last time he was home was spring 2009, if you don’t count the time he popped into the backyard to say hi real quick on Thanksgiving day.
In 2008, he came home on Iowa caucus night bleeding from his neck. It sounds bad, but since I was too busy watching the Iowa caucuses and Fitz is perpetually getting into trouble, I just locked him in my room until all the precincts came in. Fitz has almost died numerous times. He’s on his 18th life or so. The last time I did a count of the numerous times he almost died was early ’08, and since then I’ve stopped counting.
9th life: Being born onto the streets of South Dallas. We’re talking the Oak Cliff area. Somehow finding his way to “safety” on the infamous grassy knoll, which happens to be at the mouth of a major interstate. (Hence the name “Fitz”, short for John Fitzgerald Kennedy Hu-St!les)
8th life: Getting taken into the Spartanburg Humane Society, which has one of the highest animal euthanasia rates in the country. He was miraculously rescued because the same day he was brought in, my friend Myra was outside doing a live report. She saw him and had to take him home with her… which is how I wound up with him.
7th life: Accidentally eating ibuprofen. It looks like he took in at least two Advil liquigels, which is toxic to cats. Almost died, stayed in the Emergency Clinic overnight with an IV in his little arm. Had to shoot him with some sort of subcutaneous fluids for two weeks.
6th life: Running away for two weeks. To this day we don’t know where Fitz was during the last half of September, 2007. We thought he was a goner, fer sho. But then he just came strolling back in when October came around.
5th life: Dog bite. How he got away after a dog got him by the neck is still a mystery to me.
I stopped counting, but I can say without question that the vet fees have cost more than my own healthcare.