I have been around cats for over fifty years. At the beginning, we had one cat. When Max died, we waited a year and then got Sam. As a newlywed, we got Harry, and she lived for nineteen years. There was a short period of time, about four years when we just had our Beagle, Fred. In December of 2007, we got Beavis. So while I have had cats for most of my life, we didn’t get a second one until early 2008.
My mother came to live with us then, and she had a big, fat white cat that for some reason my oldest son was very allergic to. We knew Kitty couldn’t live with us, and my sister had two in the townhouse she was renting at the time. After some discussion, it was decided that her kitten, Stanley, would come live with us. We would have the two little ones, and she would keep the two older ones. This was with the understanding that if and when one of the older ones would pass away, she would get Stanley back. Ha! Fat chance. My kids fell in love with him immediately, and he fell in love with me. I have no idea why. To this day, the boy remains totally devoted to me. Beavis and Stan lived together as brothers for years, until 2014. That was when the three of us moved in with my sister and her family. They had a tiny cat, Sammy, who tolerated the boys very well. We acquired George as a Father’s Day gift.
Fast forward to Florida, when we moved there. My cousin had four, so we were a household of six cats. Christmas of 2017, a cat showed up and adopted us. Lester made the number of cats in the house a seven. When we decided to leave Florida to move back home to Pennsylvania – there was an outside cat that again, adopted us. We didn’t take him into the house, he lived outside and his name was JB. I knew I couldn’t drive away with the moving truck leaving him behind. So, JB was ours and we lived as a three cat and two person family until the holidays. That was when I stopped into a local shelter rescue to drop off some food that my boys didn’t like. Before I knew it, I was agreeing to take two kittens home – not permanently, supposedly. Nevertheless, they have stayed and that brings our total (our final total) to five. Four boys and one girl. Nikita and Alexi make us laugh every day, though their older brothers are not always amused by them.
JB was diagnosed with supposed nasal cancer back in January. I say supposed because no actual tests were done. To get a definitive diagnosis, the testing costs would be astronomical. And I mean that. It would have been between three and four THOUSAND dollars, just for diagnostics. The vet recommended we treat him as if we knew he had this affliction. He gets a pill every day. Yes, a pill. Given to a cat. This is not easy, to say the least. Some days, he is good. Others, not so much. Even on the days we think he is good, he just might not be. Cleaning up litter two days ago, I saw the pill we thought he swallowed behind and to the side of one of the litter boxes. He is a rascal, without a doubt. Overall though, he has been a very good boy. Though it is a bit hard to try to overpower a cat who clearly does not want to take a pill. Medicating him is much easier than we thought it would be, however. It is a bit daunting to try to give him his pill with his two baby siblings staring and watching and being nosy…ugh! Once he clearly and absolutely swallows his pill, he gets a few treats…JB first, because…he deserves it. Then the rest get treats too, not because they deserve them, just…because.
And then there is Nik…our Nikita Adam, the character in this household. The one who never, ever fails to make us laugh. How to say it? Oh, I don’t know. This boy, he has…loose bowels. Diarrhea extraordinaire. It is coming to the time that we may need to get him treated by a vet, but until that time – we are trying to take care of him on our own. The BRAT diet? Eh, for a cat – this is what we’ve done. I boiled a chicken breast the other day, and shredded it in the small food chopper. Rice is good, and I put that in the chopper too. So, before everyone else gets fed, Nik (and Lexi, because they are joined at the hip) gets his bland meal. So far, so good. We think. It will be a few days before we decide if a vet for the boy is warranted.
Three of them had goopy eyes. Almost pink eye like. So, because I am always on the lookout for reasonable alternatives – they are getting lysine in their food. I could not find a pill crusher locally, and could not wait until one was shipped. I put the lysine pills in a dish, and crushed them – pushing them down with a measuring cup, making them into a powder almost. It has been over a week that I have been doing this, mixing the lysine with both their morning and evening meal. I am happy to report that our three afflicted boys are doing just fine. And I am very happy, and proud that I was able to find a reasonable alternative, money wise, that was able to take care of my cats in a good and effective way.
If things were different, if money was plentiful – maybe I would find it easier to run to the Vet. But, when you have five cats – that is a lot. And it is more simple to treat them at home, if you can. I would do anything I could to take care of our five. They are our babies. I just want them happy and healthy. If you interviewed them and asked, I am sure they would say they are well taken care of and well loved. That is all we can ask for…