Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pretty Kitty

Just a few shots of Meshach today. He looks pretty good for an 'old man'! I also thought I'd tell a little about how I got him. Almost twelve years ago, I had a huge half Siamese cat named Shadrach. Shad was a lynx point, and very beautiful, even with crossed eyes. He was also as ornery as the day was long and his crossed eyes proved very beneficial to him, as no one knew where he was looking when he decided to bite. Anyway, I digress. I hadn't had a kitten in the house for years and years, so even though Shad seemed a little over the top, I just thought it was kitten antics. (I've since realized that he was a rather unstable and quite vicious fellow, but I loved him all the same.). I still have scars. When Shad was a little over a year old, he suddenly got all quiet and depressed acting. (which of course in hindsight probably had allot to do with the most likely even then growing tumor) Hmmm... well, of course! 'He' needed a kitten. The story gets a little complicated here. I had left my former place of employment, just before I got Shad, and a good friend and former co-worker picked him out for me (and tied a blue string around his neck)--I got him just a few days later. So fast forward a year or so, and I called the same friend and asked her to keep her ears/eyes open for a Siamese kitten. Several months later she called and gave me the name of a lady who had kittens! I wanted a short haired male seal point and she had one. I arranged to meet her on the parking lot of the local grocery store. I arrived and waited and waited and waited. Finally they showed up, with a carrier full of kittens 'in case I wanted more than one'. They were a beautiful litter, but all I remember was Meshach and one long haired yellow brother. Their mother was a Siamese mix. The reality was, Mesh was long haired, probably only six weeks old and un weaned.

I took him, and we headed home. He was so bewildered and tried to bury himself in my hair, crying the whole time. He had strong lungs. There were some very trying times those first few weeks, as the little needled footed mite tried to bury himself in my neck and hair, every chance he got, meowing the whole time. Eventually he sorta resolved himself to being weaned, but he has never been happy with the fact, and still kneads my hair until it looks like a rat's nest, if I let him.

Since Shad was so rotten, I was a little afraid of his reaction to this teeny, tiny kitten. (Shad was very huge). I took Meshach in and set him up in a cage. Shad came over and looked at me. I told him this was his kitten and he needed to take care of him. Shad went over and plopped down right in front of the cage and just stared. Not long afterward, I opened the cage and the friendship was on. Shad never tried to hurt Meshach, although he played pretty rough as the kitten got older. I used to think he was flaying Meshach alive until one day, I observed them playing when Meshach didn't know I was around. Shad had barely tapped Meshach, when Mesh let out a terrible wail of pain! What a faker. To this day, sometimes he still does this and I fall for it every time! Other than his acting skills, Meshach was a model kitten, and never caused any problems. This was a huge relief after the battleground of Shad's kittenhood.

Shadrach and Meshach were best buds, and tiny little Mesh would curl up to his big bro. every night. Such a friendship grew between the big ornery fellow and the little sweet (but still a faker) kitten.

Shad struggled with his weight and inactivity over the next few years, but seemed content and healthy. Then one night he got up from a nap, staggered and fell over. I grabbed him up, his tongue and gums were blue. I rushed him out into the cooler air, and he came around. He wasn't in good shape though. After frantically calling around, finally a vet was found that would see him that night. I'll always remember little Meshach came over to where Shad was laying and gave him several licks on his head, before we left. Shad didn't come home alive, and it was one of the most distressing and depressing times on the little farm that I've experienced. He had a massive tumor that x-rays showed were scrunching his heart and lungs up into a little area. The tumor covered most of his chest cavity. No wonder the big guy had been so inactive. Because he was so obviously in distress I had him put down that night.

Meshach and I were devastated. I missed that cat so much and Meshach missed him even more. Shad was with me when I went through some pretty tough times and I was very close to him. After he died, when I would lay down at night, Meshach would crawl up on me and bury his head in my neck and literally make little sobbing noises. We would cry ourselves to sleep. It took many weeks for Meshach and I to work through our loss. Meshach became very needy and clingy for awhile, but eventually we both got a little less sad.

Since then Meshach has had two house buddies--Salome a lovely Himalayan female whose short but sweet story I will tell sometime, and then later Sage, whom you all know. Meshach has cared for them all, but never the closeness he had with his 'brother' Shad. And so the years have rolled along and we have been through many ups and downs together, this little furry friend and I, and our friendship goes deep. For those that say, 'they are just a cat' or 'dog', you cannot understand and sadly most likely never will. I won't waste my time trying to explain it. For all the rest of you? I know you understand and no explanation is needed or required. Here's to our furry friends and all the joy and even the inevitable heartbreak they give us!


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I've never had a "best-friend" cat, only dogs, but I understand totally. A pet friend is a pet friend, and I can't imagine a life without them!

Berte said...

What a sweet, sweet story of your friends. Oh, the joy they bring to our hearts. Thanks for sharing.

Deb said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful story - I've been fortunate to have wonderful cats as well as wonderful dogs. Loving them and being loved by them is such a gift.

Vicki Lane said...

Lovely story -- the good times are worth the eventual heartbreak.

kristi said...

Cats are wonderful animals that weave their way into the hearts of those that they own.....meaning us, the owners. I love my cats as you house would be so empty w/out them. Thank you for sharing your story:)

thecrazysheeplady said...

Smiling and crying.

Yellow Jacket Ridge Angoras said...

What a beautiful story. ...and then there is Jack the Cat. Our psycho cat who doesn't groom himself and when upset will pee in the laundry. I'm overly cautious to make sure Jack stays happy. I would love to get another cat friend for him but afraid what he might do if he doesn't like the one I choose.

Susan M. Bell said...

Yes...tears and smiles. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

Our pets are really our furbabies. I adore my kitties, and I agree with Vicki that the good times are worth the eventual heartbreak. In the grand scheme of things, they are with us for such a short time. They walk into our hearts, touch our souls and teach us to enjoy every moment we have with them. Even when they do odd pee in the laundry. :)

BTW: I think all cats are at least a little bit psycho. I know mine are.

Tina T-P said...

I'll echo everyone else - that is a very sweet story - they do hold on to our hearts, don't they.

Your Pizza looked wonderful! I got to have a huge shrimp (actually they were tiger prawns) salad tonight for dinner - The Shepherd doesn't care for them unless they are deep fried - but I love a good shrimp salad!

How is your little ewe doing?

phylliso said...

I will always be closer to pets than people,so I totally understand.Thank-you for sharing his story.You did the right thing by letting him go.
I`m catching up with you,I need to place you on my blog list,hoping Boone is feeling better,poor guy.
I used Rimadyl for Max when he was having arthitic pain,phylliso

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Friend, I have an award for you over at my blog. Hope you'll accept!